Ch. 9 writing assignment (due Thursday, October 29th) What is ?the social contract?? How does it form? What obligations emerge from the formation of social contract? Do you find this theory compelling, or lacking? The function of societies is intended to protect and benefit the interests of its people. We as humans formed societies so that in return for protection, we must follow those laws of society. Human nature without established societies is still the same in that we are selfish and will do what we need to do in order to survive and pass on our genes to future generations even if it involves murder. Thomas Hobbes argued that human life before society and justice was ?a war of all against all? and was consequently ?nasty, brutish, and short?. Thomas Hobbes suggests that people are naturally selfish and in a world with too scarce of resources, we would kill one another if there were no laws and governments to force us to behave ourselves (Solomon, pg.290). The social contract is a shared agreement of the citizens within a society where they must give up certain rights and privileges in return for the protection and perks of the governing leaders. In order to partake in a social contract, an individual must become a citizen of the state where they are to dwell and follow the obligations set forth by the laws of the government. The law of the land may differ from society to society. A social contract forms when a group of people establishes contracts, which benefit toward their interests. The contracts then establish rule which are then enforced by the government. Citizenship is the state of being a member of an organized social, political, or national community. Under the social contract theory, the individuals? rights and responsibilities within the society reflect citizenship status in a society. There are certain obligations that emerge from the formation of social contract. I find this theory compelling and agree with Thomas Hobbes theory that without a structured government to govern society and establish rules, there would be chaos and people wouldn?t have anyone to look up to for support. Without a government, the people would have no one to protect him or her from terrorists, disease, internal affairs, or civil unrest. Often times, we need to government to step in and help especially in these current times where for example the banks of the United States almost went bankrupt and would have caused another major depression like the Great Depression of the 1920?s and 1930?s.
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