What is Government for?

"I don’t think we can deny that government has authority to make regulations to protect life. In fact, it is a significant purpose of government." - Don Johnson

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Aaron Blumer's picture


I'm a little amazed that anyone would question that the protection of life is the fundamental purpose of government. One of the strongest arguments for this is the word "justice," the phrase "to establish justice," and the concept of it found in Gen 9:6 and Romans 13.

Is there anything more basic to the idea of justice than protection from people who want to steal your life from you (protection from murder)? Next down the list is protection from people who want to steal your health from you (protection from assault and the like). Then your property (protection from theft).

(I'm listening to a series of lectures this month that are an introduction to Aristotle's "Nichomachean Ethics." The title of the current lecture refers to 6 kinds of justice as Aristotle saw the concept, in NE book VI. I'm curious to see how Aristotle's perspective compares to currently popular ideas of justice, but I expect life, wellbeing, and property are at the core.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron, could you post a link to those lectures?

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3