Friday, October 18, 2019

Social Contract Theory of John Locke Research Paper

Social Contract Theory of John Locke - Research Paper Example The US constitution includes the Bill of rights, which protects the freedom, liberty, and other rights of the individuals; at the same time, the constitution specifies the scope of authority of the President, the Judiciary, and the Congress. Thus, the constitution in its true sense in indeed a contract between the individuals and the state, whereby the natural laws of the individuals are intact and the state authority has been specified as well. Moreover, the criminal justice system also follows the principals of Locke`s social contract theory, as the system ensures that the rights and the belongings of individuals are protected, and, by collective submissiveness to law, all citizens empower the system to take punitive action against the violators. In this context, one can conclude that freedom leads to complete independence and liberation; however, as per the social contract, one also has to fulfill the duties and comply with ethical standards to obtain one`s own rights. Social cont ract is an intellectual, even political theoretical paradigm, which focuses on the origins of the society and the legitimacy of the state authority over the individuals of the state. The basic tenet of this theory implies that the individuals of the state have permitted the state to exercise power over them to protect their rights and freedoms; in other words, there is a social contract between the state and the individuals – the people will give authority to the government and, in turn, seek the protection of their natural laws. Different theorists have come up with their own versions of the theory, with the same basic assumptions but, however, with minute differences in the perspectives. Hugo Grotius (1625) gave the idea of the natural laws and argued that all individuals should comply with the moral and religious values to ensure that everyone receives their due share of rights. Thomas Hobbes has an important contribution to the development of the theory, as he suggested t hat a social contract resulted between individuals and the state due to the anarchy, which was the reason behind poor living conditions of the individuals. Rousseau, on the other hand, gave a different version of the theory, as he believed that the general will of the people should be considered for the social contract, as every person has the right to express his or her will – thus he aimed at attaining social contract not by collective will but rather by the general will of the individuals. However, Pierre-Joseph’s version of the social contract implies that the contract is a result of the individuals trying to avoid coercion from other individuals; he argued that the contract is a result of â€Å"†¦ An agreement with a man to a man...† (Morris, 1990). However, Locke`s form of social contract theory implies that the individuals would willingly form a state in an effort to protect their natural rights by virtue of the state, which would further be discusse d in detail. (Morris, 1990) John Locke is of the view that the natural law transcends all other man-made laws, and thus, to protect these natural laws, the individuals themselves willingly give authority to

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