Tag Archives: Morality

FDR’s Four Freedoms

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 said, that there are four fundamental freedoms that people everywhere in the world ought to enjoy: Freedom of speech, Freedom of worship, Freedom from want, and Freedom from fear. Was he right?

The first two are fundamental freedoms that everyone, everywhere in the world, ought to enjoy just as Roosevelt said. However, the last two are not fundamental freedoms, rather they are entitlements that people want at the expense of others. Before we go on we have to define freedom. Freedom is a state of being exempt from the power or control of another. Every person is endowed by God with certain unalienable rights. The definition of rights is a legal immunity (protection) from other people or from the state. Freedom allows us to exercise these rights as we choose.

The freedom of speech allows us to communicate ideas and beliefs without interference from the government or anyone and without punitive action. We can express our ideas and beliefs in person, with a pen and paper, a film, an audio recording, and so on. All of these ways are protected under the freedom of speech. These are a few of the reasons why the freedom of speech is a fundamental freedom.

 

The freedom of worship allows everyone to worship God as they believe is right. If we did not have this freedom all of our God-given rights and freedoms would be in jeopardy from the First Amendment all the way to the Tenth Amendment. John Adams said,”Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Samuel Adams said,”Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.” They both knew that liberty is impossible without a moral and religious people. The Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Worship depend on each other. If you do not have one you do not have the other.

Freedom from want or the right to an adequate standard of living is not a freedom nor a right. Sure, this sounds like a moral principle, but it’s not. Rights are very limited on what they do. This pseudo freedom allows the government to take wealth and property from the rich to give to the poor, thus infringing on someone else’s freedoms.  This action is totally opposite to the definition of freedom. Don’t get me wrong I am not opposed to charity. I encourage it, but what the government is doing is plunder, plain and simple. It decreases charity and productivity and in the end no one is better off.  This is the danger of this pseudo freedom or right. 

 

Lastly but not least is the freedom from fear. The same thing applies to this fake freedom as it did for the freedom from want. President Roosevelt said the following in his Four Freedoms speech concerning the “freedom” from fear. “The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.” First, the problem with this statement is that it contradicts our Second Amendment. Secondly, this will not stop wars nor will it make a world void of fear. For example, alliances can be made with other nations to overpower weaker ones, thus starting wars.

 

Laws are only obeyed by law abiding citizens. When laws are passed to reduce the amount of guns law-abiding citizens can own the end result will not be a nation without fear. Crime and fear will increase because the criminals know that there are fewer citizens armed to defend themselves. Remember, gun reduction laws do not disarm criminals. They only disarm the law-abiding citizens.

 

Freedom is very valuable but if it is tainted with so-called freedoms it can become worthless and meaningless.

The Decline of Personal Responsibility

The welfare state condemns personal responsibility which causes great moral degradation. The welfare state causes this moral degradation because everything about the welfare state is immoral. It takes from some to give to others in other words the state steals. It make the recipients depend on the government. It makes the hard-working people slack off, because they know that the money they are working for will be taken away and given to someone who did not work for it. Under the welfare state no one is allowed to keep the fruits of their labor. The Definition of responsibility is,

: a duty or task that you are required or expected to do

: something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.

 

The responsibility (duty) to take care of ourselves falls on us and not the state or government. The free market on the other hand does promote greater personal responsibility, because you are not dependent on the government. As a result you work hard to support yourself because you know the government will not. You are responsible for the food you eat, the clothes on your back, and the roof over your head. Under the free market you are allowed to keep the fruits of your labor, which results in greater personal responsibility and wealth.

The Morality of Work and Wealth

Looking at the subject of wealth there are three questions we need to answer. Is it immoral to be wealthy? Is it unjust that some people have more wealth than others? What moral limits are there on how a person can gain wealth?

Some people wrongly believe that being wealthy is immoral. Wealth in most cases is the fruits of ones own labor. People work hard to obtain it. People say that money is the root of all evil, but this is wrong. The love of money is the root of all evil. In other words if you are willing to bend the rules to get as much money as you can, then that is wrong. Wealth in and of itself isn’t  bad. The more wealth you have the more you can invest in businesses, donate to charities, help the needy, buy gifts, and necessary items. The Bible says in Genesis 13:2,”Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Nowhere in the Bible does God say Abraham was immoral because of his wealth. In fact in James 2:23  It calls Abraham the Friend of God.

People do tend to look with envy on others who are wealthier, however their envy should not make it unjust for others to be wealthier. Some people are lazy and others are hard workers. We should not penalize the hard-working people from making more money. People who believe it is unjust that others have more wealth, usually advocate for a federal welfare state. The purpose of a federal welfare state is to equalize wealth which is socialistic and unjust. This discourages work and leads to poverty. When the pilgrims came to America they were using the welfare state model, in other words all the food gathered was to be equally divided among themselves. After one year half of the pilgrims died. The next year nothing changed and during the winter half of the remaining pilgrims died. The pilgrims wouldn’t survive another year so William Bradford called a meeting to determine what should be done. They turned to the Bible to look for an answer. They found this; 2 Thessalonians 3:10b, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. The next year Governor Bradford gave each family a plot of land to grow food, no more equal redistribution of food. Every one had to work or else they wouldn’t have any food for the winter. That fall they had such a bountiful harvest, that they had a feast to give thanks to the Lord. There is nothing unjust about someone having more wealth than others.

We live in an unjust world and there are people who do gain their wealth through unjust means. Morality comes from the Bible and in Deuteronomy 5:17-20 it states Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. If a person gains his wealth by breaking these commandments, this is ill-gotten wealth. These are moral limits a person should never cross. Not all wealthy people gain their riches through unjust means. Most wealthy people are hard-working, entrepreneurial, frugal, and deserving of their wealth.