Induvidual's Duty to Society

Topics: Duty, Obligation, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (1100 words) Published: January 12, 2013
To a certain extent, individuals are required to be informed and perform lawful and moral duties to their government. Likewise, the government has the duty to provide protection for its people. However, at the same time, each induvidual has the power to decide how involved he or she will be in those duties, and they must decide how much power they allow their governement to hold. Therefore, an induvidual's duty to their government and and the government's duty to society are complex issues that cannot be defined as specific obligations, but rather as principles. These principles help guide the people and allow them to see consequences of each decision they make.

One of the first factors in making decisions involves how informed an induvidual is. "The Allegory of the Cave" shows how skewed one's perception can become if they are kept in ignorance. Like the shadows on the cave wall that misrepresented each object, a person's ignorance is prone to poor decisions and unfit beliefs. However, like stated earlier, each induvidual's duty is a complex issue.“There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.” This quote from the Machiavelli's "The Prince" shows the different types of individuals and how they choose whether or not to seek knowledge. Like the prisoners chained to the wall in "the Allegory of the Cave" many people have no access to greater knowledge. While some do have access, they are still unaware of its necessity and impact on bettering society. Now, this brings up the question, "Is it the informed people's duty to bring knowledge to the uninformed?" The answer to this question is complex as well. While many people do try to teach knowledge, just as many avoid doing so because of people's stubbornness and disbelief. As learned...
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