Social Contract

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Information about Social Contract

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: Dunbarmerrill



Social Contract. A rational explanation for the need of rational governance.

Dunbar  Merrill,  Author:    CRAZY  SH*T  REPUBLICANS  SAY   Social Contract “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” - James Madison America was created under the principled philosophy of social contract. This wasn’t a new philosophy by any means and it in fact had been argued, preached, and practiced as far back as 400 BC in ancient Greece. The tenants of the social contract however didn’t become popular, or at least well documented until the early 17th century. When in 1625, Hugo Grotius presented the idea of “natural rights”. Grotius declared that people were “sui juris” (under their own jurisdiction). In his explanation for a moral beginning to society, Grotius states that, “even if we were to concede what we cannot concede without the utmost wickedness, that there is no God, these laws would still hold.” This was a very radical sentiment and was perceived as inflammatory to both the church and state. As it suggested that true power is in the hands of the individual, and can be returned to the individual if governing institutions fail to protect the “natural rights” of the people. After establishing the notion that everyone has natural rights and is under first and foremost their own control, Hugo Grotius expounds that all individuals are entitled to provide for and preserve themselves. This moral agreement all individuals share with one another should ensure against the interfering with of each individual’s right to the pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain, and that any breach of these rights ought to be punished, thus the necessity of governance. Dunbar  Merrill,  Author:    CRAZY  SH*T  REPUBLICANS  SAY    

Dunbar  Merrill,  Author:    CRAZY  SH*T  REPUBLICANS  SAY   John Locke, who furthered the notion of a social contract, was greatly influential as an Enlightenment writer, to the point that he was often quoted by our founding fathers. Locke argued governments only legitimacy comes from the individuals it governs giving the state the right to protect their interest. Locke proclaimed the formation of the state was only to protect the “lives, liberty, and property” of those who lived within it. The social contract is the very basis of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. “Government derives it’s just powers from the consent of the governed.” - John Locke As human beings we make all decisions based on the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. This is a fact of both psychology & sociology, and is what most connects us behaviorally to every other living species. How humans advance from this basic instinct of choice is by the formation of society. The social contract is an intellectual explanation of how and why society forms and governs itself. What makes it so relevant is that it explicates how the basis of society lies in morality and ethical behavior. Though, this has been convoluted through millennia of control by religious institutions and inherited rights of power.   Dunbar  Merrill,  Author:    CRAZY  SH*T  REPUBLICANS  SAY    

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