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The Christian and the State

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The role of individuals and government in meeting the needs of people in society.


Social Ethics

Part 1

I. The Christian and the State

A. Distinction between Society and the State

1. Definition of a society

2. Definition of the state

3. Why is all this important?

a. Two faces of Christian social concern

i. Evangelical political liberals

ii. Sound social and economic theory

b. The confusion between society and the state

i. Confusion from the political left

ii. Confusion from the political right

B. Welfare

1. Mediating structures

2. The church as a mediating structure

3. Richard John Neuhaus

C. Liberalism and Conservatism

1. Nineteenth century liberalism

a. Strength

b. Weakness

2. Nineteenth century conservatism

3. American conservatism today

a. Fusion of 19th century liberalism and conservatism

b. Frank Meyer

c. Non-fusionists

i. Russell Kirk

ii. Barry Goldwater

D. Statism and Anti-statism in Liberalism and Conservatism

1. Inconsistency among liberals

2. Apparent statism among conservatives

3. Principled conservative approach

a. Protect citizens from harm

b. Five liberty limiting principles

i. Principle of private harm

ii. Principle of public harm

iii. Principle of offense

iv. Legal paternalism

v. Legal moralism

c. Argument based on the harm done to the soul

d. Governments must protect their citizens from offense and harm.

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