The myth of the morally neutral gov’t
Posted on April 19, 2012
Here’s Mike Tudoreanu making sense in The Daily Collegian at the University of Massachusetts:
The idea that government should be morally neutral is an old one. It holds that society can be compared with a complex game in which different people have different goals and follow different values, and the role of the state is to enforce the rules of the game. So the government should be like a referee in a game of football: it should not take sides or support any one player’s goals and values, but merely ensure that everyone follows the rules.
The problem with that vision is that the rules themselves are not morally neutral, so the state is not actually taking a neutral stance when it enforces them. Every government rule (i.e. every law) is based on some concept of right and wrong. Therefore every law is based on a certain view of morality.