Do Public Figures Have A Moral Responsibility Towards The Public In General?


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Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
It depends on your definition of "public figures." In the case of celebrities(performers, sportspeople etc) most people would say no, though they might argue that any famous person should at least try not to set a bad example.
If we take "public" to mean political figures, the answer is surely yes, as these people are there (and, in many cases, have been directly elected) to serve and represent the public. Of course, it can be very difficult to see exactly where the responsibility lies. For instance, if I am a Member of Parliament, what happens if my duty to help my local constituents involves me in actions harmful to the nation as a whole? - fighting to save local jobs by protecting a heavily polluting industry, say.
All the same, the principle seems clear - elected representatives, and their assistants such as civil servants, should see helping the public as their essential function. Deciding which areas/groups to concentrate on, or how to organize the help, is the next stage.

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