2016 Essay Contest Winner - Edson Whipple

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2016 Essay Contest Winner - Edson Whipple


What did William Penn mean when he said, "Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it"?

Define principle.

During the constitutional convention there was a debate and one of the arguments was that the public opinion changes over time which is why they purposely didn't leave the government solely to the people. That is also why they replaced the Articles of Confederation with a stronger federal government.

What William Penn meant by the quote was that morality is unchanging no matter what people want. If the quote were not true, then an anarchy would be the perfect government because you can do whatever you want without the boundaries of morality. Also if there weren't such a thing as morality, you could say anything or do anything and it would be fine because everyone else is doing it. Which is why we need principles. Dictionary.com says that a principle is "a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived." Principles are fundamental sets of values or boundaries for our morals.

There are many reasons why we need principles here are a few:

  • Crime, with a moral society crime is lower.
  • Trust, when crime is low people trust each other more. This helps the free market system work properly which helps people in their businesses.
  • Inventions, in a free society, where the majority live by good principles, more inventions happen. This happens because people are less afraid to be creative.
  • Government, if we don't have correct principles in government people will make laws for their own benefit rather than protecting the constitution.

In conclusion what William Penn meant by his quote was that the majority can be easily corrupted and that we need morality. We need to stand for what we believe in, even if we stand alone.