Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

It has been said you can judge a society by how it treats it's weakest members - How are we/you doing ?

Who are the weakest members of our society ?

How are they treated and what does that say about the society we live in today ?

How are we doing ?

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954].

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.

~Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson

The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.~John E. E. Dalberg, Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity, [1877].

"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."

~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn. ~Bill Federer

"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying,"

~Pope John Paul II



I have asked this question before only to encounter some people who would insist I made up the quote -

That is why I placed them there but it is by no means exhaustive --- there are plenty more people of renown who have put this idea forward


13 Answers

  • Sarah
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    We are doing better than others, but not great. Largely due to the NUMEROUS people who couldn't care less about our weakest members of society.

    <<Foster Mommy to 3 through CPS. We are daily called horrific names by the Christian right, by Republicans, by anyone who demands that a fetus survives, yet cares NOTHING about the child that is born.

    1 in 4 of our Veterans are disabled and homeless in this country, 6 million of our elderly live in poverty.

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  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Although I agree we need to be compassionate to those less fortunate I also very strongly feel it should not be done the way our government handles social programs.

    Social programs should be geared to requiring virtually everyone to work. As it is now welfare reform simply moved millions of lazy people to SSI where there is no time limit. I have seen very few people who can't work in some manner and most would have a higher self image if they did contribute something to society.

    Social programs should only provide the base essentials. Many people live far better on our social programs then they should. The working poor (those earning minimum wage or close) live with less then those who decide to sit on their duffs. Food stamps should never be used to buy things like lobster, pop, candy, chips, etc. Food stamps were not meant for people to live high on the hog but to live UNTIL they can get a job and buy their own food. They shouldn't eat better then those who are paying for the program!

    Charitable donations as a choice should have more latitude as to how the money is spent - if a church that gets donations decides to buy rib eye steaks for their poor then that's fine with me but the government shouldn't allow it with taxpayer money. I know many taxpayers who can't afford expensive foods but they still pay taxes. Those people shouldn't be forced to give money to someone else who lives better then they do!!

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  • gamage
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    no longer nicely in any respect. examining the posts I see right here on Y/A it look we've way too many folk who choose no longer something better than to throw our weakest into the trash heap. It constructive seems an detrimental lot purely like this sort of issues we observed in Hitler's Germany. I pay that the plan defined via President Obama succeeds in turning this around. btw how do you experience approximately Canadian wellbeing care? is it as 'undesirable ' as a lot of posters right here interior the politics section declare?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Very badly is how YOU -- American society -- are doing.

    I am treated as a second-class citizen because I happen to have a disability--despite the empty and hypocritical rhetoric of the "Americans with Disabilities Act."

    Uner YOUR laws, people with disabilities are often denied a high school diploma even when they complete school Under YOUR laws we can be deined jobs if an employer decides--without evidence--that we "can't perform a job function." If a young person with a disability wants to work, he is punished by stripping him of any assistance. In some cases YOUR laws allow people with disabilities to be forcibly sterilized.

    Don't get me wrong--I love my country. And even in this regard it is still the best--but only because the rest are even worse. But until Americans stop treating 1 out of every 6 of their fellow citizens as subhuman burdens and start opening the doors to education and jobs on a fair and equal basis, America remains a moral failure.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think there's a lot of room for improvement in the US, but at least female infanticide isn't as common here as it is in countries like China and India. Regarding our treatment of the elderly, though, I think the US could learn a thing or two from China, Japan, and some African tribes, where children take care of their aging parents instead of shipping them off to nursing homes and forgetting about them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think there might be a difference between the government and society.

    But I consider the weakest members to be the unborn and on that basis, we are condemned.

    Source(s): Foster Mommy to 3, if you are feeding and clothing those children, no one on the right is doing anything but thanking you. What are you talking about?
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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't give us a big thumbs up for our priorities. Lack of universal health care shows our priority is not people, but war. Lack of funding for education, programs for those in need, cutting of welfare, and in general treating people with mental, health or financial problems as if they don't exist has been the reality.

    However, forcing a 13 year old rape victim to bear a child, and then not caring about her afterward is one reason I think the abortion issue is fraught with hypocrisy and grand standing. A nation is also judged by the quality of its mercy. All I seem to hear is condemnation.

    Thank you for the great quotes.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, we abort the weakest members of our society, so I would consider that we are doing very poorly.

    It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.-Mother Teresa of Calcutta,

    But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? -Mother Teresa of Calcutta,

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Better than others, But not good.

    Actually, Bash (above) said exactly what I was going to say. Almost verbatim! I'm giving him a big star.

    Source(s): Obama '08
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