What Makes a Good Society? Discuss What Makes a Good Society?

9 September 2016

Without our effort for this group project become reality and this project would never exist. The person who is really we want to give a billion thank you is our lecturer and also can best we describe as our guidance are Associate Professor Quah Chun Hoo. Prof also gives us his support and makes our way clear while we are in the process of making our project. Without his guide, we never can achieve the good project like we have now. Moreover, participation from our friends also gives us more knowledge to collect more information as we can and also encourage us for produce the best job.

On the other hand, we have learned many things about the higher education and the steps how to write a business ethics term paper. And lastly but not least is our really thanks to all people that involved whether as direct or indirect in the process of making this project. Thank you. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY There are numerous marks of a good society: justice, equity, rule of law, economic opportunity, reciprocity, prosperity, critical thinking, ethical standards, concern for good citizenship, right to defense, right to private property and so on. But where does the value of Goodness for Goodness sake ome in? In this paper, our group has made a research regarding on “What makes a good society? ” Based on our research we explores some of the elements of what makes for a good society or community from a communitarian viewpoint, with consideration from a combination of social facts as seen by a sociologist. Additionally, ethical considerations with special attention paid to exclusivity and to equality, are addressed. There is some moral dilemma that occurs in doing this research. Where there are some questions bear in mind; what exactly is a “good society”, or a “good community”?

What Makes a Good Society? Discuss What Makes a Good Society? Essay Example

And why has it come to have such a critical place in current discussions of problems in our society? In our research, we have made some argument that says that the good society does not just happen; it has to be made and continuously sustained. In this process, more people must be helped to share in the good society. Establishing and maintaining the good society require the cooperative efforts of some, often of many, people. It might seem that since all citizens benefit from the good society, we would all willingly respond that we each cooperate to establish and maintain the good society.

But numerous observers have identified a number of obstacles that hinder us, as a society, from successfully doing so. From our research, we found that in order to understand how and why people make decision to act for the good society we have to explore the way people make choices about what they value, what they want to be a part of and how they want to behave. Based on the research that we have done, we also have to explore how people can be empowered to play as effective a role as possible in making the good society.

INTRODUCTION As Malaysian watch the political stalemate in Malaysia, we can’t help but notice the conflicting views on what makes a society good. We might agree that it takes good people to make a good society, people reaching out to people. We might say that it takes good leaders to design a good society. Lyndon B. Johnson spoke of the “Great Society” which for him meant social reforms designed to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. Johnson’s vision was formed by the radical changes of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement.

He saw the nation’s greatness in terms of economic prosperity and opportunity. Plato was right that one can’t live the good life unless one knows the Good. The hard part is defining “good” apart from self-interest. For many, good is what we perceive to serve us best. Society is good if it features personal comforts and benefits and generates a standard of living that we feel entitled to enjoy. But the reality and the dream are very far apart. We are a nation of overworked and underpaid wage slaves whose debt dampens our passion for the Good.

Many are just trying to survive. Our standard of living never will be high enough to satisfy us. There always will be another convenience or technology toy just beyond our reach. We are no longer free. We are ruled by schedules, technology, taxes and our own discontent. And we tend to think our discontent is someone else’s fault. Aristotle believed that free men are responsible for their voluntary and involuntary actions and behaviours. He did not include slaves in this scheme because to him the society of ruling men was the basis upon which to build a good society.

For Aristotle, a society or state is held together by friendship more than justice. He regarded men with many friendships as good men. That friendship, or natural affinity, is the basis of a good society is evident to children who determine who is included and who is excluded from their group. No matter how often their mothers tell them to be nice and let everyone play together, children form groups according to their own rules. (And their parents don’t “play” with everyone either. ) Yet children are more egalitarian than Aristotle’s society.

Children slip in and out of different groups quite often. This is how they discover where they fit best. But in Aristotle’s society a person could never escape from his caste. Slaves were at the bottom of the caste system and they had no rights except those granted to them by their masters. Some slaves were highly skilled in medicine, arts, reading and writing. These were generally treated well by their masters because they had valuable skills, but they were not regarded as the equal of free men like Aristotle.

So all the things we like about Aristotle – the attitudes which seem fair and democratic – really apply only to men of his Athenian social class. There is little application to our country, Malaysia, a society of myriad communities straining in diverse directions to achieve a good society. Sociologist Amitai Etzioni has written, “The quest for a good society points to one that allows communities to maintain some limitations on new membership while at the same time greatly restrict the criteria that communities may use informing such exclusivity. The criteria for exclusion cannot be race, thnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, or a host of other criteria based on ascribed statuses. Rather, the bonds of good communities, it follows, should be based on affinities whose nature remains to be defined. ” Contrary to political correctness, the good society limits membership by law. It is predicated on affinity, not on grand schemes or social engineering. Societies are organic. They develop according to their social DNA, and can’t be designed. (Socialists neglect this truth. ) Unless natural communities can be connected in friendly ways, nation building is impossible.

The good society works as a confederation of tribes, each honouring the other’s right to exist and all responsible for the most vulnerable and the poorest. MORAL DILEMMA In this topic, the moral dilemma occurs when the questions click in mind, what exactly is a “good society”, or a “good community”? And why has it come to have such a critical place in current discussions of problems in our society? A good society is a notion that originated over two thousand years ago in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero.

Sociologist Amitai Etzioni has written in The New Golden Rule come out with some of dilemma questions; How can a society balance its members’ needs for both order and autonomy? , Where do the core values of a community come from, and how can these values be developed and maintained? And what is a “moral voice”? How does a community develop and maintain a distinctive moral voice? The debate regarding what constitutes a good society has been championed primarily by individualists (who treat individuality as the most important social good) and social conservatives (who treat social order as the most important social good).

Etzioni suggests communitarianism (which strikes a balance between order and autonomy) as an alternative social philosophy that would better support the elements of a good society . ARGUMENTS The contemporary ethicist, John Rawls, define a good society as “the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfilment. ” Good society, then, consists primarily of having the ocial systems, institutions, and environments on which we all depend work in a manner that benefits all people. Examples of particular good society or parts of the good society include an accessible and affordable public health care system, and effective system of public safety and security, peace among the nations of the world, a just legal and political system, and unpolluted natural environment, and a flourishing economic system.

Because such systems, institutions, and environments have such a powerful impact on the well-being of members of a society, it is no surprise that virtually every social problem in one way or another is linked to how well these systems and institutions are functioning. As these examples suggest, a good society does not just happen. Establishing and maintaining good society require the cooperative efforts of some, often of many, people as a common good only to the extent that it is a good to which all have access.

First, according to some philosophers, the very idea of a good society is inconsistent with a pluralistic society like ours. Different people have different ideas about what is worthwhile or what constitutes “the good life for human beings”, differences that have increased during the last few decades as the voices of more and more previously silenced groups, such as women and minorities, have been heard. Given these differences, some people urge, it will be impossible for us to agree on what particular kind of social systems, institutions, and environments we will all pitch in to support.

And even if we agreed upon what we all valued, we would certainly disagree about the relative values things have for us. While all may agree, for example, that an affordable health system, a healthy educational system, and a clean environment are all parts of the common good in good society, some will say that more should be invested in health than in education, while others will favour directing resources to the environment over both health and education. Such disagreements are bound to undercut our ability to evoke a sustained and widespread commitment to the good society.

In the face of such pluralism, efforts to bring about the good society can only lead to adopting or promoting the views of some, while excluding others, violating the principle of treating people equally. Moreover, such efforts would force everyone to support some specific notion of the good society, violating the freedom of those who do not share in that goal, and inevitably leading to paternalism (imposing one group’s preference on others), tyranny, and oppression. A second problem encountered by proponents of the good society is what is sometimes called the “free-rider problem”.

The benefits that a common good in good society provides are, as we noted, available to everyone, including those who choose not to do their part to maintain the good society. Individuals can become “free riders” by taking the benefits the common good provides while refusing to do their part to support the good society. An adequate water supply, for example, is a common good from which all people benefit. But to maintain an adequate supply of water during a drought, people must conserve water, which entails sacrifices.

Some individuals may be reluctant to do their share, however, since they know that so long as enough other people conserve, they can enjoy the benefits without reducing their own consumption. If enough people become free riders in this way, the good society which depends on their support will be destroyed. Many observers believe that this is exactly what has happened to many of our good society, such as the environment or education, where the reluctance of all person to support efforts to maintain the health of these systems has led to their virtual collapse.

The third problem encountered by attempts to promote the good society is that of individualism. Our historical traditions place a high value on individual freedom, on personal rights, and on allowing each person to “do her own thing”. Our culture views society as comprised of separate independent individuals who are free to pursue their own individual goals and interests without interference from others. In this individualistic culture it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to convince people that they should sacrifice some of their freedom, some of their personal goals, and some of their self-interest, for the sake of the “good society”.

Our cultural traditions, in fact, reinforce the individual who thinks that she should not have to contribute to the community’s , but should be left free to pursue her own personal ends. Finally, appeals to the good society are confronted by the problem of an unequal sharing of burdens. Maintaining a good society often requires that particular individuals or particular groups bear costs that are much greater than those borne by others. Maintaining an unpolluted environment, for example, may require that particular firms that pollute install costly pollution control devices, undercutting profits.

Making employment opportunities more equal may require that some groups, such as white males, sacrifice their own employment chances. Making the health system affordable and accessible to all may require that insurers accept lower premiums, that physicians accept lower salaries, or that those with particularly costly diseases or conditions forego the medical treatment on which their live depend. Forcing particular groups or individuals to carry such unequal burdens “for the sake of the good society”, is, at least arguably, unjust.

Moreover, the prospect of having to carry such heavy and unequal burdens leads such groups and individuals to resist any attempts to secure common goods. All of these problems pose considerable obstacles to those who call for an ethic of the good society. Still, appeals to the good society ought not to be dismissed. For they urge us to reflect on broad questions concerning the kind of society we want to become and how we are to achieve that society.

They also challenge us to view ourselves as members of the same community and, while respecting and valuing the freedom of individuals to pursue their own goals, to recognize and further those goals we share in common. CONCLUSION Based on arguments in thesis statement, we conclude that a good society is one in which certain minimal conditions exist that permit people to flourish. These conditions include physical well-being, safety from violence, the ability to make thoughtful choices about one’s life, and political and civil rights.

The ability of societies to meet these conditions is heavily conditioned by their institutional arrangements such as individualists which treat individuality as the most important social good, social conservatives which treat social order as the most important social good and communitarianism which strikes a balance between order and autonomy. Institutions influence our behavior and expectations by exerting power. Their exercise of power constrains us at the same time that it creates predictability, reducing insecurity and anxiety in social life.

Institutions limit freedom and simultaneously make its enjoyment possible. Therefore how to establishing and maintaining good society or what the moral dilemma occurs frequently in our institutions remain to be solved. Those challenges consist of inconsistent with a pluralistic society inconsistent with a pluralistic society which is even if we agreed upon what we all valued, we would certainly disagree about the relative values things have for us may lead to paternalism, tyranny, and oppression. The second problem is what is sometimes called the “free-rider problem”.

This may produce the social parasites If enough people become free riders in this way, the good society which depends on their support will be destroyed. The third problem is that of individualism. In this individualistic culture it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to convince people that they should sacrifice some of their freedom, some of their personal goals, and some of their self-interest, for the sake of the “good society”. Finally, appeals to the good society are confronted by the problem of an unequal sharing of burdens.

All of those problem we face are badly in need of will arranged. SIGNIFICANCE RESEARCH There are few studies that have been done upon the topic “What a makes a good society? ” Commenting on the many economic and social problems that society now confronts, Newsweek columnist Robert J. Samuelson recently wrote: “We face a choice between a societies where people accept modest sacrifices for a good society or a more contentious society where group selfishly protect their own benefits. Newsweek is not the only voice calling for a recognition of and commitment to the “good society. ” Daniel Callahan, an expert on bioethics, argues that solving the current crisis in our health care system–rapidly rising costs and dwindling access–requires replacing the current “ethic of individual rights” with an “ethic of the good society”. Sociologist Amitai Etzioni suggests in a good society a social order exists that is in line with the moral commitment of its members.

Moreover, the maintenance of social order relies primarily on normative means such as education, leadership, moral dialogue, and moral voices. Etzioni also suggest that members of the society share a commitment to a set of core values, and abide by those values most of the time. Individualism is not favored over the social good (and vice versa); these two social virtues are maintained in a careful equilibrium. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Amitai Etzioni, ‘The Good Society’’ Journal of Political Philosophy, 7 (1999), 88-103 Amitai Etzioni, The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (New York: Basic Books, 1996). C. f. H. L. A. Hart, Law, Liberty and Morality (Oxford: University Press, 1963);Patrick Devlin, The Enforcement of Morals (Oxford University Press, 1965) Etzioni, The New Golden Rule, 85-118 Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S. J. , and Michael J. Meyer, Issues in Ethics V5, N1 (Spring 1992) Robert Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M.

Tipton, The Good Society (New York: Vintage, 1991); and Walter Lippman, An Inquiry Into the Principles of the Good Society (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1943) The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (New York: BasicBooks, 1996), 160-188 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Lyndon_B. _Johnson http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/african-ethics/ http://angeloallen. com/? p=810 http://www. scu. edu/ethics/practicing/decision/framework. html MARKING GRID Academic Content| | 60| Moral Dilemma| | 10| Originality and Reference| | 10| Bibliography| | 10| Significance of Research| | 5| Overall Presentation| | 5| Total Marks| | 100|

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