Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Civil Virtues #1

What I got, from reading Dagger in chapter 1, is that people always want rights to something or to everything. What Dagger points out are three different complaints about claiming or appealing to their rights. (1) People quickly turn to their rights and left little or no room discussion over it; it sort of like turning rights into a trump card. (2) Thinking about rights makes us more individual, in a sense that “rights belong to individuals” (page 3), therefore separating us from each other. A person, who has a right to property, guns, work, a family, or a good life, may indeed think differently, if not better, than anyone else who doesn’t has the same rights or privileges. And (3) there is a ceaseless clamoring for a right to something that it useless to argue or even the value the right to something (page 4). These, I think, are simple concepts or ideas that people fall in and probably don’t realize it. However, why is that so?
Do people want to live a simple life without resulting in do some critical thinking about the concept of rights and what it means to have them?
Another interesting note that Dagger pointed out was the fact that, through broad view, civil virtues and autonomy or republicanism and liberalism are not the same. However, I think, Dagger whole purpose of the book is to proof that they are the same. When it comes to civil virtues or republicanism, the idea is that gives citizens duty to one another (13). Not only does civil virtues provide a duty to one another, but it also a duty or a characteristics that promotes the greater good of the community or other citizens, not just for the satisfaction of oneself. Autonomy or liberalism suggest that people have a right to basically do whatever they want; or more specifically note, the right to self-governed. (30). When the notion of autonomy and civil virtues are explained, they don’t sound or have anything in common. However, in page 17, Dagger gave two reasons in how they are link.
The connection between autonomy and civil virtues is perhaps most obvious with regard to the third element of civil virtues; the idea that liberty is participation in government and therefore is self-government. Since autonomy means self-government, one might say that the concept of civil virtues entails a commitment to autonomy, in a sense of the word… it seems not only that civil virtues entails self-government but also that autonomy is possible only when civil virtue prevails. (17)
In a sense, I understand that the notion of autonomy could and cannot exist without civil virtues prevailing first. The example with the infant made it clear. The infant is not capable to governing itself. Instead, it needs the civil virtues concept or someone to promote and/or give the infant what it needs to survive and grow to develop the ability and the idea of autonomy.
If this is the idea that connects together republicans and liberals; why do they just read this book?

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