Topics: Social contract, Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes Pages: 6 (2367 words) Published: December 8, 2012
(The Social Contract Theory)
Social contract theory dictates the fact that there must be agreements within a group of people who decide to live together, based on moral notions and judgments. In most cases, the social contract has a ruler or some form of ruling organization, to which people agree to obey in all matters in return for a guarantee of peace and securities. These are lacking in the "state of nature”. The “state of nature”, is a state of human interaction which exists before any social contract is made for people to live in peace together. Without the social contract, people in the “state of nature” are known for savagery. In these “state of nature” people act like there are in a war zone, always reacting off of fear. The primitive man mindset is what you call: “conditions of war” looking at every living creature as the enemy, while fighting for scarce resources. In these cases there is no such notion as a joined force, only survival of the fitness, causing the weak to get prayed on and to be taken advantage of. The primitive man who using their strength or wits follows the untold rule “Right equal might”; in the environment called “state of nature” those whom are weak would be welcomed to the environment with civilization for protection . Even though we think of man as civilized today with rational morals, in the primitive world sadism invoked intense pleasure. The things that differ in the state of nature, which makes civilization with the understanding of social contract agreement, are things like condition for peace. In the state of nature there would always be a constant fear of death or need of security. The reason for this is because primitive men are in a constant battle. In civilization written laws protect you from others; this is especially good for the weak because they have something to protect them when they cannot defend themselves. In civilization there are multiple good outcomes like control of resources for everyone, a family unit, and also longer life expectancy. Human beings have evolved in a way that some will call: civilized. Years of evolution and progress have helped us develop a structure –a mutual agreement between others to establish an institution. Without some type of institution there would not be the advanced civilization that we have today. There would not be anything “civil” about human–beings according to Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes believes in a social contract theory which contains ethical theories that view society as an agreement between people to live together. Moral notions like good/evil, right/wrong, and justice/injustice would exist within the social order. For example: murder is looked upon as wrong if there was no reasonable motivation but if there was like protection for ones live then it can be viewed as right or justified. If someone were to disobey the social contract will have and consequence for their response. If there was no punishment for breaking the social contract then it wouldn’t be a one at all. Then that’s when the pure savage within would appear. The most crucial period of early modern England’s history: the English Civil War, waged from 1642-1648. The reason for the war was because there was a clash between the King and his supporters; the Monarchists preferred the traditional authority of a monarch, and the Parliamentarians, who were led by Oliver Cromwell demanded more power for the quasi-democratic system of Parliament. Thomas Hobbes represents a political theory is best understood if taken in two parts: psychological egoism, and his theory of the social contract. Hobbes’ believing in the psychological egoism theory he rejects the theory of the Divine Right of Kings, which is expressed by Robert Filmer in his Patriarcha or the Natural Power of Kings. Filmer’s view held a king’s authority was invested in him by God; this authority was absolute, and therefore that the basis of political obligation lay in our obligation to obey God absolutely....
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