Courtesy of Gage Skidmore under Creative CommonsA few weeks ago, The Moral Compass illustrated why Ron Paul is not a moral candidate for president. In the weeks ahead, I will examine each candidate for president, culminating with a look at the reigning champ, defender of the crown, the man with home-field advantage: Barack Obama.
This week, The Moral Compass points in the direction of Rick Santorum and analyzes his moral and ethical qualities.
The central tenants of Santorum’s campaign have been, by and large, with a moral focus. He has garnered strong support from Republicans for his stances on social issues like gay marriage, the role of women in the military and contraception. While the other GOP candidates talk about the economy, Santorum continues to wage a “culture war.”
Unfortunately, Santorum may be on the wrong side of this conflict.
The Moral Compass has already dealt with the question surrounding gay marriage. You can go back and read my statement on that.
That leaves Santorum with one strike already against him due to his strict definition of marriage being between a man and a woman.
What about the news that women in the U.S. Armed Forces will start seeing action closer to the frontlines? Santorum has expressed qualms about that, and The Moral Compass certainly sympathizes. The Moral Compass is nothing if not a gentleman, so the thought of women in harm’s way is mortifying to me. Then again, so is the thought of anyone going off to war.
From a strictly moral perspective, this is a tough issue to look at. But if we approach it from an ethical standpoint, it becomes easier to see the right course of action.
The theory of utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number of people) might argue that to prevent any segment of the population from serving their country in a time of war is unethical. Of course, utilitarianism might have a word or two to say about war in general, but that is an issue for another time.
The veil of ignorance, which I have previously used, comes to a similar conclusion. If you remove gender, and stereotypes surrounding gender, from the equation, what reason do you have to keep a willing and able participant from doing their duty? Duty, of course, is one of the highest virtues to uphold for famous ethical theorist Immanuel Kant.
That’s three different theories/theorist who would say let women serve. If the country is to remain strong and safe, we need all able bodied individuals being allowed to act when necessary.
Finally, what about contraception? This is a popular one for the Catholic Church and other religious groups to stake the moral high ground on, arguing that contraception prevents the natural right to life all humans have.
Not so fast, Catholics. You say it is immoral to keep the population from growing, I say it is immoral to not use contraception. Unless you are fully committed to raising a family, one should not be having children. The term “deadbeat dad” exists for a reason.
Plus, think of the abortions we could cut down on. I thought Catholics were big on stopping those, too?
All the talk about saving sex for marriage has fallen on deaf ears for centuries. From a moral and practical standpoint, it is time to give up abstinence-only education and ease restrictions and taboos about contraception.
Clearly Santorum is not a moral candidate for president. He takes a contrary opinion on all these issues.
If nothing else, it is immoral and unethical for Santorum to spend so much time focusing on these issues when it is the weak economy that continues to hound average Americans. Santorum needs to get his priorities straightened out.
Until next time, don’t do anything The Moral Compass wouldn’t approve of.