DISCUSSION QUESTION CHOICE #3: Examining the Moral Legitimacy of the Social Contract.
DISCUSSION QUESTION CHOICE #3: Examining the Moral Legitimacy of the Social Contract. What in your mind are the moral reasons for citizens to enter a social contract? Which views of our philosophers this week, Hobbes, Locke, or Rousseau most agree with your own on this question, which most disagree? Use your knowledge of the readings, the ideas of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, as well your own experiences and moral judgments to argue this question. Make sure to address possible objections to your reasoning.
The Moral reasons that come to mind for why citizens should enter a social contract are to maintain order, protect each self from harm or interference of rights, and have a common goal to live towards. History has shown that humans are undeniably social creatures and although we could survive on our own, we flourish in groups. This group aspect has in turn shown to be the best course to continue our existence on earth. In order to live as a group, there must be a social order. These social contracts as the philosophers this week have stated are apparent and established in nature.
I most closely agree with Locke when referring to his idea of a successful social contract. His idea states “that each individual has to consent to be governed by the will of the majority first and then, on the establishment of this community, they can begin to work out how they well-organized the institutions that will help them overcome the inconveniences of the state of nature.” (Roberts & Sutch) If there were no collective agreements then societies would have never progressed. This ideal can be proven through watching nature as well. I disagree most with Hobbs and his idea that there are really no enforceable measures to a contract that is inherently from nature and therefore no right or wrong. I think enforceable measures could be something as simple as being cut off from the group or resources which is also seen in nature. If we as humans always refer back to self-interest as a means to our ends, then by his ideals we would be extinct by now as a species having killed one another off for survival.
Works Cited Roberts, Peri, and Peter Sutch. An Introduction to Political Thought : A Conceptual Toolkit. Edinburgh University Press, 2012.