The Role of Government

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Government � PAGE �1�

The Role of Government

Soc 120: Intro to Ethics & Social Responsibility

Instructor Don Frey

April 22, 2009

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."(Thomas Jefferson; original Declaration of Independence)

The role of the government is to provide an organized society, but it also provides an enforceable set of moral and ethical values which control the functioning of our society. Our forefathers wrote within the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights a code of moral values.

They formed this government to have power, but not too much power. To accomplish this they wrote in articles that limited the use of the power given to the government. By doing this they enabled the citizens of this country to remain free and not have to worry about the government having too much power or control over their lives. The constitution was written with language that gives power to certain parts of the government and denies power to other parts. It also guarantee's the right of individuals by providing that the government rules that must be followed. A system of checks and balances was implemented to insure that equal power is maintained.

Thomas Paine wrote that "rights are not gifts from one man to another nor from one class of men to another... it is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin...