The Immorality of Irresponsibility
This nation was founded on the principles of “natural law” and many believe fashioned after the writings of Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas, theologian and philosopher, realized and wrote about the capacity of human reason to grasp what is right: our morality. He wrote that truth was understood through reason and human reason was the basis for all law. He even recognized and wrote about the law of economics, the idea of a fair price. If the suppliers’ costs are not covered, the business cannot succeed, reasonable and rationale.
Natural law stands as the foundation of our constitution and is the basis of our founders’ passion for every American’s right to self-determination. Man should be able to formulate his /her own destiny within the confines of a reasonable legal system. The law defines our inherent obligations to each other and the public at large but does not compel us to practice self-sacrifice.
I believe that most Americans believe themselves moral. Most of us want to do the right thing. We vote that way and define our relationships that way regardless of our politics.
Reason or natural law would have it that “the right thing,” basic human nature does not allow for irresponsibility. How is it reasonable that any human would not want to take care of his/her own personal needs as best he/she can? Protect himself and his family? How is it possible that it is immoral for me to not want to accept my neighbor’s personal responsibility? It is not.
If personal responsibility is the moral paradigm that is the underpinning of American freedom, it cannot be moral that any person be allowed to dispose of that obligation. Morality and reason demand that I work for myself first. My morality demands that I not allow my neighbor’s indifference to his/her own needs mandate my personal contribution.
American morality has no place for personal irresponsibility. If we are going to turn our economy around and provide the framework for American world leadership we must come to terms with our personal morality. Anything less will bankrupt our pockets and our sense of reason. Personal responsibility is our American duty.