Augustine on Why Special Regard for Our Fellow Citizens Is Moral

"Further, all men are to be loved equally. But since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special regard to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you." -- On Christian Doctrine


  1. How does the quote from Augustine support special regard for fellow citizens whom you've never met? Especially in comparison with noncitizens/illegals whom you interact with everyday? By Augustine's lights, wouldn't you have greater moral obligation to an undocumented alien who performs services for you than to citizens you have no dealings with and have never met or heard of?

    1. "Especially in comparison with noncitizens/illegals whom you interact with everyday?"

      Why would you think this quote should support this "special regard"?

    2. Ian, the contention is NOT that "Always, and in all circumstances whatever, we should have more regard for fellow citizens than for anyone else." That would be idiotic. The point is just that there is nothing inherently immoral to have special regard for those with whom you share some connection in some circumstances.

    3. Right. This is of course exactly what open borders extremists loudly deny.

  2. Gene, you put up the heading, "Augustine on Why Special Regard for OUR FELLOW CITIZENS is Moral." That's what prompted the question.

    I agree that citizenship can be seen as an instance of a connection with particular persons justifying special regard for those persons under Augustine's general principle. But I think you could be misunderstood as contending that Augustine had citizenship in mind.

  3. I kind of learned just how insane the "open borders" position is, though I probably might fall into that category: Harry Binswanger (a Randroid) thinks that crossing the border should be like driving from Connecticut into New York. Yikes!


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