Governments should take the moral lead
Although I agree in principle with the previous respondent, I would not be quite as strident. Having been born and brought up in a "free" country, I have witnessed over the past 20 to 30 years a slackening of standards to the point where almost no one seems prepared to stand up and be counted, where an identifiable morality, from whatever source, (i.e. religious, utilitarian, or whatever) would require many people to stand firmly against something.
The result has been an obvious lowering of standards, the continuous - and apparently largely unsuccessful - pursuit by individuals of their own concept of happiness, a major increase in self-harm, including suicides, and an almost tangible decrease in personal happiness, leading to a less-than-optimistic feeling within the nation as a whole. This in a so-called civilised society.
Governments are elected to take a moral lead, and can be removed if the majority of people disagree with a given course of action. Simply to back off from a course of action or a position on an issue just because it is not 100 percent enforceable or popular is moral and political cowardice. It is also a further step down the road to chaos.
23. Jun 2003 at 0:00