What must we as people give up to facilitate public order?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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To facilitate social order, we as people have to give up our right to behave in whatever way we want.  We want social order so that the government can protect our life, liberty, and our property. In order to get that, we give up our right to act in all sorts of ways that we might want to act.

For example, in our society, we give up our right to be drunk in public.  In most places, this is a crime.  We do not want people to be drunk in public because they tend to diminish other people’s ability to enjoy themselves or to feel safe. 

As another example, we give up the right to make noise whenever we want.  If we lived out in the country with no neighbors, we could make noise whenever we liked.  The same is true if we did not care about social order.  However, in order to have social order, we need to compromise.  We need to not act in ways that will unduly disturb other people.  Therefore, we give up our right to make loud noises at certain times of day.

To take an example that seems silly, we give up the right to walk around naked.  This is something that does not really hurt anyone, but we still cannot do it because it offends people.  When we live in a society, we give up our rights to do things like this so that  we can manage to live in relative harmony with many other people.

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