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Politicians: Amoral vs. Immoral

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posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 11:41 PM
I would like to discuss amoral vs. immoral social behavior and the role it plays in government. Or, rather more specifically how these two behaviors affect politicians and policymaking.

First of all, let's discuss the differences between amoral and immoral social behavior. Amoral is the absolute lacking of moral sensibility. It boils down to not caring between right or wrong. It could even be argued that an amoral person completely lacks a conscience and therefore unable to make a distinction between right or wrong. On the other hand, an immoral person has a conscience, but chooses not to adhere to ethical or moral principles and standards. That’s a pretty important distinction. Especially, considering the scope of this topic.

So, the first thing we need to ask is this: Can a person be born amoral? Is it possible for someone to be born without an iota of a conscience? If so, can that person be held morally responsible for their actions? On the flip side, can a person with a conscience make the jump from being immoral to amoral? In other words, can an immoral person reach such levels of social corruption that they, in turn become amoral and beyond redemption.

Now, let’s explore how this ties in with government. Despite whatever our political leanings may be, I’m going to strive to remain neutral in regards to this issue. I believe that politicians fall into three categories: amoral, immoral and Idealists.

For all practical purposes, Idealists start out with the very best of intentions. They enter politics to take a stance and make a positive impact for their constituents. They enter politics for what they feel are the right reasons, whatever that might be. I don’t think there are very many true Idealists out there. I feel at some point government corrupts all politicians. Remember the phrase, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I’m also inclined to believe that politicians who are amoral and immoral are in it for the power and prestige, or perhaps some more sinister purpose. What ever the case may be, we elect these people (or at least we think we do) because we want government policies shaped to fit our views. Now, I realize that the way we view politicians depends wholly on our individual perspective.

For example, a politician who supports abortion rights may be viewed as an Idealist by some, immoral by others, and amoral by the rest. But again, that comes down to a matter of individual perspective, and it’s not perspective that I’m really talking about here. I’m talking about how government influences the principles of those elected to office, or seeking office. After all, that which influences the policymakers of the world affects the world. That pretty much goes without saying.

But more importantly, what forces influence the government. I’m not talking about some Douglas Adams storyline about a senile old man on some isolated coastline keeping company with a cat, or whatever.

What type of person do we really want elected to office? The Idealist with the right intentions; the immoralist with the occasional crooked bent; or the amoralist with the ability to make decisions in an absolute idealogical vacuum?

Well, that’s a crust of bread to chew on. I would love to hear your take on the matter.

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