Essay on patriotic topics
One worry here is that considerations of gratitude normally arise in interpersonal relations. We also speak of gratitude to large and impersonal entities — our school, profession, or even our country — but that seems to be an abbreviated way of referring to gratitude to particular persons who have acted on behalf of these entities. A debt of gratitude is not incurred by any benefit received. If a benefit is conferred inadvertently, or advisedly but for the wrong reason e. And we cannot talk with confidence about the reasons a large and complex group or institution has for its actions.
Perhaps we can think of compatriots as an aggregate of individuals. Do we owe them a debt of gratitude for the benefits of life among them? Again, it depends on the reason for their law-abiding behavior and social cooperation generally. But there is no single reason common to all or even most of them. Some do their part without giving much thought to the reasons for doing so; others believe that doing so is, in the long run, the most prudent policy; still others act out of altruistic motives.
Only the last group — surely a tiny minority — would be a proper object of our gratitude. Moreover, gratitude is appropriate only for a benefit conferred freely, as a gift, and not as a quid pro quo. But most of the benefits we receive from our country are of the latter sort: benefits we have paid for by our own law-abiding behavior in general, and through taxation in particular. The benefits one has received from her country might be considered relevant to the duty of patriotism in a different way: as raising the issue of fairness.
It is rather a common enterprise that produces and distributes a wide range of benefits. These benefits are made possible by cooperation of those who live in the country, participate in the enterprise, owe and render allegiance to the polity. The rules that regulate the cooperation and determine the distribution of burdens and benefits enjoin, among other things, special concern for the well-being of compatriots which is not due to outsiders.
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As Richard Dagger puts it:. This argument conflates the issue of patriotism with that of political obligation , and the notion of a patriot with that of a citizen. Unlike informal cooperation among tenants in a building, for instance, cooperation on the scale of a country is regulated by a set of laws. Whether we have a moral duty to obey the laws of our country is one of the central issues in modern political philosophy, discussed under the heading of political obligation.
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One major account of political obligation is that of fairness. If successful, that account shows that we do have a moral duty to abide by the laws of our country, to act as citizens, and that this duty is one of fairness. But whereas a patriot is also a citizen, a citizen is not necessarily a patriot. Patriotism involves special concern for the patria and compatriots, a concern that goes beyond what the laws obligate one to do, beyond what one does as a citizen; that is, beyond what one ought, in fairness , to do.
Failing to show that concern, however, cannot be unfair — except on the question-begging assumption that, in addition to state law, cooperation on this scale is also based on, and regulated by, a moral rule enjoining special concern for the well-being of the country and compatriots. Some philosophers seek to ground patriotic duty in its good consequences see the entry on consequentialism.
The duty of special concern for the well-being of our country and compatriots, just like other duties, universal and special, is justified by the good consequences of its adoption. Special duties mediate our fundamental, universal duties and make possible their most effective discharge. They establish a division of moral labor, necessary because our capacity of doing good is limited by our resources and circumstances.
Each of us can normally be of greater assistance to those who are in some way close to us than to those who are not. Patriots will find this account of their love of and loyalty to their country alien to what they feel patriotism is all about. Patriotic duty owes its moral force to the moral force of those universal duties.
They merely happen to be the beneficiaries of the most effective way of putting into practice our concern for human beings in general. The special relationship between the patriot and the patria and compatriots — the relationship of love and identification — has been dissolved. There is also a view of patriotic duty that, in contrast to the consequentialist account, does not dissolve, but rather highlight this relationship. That is the view of patriotism as an associative duty see the entry on special obligations , section 4. It is based on an understanding of special relationships as intrinsically valuable and involving duties of special concern for the well-being of those we are related to.
Such duties are not means of creating or maintaining those relationships, but rather their part and parcel, and can only be understood, and justified, as such, just as those relationships can only be understood as involving the special duties pertaining to them while involving much else besides. For instance, one who denies that she has an obligation of special concern for the well-being of her friend shows that she no longer perceives and treats the person concerned as a friend, that as far as she is concerned the friendship is gone. One who denies that people in general have a duty of special concern for the well-being of their friends shows that she does not understand what friendship is.
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Andrew Mason has offered an argument for the duty of special concern for the well-being of compatriots based on the value embodied in our relationship to compatriots, that of common citizenship. Citizenship in this sense is an intrinsically valuable relationship, and grounds certain special duties fellow citizens have to one another. Now citizenship obviously has considerable instrumental value; but how is it valuable in itself?
The first of these two special duties can be put aside, as it is not specific to patriotism, but rather pertains to citizenship. It is the second that is at issue. If we indeed have a duty of special concern towards compatriots, and if that is an associative duty, that is because our association with them is intrinsically valuable and bound up with this duty.
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The claim about the intrinsic value of our association might be thought a moot point. But even if it were conceded, one might still resist the claim concerning the alleged duty.
Long and Short Essay on Patriotism in English for Children and Students
If someone were to deny that she has a duty of special concern for the well-being of her country and compatriots, beyond what the laws of her country mandate and beyond the concern she has for humans and humanity, would she thereby cease to be a citizen in the sense involving equal standing? If she were to deny that citizens generally have such an obligation, would that betray lack of understanding of what citizenship in the relevant sense is? If she came across two strangers in a life-threatening situation and could only save one, would she have a prima facie moral duty to save the one who was a compatriot?
All the main arguments for the claim that patriotism is a duty, then, are exposed to serious objections. Unless a new, more convincing case for patriotism can be made, we have no good reason to think that patriotism is a moral duty. If not a duty, is patriotism morally valuable? Someone showing concern for the well-being of others well beyond the degree of concern for others required of all of us is considered a morally better person than the rest of us other things equal , an example of supererogatory virtue.
One standard example of such virtue is the type of concern for those in an extreme plight shown by the late Mother Theresa, or by Doctors Without Borders. But they are exemplars of moral virtue for the same reason that makes a more modest degree of concern for others a moral duty falling on all of us. The same moral value, sympathy for and assistance to people in need, grounds a certain degree of concern for others as a general moral duty and explains why a significantly higher degree of such concern is a moral ideal. This explanation, however, does not apply in the case of patriotism.
Patriotism is not but another extension of the duty of concern for others; it is a special concern for my country because it is my country, for my compatriots because they are my compatriots. If it could, other types of partialism, such as tribalism, racism, or sexism, would by the same token prove morally valuable too. If patriotism is neither a moral duty nor a supererogatory virtue, then all its moral pretensions have been deflated.
It has no positive moral significance. There is nothing to be said for it, morally speaking. We all have various preferences for places and people, tend to identify with many groups, large and small, to think of them as in some sense ours, and to show a degree of special concern for their members. But however important in other respects these preferences, identifications, and concerns might be, they lack positive moral import. They are morally permissible as long as they are kept within certain limits, but morally indifferent in themselves.
The same is true of patriotism Primoratz All four types of patriotism reviewed so far seek to defend and promote what might be termed the worldly, i. They differ with regard to the lengths to which these interests will be promoted: adherents of extreme and robust patriotism will ultimately go to any length, whereas those whose patriotism is moderate or deflated will respect the limits universal moral considerations set to this pursuit.
Instead, he would seek to make sure that the country lives up to moral requirements and promotes moral values, both at home and internationally. He would work for a just and humane society at home, and seek to ensure that the country acts justly beyond its borders, and shows common human solidarity towards those in need, however distant and unfamiliar. A patriot of this, distinctively ethical type, would want to see justice done, rights respected, human solidarity at work at any time and in any place.
But her patriotism would be at work in a concern that her country be guided by these moral principles and values which is more sustained and more deeply felt than her concern that these principles and values should be put into practice generally. She would consider her own moral identity as bound up with that of her country, and the moral record of the patria as hers too. But her patriotism would be expressed, above all, in a critical approach to her country and compatriots: she would feel entitled, and indeed called, to submit them to critical moral scrutiny, and to do so qua patriot.
As a rule, when someone is wronged, someone else benefits from that. When a country maintains an unjust or inhumane practice, or enacts and enforces an unjust or inhumane law or policy, at least some, and sometimes many of its citizens reap benefits from it. The responsibility for the injustice or lack of basic human solidarity lies with those who make the decisions and those who implement them.
It also lies with those who give support to such decisions and their implementation. But some responsibility in this connection may also devolve on those who have no part in the making of the decisions or in their implementation, nor even provide support, but accept the benefits such a practice, law or policy generates.
A degree of complicity may also accrue to those who have no part in designing or putting into effect immoral practices, laws or policies, do not support them or benefit from them, but do benefit in various ways from being citizens of the country. One may derive significant psychological benefit from membership in and identification with a society or polity: from the sense of belonging, support and security such membership and identification afford.
If one accepts such benefits, while knowing about the immoral practices, laws or policies at issue, or having no excuse for not knowing about them, that, too, may be seen as implicating him in those wrongs.
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To be sure, he makes no causal contribution to those wrongdoings, has no control over their course, and does not accept benefits from them. His role in social and political reform was instrumental. Above all, he rid the society of these social evils. Hence, many oppressed people felt great relief because of his efforts. Gandhi became a famous international figure because of these efforts.
Furthermore, he became the topic of discussion in many international media outlets. Mahatma Gandhi made significant contributions to environmental sustainability. Most noteworthy, he said that each person should consume according to his needs. Gandhi certainly put forward this question.
Furthermore, this model of sustainability by Gandhi holds huge relevance in current India. This is because currently, India has a very high population.