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    szhixicy's Avatar
    szhixicy Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jun 5, 2006, 07:51 PM
    Should government attempt to influence public opinion
    Should government attempt to influence public opion?? If the answer is yes, why .
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Jun 5, 2006, 08:14 PM
    The government is set up to respond to a point to public opinon, (althought it is not working well now adays)

    With the house being up to vote on a shorter basis, they should be more in tune with voters since they have to answer to them more often, so the house is should be resonding to current trends in public opinion.

    The Senate since they are not voted on as often and have a wider base of voters is suppose to be the safe guard not to follow too many trends that may merely be short term ideas.
    magprob's Avatar
    magprob Posts: 1,877, Reputation: 299
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    #3

    Jun 6, 2006, 07:24 AM
    Do you think the government does influence public opinion? If so, could you give me an illustration?
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #4

    Jun 6, 2006, 07:29 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by magprob
    Do you think the government does influence public opinion? If so, could you give me an illustration?
    Pretty much any policy they approve will influence public opinion don't you think?

    If the government decides not to implement a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions then the public could conlude that global warming is not the large issue that others make it out to be.

    The decision to go to war (the U.S.) was based on televised presentation of "evidence" that was designed to influence the public's opinion.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,213, Reputation: 10853
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    #5

    Jun 6, 2006, 10:14 AM
    The government is in the business of justifying everything it does as right for you and the country so they can keep down the whining and crying while they rape ,pillage, and plunder as much wealth as they can get they're greedy hands on.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #6

    Jun 6, 2006, 10:40 AM
    Govermnet influence public opinion, in the US a good example of this is first the most current situation on immigration, they are coming out in favor of very loose border control and allowing fairly broad citizenship for those here.

    This appears to be very much against current public opinoin, but they are coming out giving "facts" and slowing convincing many people that first you can't send them all back,

    Next of course the US government has done a good job by using our public schools in teaching various incorrect ideas on separation of church and state ( that is not what constitution actually says but why read it when you can have others tell you what it says)
    About issues like gun control, schools teach it is not really the average citizen it is talking about. And so on.

    So yes the governments use all sorts of methods not train and teach people to think they way they want them to thiink ( even in a "free" nation like the US)

    In nations like Canada, they eliminate kinds of free speech, thus only allowing certain view points to be taught. For example I could very likely be arrested in Canada for my speech in regard to homosexual life styles.

    And of course if I tried to teach my ideas of religious freedom in like the Sudan, Afganistan or Iran, I would just be killed.
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #7

    Jun 6, 2006, 10:50 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck
    In nations like Canada, they eliminate kinds of free speech, thus only allowing certain view points to be taught. For example I could very likely be arrested in Canada for my speech in regard to homosexual life styles.
    Being canadian I can assure that you are so very wrong. How do you explain the fact that we allow gays to marry?

    I'm open to hearing examples of elimination of free speech in Canada. Also I'm anxious to hear how you can be arrested for speaking about homosexual life styles.
    magprob's Avatar
    magprob Posts: 1,877, Reputation: 299
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    #8

    Jun 6, 2006, 11:08 AM
    So, in effect, all the gay folks in the U.S.A. could actually move to Canada under the assumtion that they were... like... politically persecuted in their country or something along those lines... right? I know if I ever turn gay, I'm moving to Canada.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,213, Reputation: 10853
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    #9

    Jun 6, 2006, 11:18 AM
    In the US they are making a big deal of how homosexual marriages are undermining hetero marriages and if that's not undue influence that borders on an outright lie, for one the divorce rate is over 50% so is it smart to pin societies hopes on something that only works half the time? Please tell me another one while you pander to peoples fears to get a vote at the expense of a fellow citizen! What do gay marriages have to do with school funding? Jobs? Immigration? Education?:mad: Secure borders?:mad: Health care for the poor and aged?:mad:Good government? Child molesters?:mad: I could go on and on but I think Ive made my point!:cool: :eek:
    magprob's Avatar
    magprob Posts: 1,877, Reputation: 299
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    #10

    Jun 6, 2006, 02:18 PM
    Needkarma, I really need to see a picture of him first... front and back. :)
    Starman's Avatar
    Starman Posts: 1,308, Reputation: 135
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    #11

    Jun 19, 2006, 11:38 PM
    Your question is almost as old as philosophy itself and concerns government duty toward its citizens. What responsibility does a government have in relation to the way its citizens think? Can the government ignore the way its citizens think and remain innocent of the consequences? Power brings with it responsibility and with responsibility comes accountability.

    Plato, the famous Greek philosopher, believed that governments were under obligation to assure the creation of a responsible citizenry. His version of such a government is called Plato's Republic and is obligatory reading for all those seeking a career in law and the humanities disciplines.

    Plato would have government regulate what citizens see, hear, and the activities in which they engage. For example, he believed that if the government sees an activity as corrupting public morals it should prohibit it. So he was in favor of censuring the visual arts as well as reading material and the performing arts.

    In fact, he even went so far as to suggest a choosing of classes such as the military, the merchant, and the guardians or governing class. These would be identified early in life in accordance with their intellectual and emotional propensities and placed in the corresponding category. This selection, of course, would affect what the person was taught since what he was taught had to do with the dispensation of his duties under the category he belonged to.

    So in Plato we have a government fully committed to control of what a citizen thinks and does in all aspects of life, even to whom a citizen would marry since each class would marry within its own.

    Do I agree?

    Only partially. Plato takes it to the extreme but I would say he is correct in saying that a government should be involved in creating a healthy citizen state of mind.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #12

    Jun 20, 2006, 05:40 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by szhixicy
    Should government attempt to influence public opion???If the answer is yes, why .
    That is a pretty wide open question.. .

    I would answer it this way. Yes they should but only in one fairly limited way and they are often and sadly very busy with all the other illegitimate ways.

    There are a lot of different kinds of govenments out there and they are all largely in the "information" business. And I would be willing to bet they want to be viewed, to a greater or lesser degree, favorably by its citizens. So that will make for all kinds of attempts to influence. I think its more a matter of whether the attempt to influence is covert, like in China where the information on the internet is presently being "edited" before its presented to its citizens or overt, where a citizen is free to listen to the government rhetoric but can then do his/her own research in a free information marketplace.

    For me there is only one way for a government to properly be influencing my opinion and that is in their governing performance only. Do a good job there and my opinion will definitely be influenced favourably. And in the US, that should matter.

    There is a little food for thought that hopefully is on track with your question - thanks for posting!
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #13

    Jun 20, 2006, 06:21 PM
    I've read the previous comments and I think its time for me to chime in.

    It is part of the goal of almost ANY entity, whether it be a commercial company, a private organization or a government, to show people they are doing a good job. What determines whether they are doing a good job is public perception. Ergo, it is part of the function of such organizations to influence public perception.

    End of story!
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #14

    Jun 21, 2006, 05:29 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by valinors_sorrow
    valinors_sorrow disagrees: Overly simplistic answer....hello Enron.
    First, I must say, In my opinion, this was abuse of the comments feature. I refer to this discussion:
    https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/feedba...ure-24951.html
    With guidelines on how and when to use the feature.

    Second, you make a valid point that public perception is not the only determination of whether an organization is doing a good job. But the example of Enron actually supports my position, rather than negates it. Enron did a very good job of manipulating public perception thereby sustaining stock price and public confidence. If the economy had gone somewhat differently, they might have been able to shore up the house of cards they built.

    Finally, whether my answer was overly simplisitc or not, is a matter of opinion. But I maintain it was a valid answer to the question asked.
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #15

    Jun 21, 2006, 06:03 AM
    Schixicy, see this similar thread, too:
    https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/advice/t-23238.html

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