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  1. #1
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    Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    I've been thinking about this lately, and probably too deeply and too much.

    We're born under the Social Contract. Through it, we're bound to certain obligations. We made the contract, therefore we're to live by it. Our very birth gives tacit consent to it. And when those who enforce the rules of the contract fail to do so, or refuse to, or abuse that contract, our obligation becomes overturning them and installing a new contract. This is something I've never, in my heart of hearts, truly supported because I like to believe in an instinctual, natural, system of laws and ethics. Guiding principles born into us. While that may or may not be the case is wholly irrelevant at this critical juncture.

    The reason I was thinking about the social contract because of the limitation of action it presents. This in a way makes it difficult to engage in Right Action. Of course, we can go round and round about what is or is not Right all day, again, it's not relevant to my goal at the moment.

    Justice. What is Justice? Is putting a bullet between the eyes of pedophiles and drug dealers Justice? Is a prison term they'll end up repeating Justice? What truly is Justice? THIS, is the problem I'm facing.

    It's no secret I bear little respect for the Law as it stands. Words on paper that act as red tape to enforcers of the peace. It looks more like a binding contract to protect the socially subversive. But I'm at the point of considering giving it a try.

    One chance. One chance for the Justice System to prove me wrong, to prove that decent people can stand up for something and see law breakers punished appropriately. Why? This is my biggest query. WHY should I go the route I don't believe in? It would be quicker, and less tax involving, to just get a gun and kill some people. Of course, how can a man be counted as doing the right thing through doing the wrong thing? Does the end justify the mean? Or does the process of Justice mean placing yourself above the, pardon the cliche, enemies of the Law and using the proper channels to do the right thing?

    And if it fails? If they're prosecuted to the point that no more legal action is available and they get away with it, what then? You're a marked man. You've just stirred trouble with profession criminals. If you've lived that long you can count the days you've got left until you disappear.

    And to what end is this going to help? If no one else stands up, and you're alone in prosecuting criminality, then what? What are you standing for? What's there to stand for if just by fighting, somewhat in vain, you see that no one else is going to follow and fight along side you?

    My biggest fear in life, aside from needles and crustaceans, is not being able to stand for what I believe to be Universal Good. I've tried, uselessly since I suck at economics, to consider the view from a strictly commercial standpoint (looks like a broken window fallacy to me).

    So here's the situation, to be specific, to draw it to a conclusion for discussion:

    You've been informed that a police chief films underaged porn from a restaurant/bar he runs. He also has specific knowledge of a lot of drug dealing in the area, but refuses to prosecute it for unknown reasons. This is information you have to verify before you can stop it. You could call the FBI, tip them off and tell them everything you know, however, the FBI gets thousands of tips to thousands of things everyday. You can't go to the police since the man involved runs the show. You don't know who he's paying off, if anyone, and who's scared to act, if anyone. You know that some involved are friends with members of your family (though your family doesn't participate, and you've confirmed that much).

    What do you do? To get more specific:

    You have access to a fair range of firearms, and know enough people that you don't HAVE to act alone if you go the suicidal route of vigilante superhero wannabe. However, you also have a waiting period for arrests, trials, etc, all the while those you're trying to stop have ample time to find you, and those close to you, and act without any real fear of reprisal.

    What do you do? Consider the social contract of which you're a part. Those involved have broken the contract, and the government has failed to act. This would seem to be good cause to tear up the contract, act, and then start a new contract.

    Then again, are you equipped, prepared, and capable to successfully go to war with forces you can't even see? You don't know how far the reach is, how strong the enemy is. You're outnumbered, outgunned, and you've got no shelter and no possibility for mercy if you surrender.

    But if you do nothing, it only gets worse.

    So the choice becomes one that will haunt you. Do something, and possibly die, or worse? OR, do nothing, and be reminded of it when you're on your deathbed, letting it settle on your conscience in those final moments?

    A short life with purpose and no regret? Or a long life with regret? Why?
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  2. #2
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Wow, what a list - got to go away and chew it over; but for now here are a few thoughts.

    No social contract is perfect and fire-proof, since it was created by people.

    In a democracy there is provision for voice/voices of change. Politicians who scr*w up can be kicked out, but only if there is a 'collective' will to do so.

    As for 'justice', well that comes down to personal and/or group perception/consensus. When it comes to human fallibility I suppose the same goes for what we may or may not percieve as being 'right action'.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  3. #3
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post

    I've been thinking about this lately, and probably too deeply and too much.

    We're born under the Social Contract. Through it, we're bound to certain obligations. We made the contract, therefore we're to live by it. Our very birth gives tacit consent to it. And when those who enforce the rules of the contract fail to do so, or refuse to, or abuse that contract, our obligation becomes overturning them and installing a new contract. This is something I've never, in my heart of hearts, truly supported because I like to believe in an instinctual, natural, system of laws and ethics. Guiding principles born into us. While that may or may not be the case is wholly irrelevant at this critical juncture.
    ?

    Live, have kids. Kill, rape, brutalize and burn the other villiage's patriarch alive in a big firn. Just live, and have kids, and you've fulfilled your biological imperative.
    That is your "guiding" principle.

    I'm tempted to put make freinds in here, as mobs, cliques and social strata seem to form easily enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    The reason I was thinking about the social contract because of the limitation of action it presents. This in a way makes it difficult to engage in Right Action. Of course, we can go round and round about what is or is not Right all day, again, it's not relevant to my goal at the moment.

    Justice. What is Justice? Is putting a bullet between the eyes of pedophiles and drug dealers Justice? Is a prison term they'll end up repeating Justice? What truly is Justice? THIS, is the problem I'm facing.
    ?
    Pedophiles I don't know, but drug dealers shouldn't be executed solely for the dealing of drugs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post

    One chance. One chance for the Justice System to prove me wrong, to prove that decent people can stand up for something and see law breakers punished appropriately. Why? This is my biggest query. WHY should I go the route I don't believe in? It would be quicker, and less tax involving, to just get a gun and kill some people. Of course, how can a man be counted as doing the right thing through doing the wrong thing? Does the end justify the mean? Or does the process of Justice mean placing yourself above the, pardon the cliche, enemies of the Law and using the proper channels to do the right thing?

    And if it fails? If they're prosecuted to the point that no more legal action is available and they get away with it, what then? You're a marked man. You've just stirred trouble with profession criminals. If you've lived that long you can count the days you've got left until you disappear.
    Vigilantism is illegal because often the innocent die. Investigation and evidence, the "red-tape" is so that a blurry-eyed cop who thinks we sorta resemble a serial killer won't blow us to hell.
    Also, the witness protection program seems to be very efficent at protecting witnesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    And to what end is this going to help? If no one else stands up, and you're alone in prosecuting criminality, then what? What are you standing for? What's there to stand for if just by fighting, somewhat in vain, you see that no one else is going to follow and fight along side you?.
    The great thing about the justice system is that it is never 1 man vs. an army. Because more often then not in real life the one man dies. Justice has an army ready to go, 24/7 to arrest, try and convict the bad guys. Way more often you get success.
    Fighting seems the best option, but would you really like a world where your penalty for not paying your bills was a legally-ok smashed arm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    My biggest fear in life, aside from needles and crustaceans, is not being able to stand for what I believe to be Universal Good. I've tried, uselessly since I suck at economics, to consider the view from a strictly commercial standpoint (looks like a broken window fallacy to me).?.
    Universal good is helping an old lady across the street, voting for the guy who is trying to improve the lives of Africans, and supporting green energy. The route your talking about will be far from good. In fact, I'd wager you'd kill quite a few innocent people with your own hands on the first day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    So here's the situation, to be specific, to draw it to a conclusion for discussion.?.
    You've been informed that a police chief films underaged porn from a restaurant/bar he runs. He also has specific knowledge of a lot of drug dealing in the area, but refuses to prosecute it for unknown reasons. This is information you have to verify before you can stop it. You could call the FBI, tip them off and tell them everything you know, however, the FBI gets thousands of tips to thousands of things everyday. You can't go to the police since the man involved runs the show. You don't know who he's paying off, if anyone, and who's scared to act, if anyone. You know that some involved are friends with members of your family (though your family doesn't participate, and you've confirmed that much)..?.[/quote]

    Isn't there an ENTIRE organization devoted to police corruption? Shouldn't you just go to them?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    What do you do? To get more specific:

    You have access to a fair range of firearms, and know enough people that you don't HAVE to act alone if you go the suicidal route of vigilante superhero wannabe. However, you also have a waiting period for arrests, trials, etc, all the while those you're trying to stop have ample time to find you, and those close to you, and act without any real fear of reprisal.

    What do you do? Consider the social contract of which you're a part. Those involved have broken the contract, and the government has failed to act. This would seem to be good cause to tear up the contract, act, and then start a new contract.

    Then again, are you equipped, prepared, and capable to successfully go to war with forces you can't even see? You don't know how far the reach is, how strong the enemy is. You're outnumbered, outgunned, and you've got no shelter and no possibility for mercy if you surrender.

    But if you do nothing, it only gets worse.

    So the choice becomes one that will haunt you. Do something, and possibly die, or worse? OR, do nothing, and be reminded of it when you're on your deathbed, letting it settle on your conscience in those final moments?

    A short life with purpose and no regret? Or a long life with regret? Why?

    1) Do this, and people who have done no wrong will die. By stray bullet, mistaken identity, or the inherent malice you didn't even know about in your "posse"
    2) You are giving yourselfs never absolute power over life and death. And we've heard the axiom before
    3) It seems inefficent. With good enough intellegence, 1 sniper shot would be far more effective.
    4) You will never succed. You will merely cut off the current crop of criminals, while doing nothing to the things that spawned them.
    5) Witness protection program works quite well, and that organization regarding police corruption is, from what I imagine, rather good at it's SOLE job.

    Boondock Saints was a kick ass movie, but it was full of crap. We had a society like that thousands of years ago. It was not pleasent. Now we have automatic guns. I doubt it will be any more pleasent.

  4. #4
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    We're born under the Social Contract.
    Why? Merely by being in a society, we consent to the contract? What if I refuse to consent?

    Why should I act in accordance with the Social Contract? Why not act solely in my self-interest?

    I may be taking this in a direction that you don't want it to go; if so, ignore me. But to take an example, I quote David Hume: "It is not against reason that I should prefer the destruction of half the world to the pricking of my little finger." There is no logical compulsion to act selflessly; the Social Contract, being an a priori moral structure, is held by faith (much as a Christian holds to his/her own moral standards). By what mechanism do you place an unwilling, unconsenting selfish individual under the Social Contract without resorting to some variation of a divine entity or some other Final Moral Authority?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  5. #5
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Why? Merely by being in a society, we consent to the contract? What if I refuse to consent?
    You consent by the contract that passed to you by your father. Like any other item willed to you, you can take it or leave it. Consider the social contract like a big house. You can choose to live inside it and pay taxes on it, or you can sell it and move to another house. The social contract is not YOUR contract, though. It is OUR contract. Is is not one between two individuals, but between all the participants in society. As such, your only means of changing it is to get enough of those participants to revolt.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Why should I act in accordance with the Social Contract? Why not act solely in my self-interest?
    I think you will find that acting in accordance with the social contract, in the long run, is in your self-interest. I don't know you from Adam, but I am willing to bet there is someone who is bigger and stronger, has more guns, and has more friends and money. Who will protect you and your property from him? If you choose to abandon the social contract, what is to prevent other individuals from doing the same? What's left is nothing more than Gonzo's favorite unspoken position, mob rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I may be taking this in a direction that you don't want it to go; if so, ignore me. But to take an example, I quote David Hume: "It is not against reason that I should prefer the destruction of half the world to the pricking of my little finger." There is no logical compulsion to act selflessly; the Social Contract, being an a priori moral structure, is held by faith (much as a Christian holds to his/her own moral standards). By what mechanism do you place an unwilling, unconsenting selfish individual under the Social Contract without resorting to some variation of a divine entity or some other Final Moral Authority?
    And quoting Rousseau, "A man can be forced to be free." (alright, I only semi-quoted him. I don't have the book here in front of me and it has been a long time since I read the actual passage. It is from his work, interestingly enough, The Social Contract.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    I think you will find that acting in accordance with the social contract, in the long run, is in your self-interest.
    Perhaps, perhaps not. It depends on what is actually in my self-interest--I might not even want to live, for all you know.

    You consent by the contract that passed to you by your father. Like any other item willed to you, you can take it or leave it. Consider the social contract like a big house. You can choose to live inside it and pay taxes on it, or you can sell it and move to another house. The social contract is not YOUR contract, though. It is OUR contract. Is is not one between two individuals, but between all the participants in society. As such, your only means of changing it is to get enough of those participants to revolt.
    You aren't talking about the Social Contract; you're talking about living under the law, which I can understand. The Social Contract people somehow believe that people CANNOT reject the Social Contract, that they ALWAYS have an obligation to act in accordance with it. Which is fine, except that they claim to be purely Rational and have no faith--which is b.s.!
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  7. #7
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    An interesting dilemma. I think it best that I separate this into two areas, Moral and Temporal.

    Temporally speaking, we are obligated to uphold the social contract because if we fail to do so, we will be punished. Upsetting the status quo has never been beneficial to one's life expectancy.

    Morally, I do not see any reason why we must uphold the social contract if we feel that the contract is not in our best interest.

  8. #8
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    I thought I responded to this... guess not.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Perhaps, perhaps not. It depends on what is actually in my self-interest--I might not even want to live, for all you know.
    As Rousseau once posited. It is possible to force a man to be free. The book? "The Social Contract" of course. While you may wish to die, it is almost never in your "best interests" to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    You aren't talking about the Social Contract; you're talking about living under the law, which I can understand. The Social Contract people somehow believe that people CANNOT reject the Social Contract, that they ALWAYS have an obligation to act in accordance with it. Which is fine, except that they claim to be purely Rational and have no faith--which is b.s.!
    First, the law is based upon the social cotract. I daresay, the law would not exist without a social contract. Else, by what right would the government have to enforce the law. It is that right to enforce laws that promote our safety that is what makes the social contract one of our interests. Without it, the government would rule merely by force and without consideration of the interests of its citizenry. After all, removing the social contact does not remove those who wield force.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    While you may wish to die, it is almost never in your "best interests" to do so.
    Who do we allow to determine that? Should I allow your judgment to supplant mine in determining what is "best" for me? I think not.

    Else, by what right would the government have to enforce the law.
    Solely by the authorization of the people. Majority consent allows the government to use force.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  10. #10
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Who do we allow to determine that? Should I allow your judgment to supplant mine in determining what is "best" for me? I think not.
    Considering that death equates to No Clive versus life equating to Some Clive, simple arithmetic does just fine. Now, if you ask if my individual judgement should "supplant" your own, the answer is a firm no. That would by tyranny. In the U.S., individuals are rarely disallowed from using personal judgement. This protection is the very basis of OUR social contract.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Solely by the authorization of the people. Majority consent allows the government to use force.
    Should we poll the majority daily, hourly, by the minute? This consent carried out over a prolonged period of time IS the social contract.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Should we poll the majority daily, hourly, by the minute? This consent carried out over a prolonged period of time IS the social contract.
    Well maybe asking them at least once in their lives would be a good start. I mean are the 200 or so white people who signed and created out social contract supposed to speak for the 300 million people alive today? Does that sound fair to you?

    Why don't we just apply this to our own daily lives.

    Ibelsd...you may not know it, but you are in the social contract of Gonzo. You have to pay me $20000000 a year and I will buy everything for you...and keep a little for my Gonzoian expeditions to spread democracy.

    What?

    Never consented?

    Hrmphhh...consent is implied. By existing you are consenting...don't like it? Kill youself.

    I've given you a very viable alternative...this is the world of Gonzo...love it or kill yourself (or maybe move to outer space).
    "If you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place." -Murray Rothbard

    "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." -Henry David Thoreau

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Solely by the authorization of the people. Majority consent allows the government to use force.
    And how does the mandate offered by majority consent differ from the social contract?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd
    Considering that death equates to No Clive versus life equating to Some Clive, simple arithmetic does just fine. Now, if you ask if my individual judgement should "supplant" your own, the answer is a firm no. That would by tyranny. In the U.S., individuals are rarely disallowed from using personal judgement. This protection is the very basis of OUR social contract.
    But if you force a man to be free - force him to live when he wishes to die - are you not supplanting his judgement with your own? Maybe to Clive, no Clive is preferable to some Clive - in which case, why do you feel the right to challenge his judgment and influence his actions?
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    And how does the mandate offered by majority consent differ from the social contract?
    Majority consent is a type of mob rule. Laws can change quickly. Values tend to shift slowly. A value system shouldn't change every time the wind blows. No stable civilization can cope with that. Hence, when the Romans collapsed under the weight of the various cultures who brought dynamic societal change in a manner that was too quick for the Empire to properly adjust. The social contract is certainly fluid. But, in most periods of time, its movement is incremental. Consider that in the U.S., in the last 60 years it has shifted its value system in various ways. The laws have mirrored this shift. Sometimes, laws are enacted that do not respect the values of a society. We find those come under scrutiny, contention, and are often repealed (i.e. prohibition).

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    But if you force a man to be free - force him to live when he wishes to die - are you not supplanting his judgement with your own? Maybe to Clive, no Clive is preferable to some Clive - in which case, why do you feel the right to challenge his judgment and influence his actions?
    If a man desires to be a slave, should we allow slavery? As a society, it is imperative to hold certain values and expect them from the individuals of that society. The consequence is a society without values. Why is this important? Laws come from values, are a reflection of a society's value system. If a civilization has no stable set of values, then one can presume it will not have a stable set of laws either. If laws of a society become unstable, we are begging for tyranny to replace them. For, if the society of many is not the basis of law, then the laws of a few will replace them. You can see this effect wherever government becomes unstable or where tribalism exists.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Majority consent is a type of mob rule. Laws can change quickly. Values tend to shift slowly. A value system shouldn't change every time the wind blows. No stable civilization can cope with that. Hence, when the Romans collapsed under the weight of the various cultures who brought dynamic societal change in a manner that was too quick for the Empire to properly adjust. The social contract is certainly fluid. But, in most periods of time, its movement is incremental. Consider that in the U.S., in the last 60 years it has shifted its value system in various ways. The laws have mirrored this shift. Sometimes, laws are enacted that do not respect the values of a society. We find those come under scrutiny, contention, and are often repealed (i.e. prohibition).
    I'm not talking about management of the majority. What I said was the mandate of the majority. The social contract is simply an extension of representative democracy, as far as I can see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd
    If a man desires to be a slave, should we allow slavery? As a society, it is imperative to hold certain values and expect them from the individuals of that society. The consequence is a society without values. Why is this important? Laws come from values, are a reflection of a society's value system. If a civilization has no stable set of values, then one can presume it will not have a stable set of laws either. If laws of a society become unstable, we are begging for tyranny to replace them. For, if the society of many is not the basis of law, then the laws of a few will replace them. You can see this effect wherever government becomes unstable or where tribalism exists.
    If a man decides to voluntarily be a slave - sell his labour for nothing and subject himself to the control of someone else - that is indeed his right. It is when this is not his implicit will, or when his ability to choose a different path is limited, that the state must step in. I don't see how such a system is tyranny - it is just allowing each individual to choose what he believes is his own best interest.

    Many people do believe that society's values must be reflected in law. I disagree. I think that only one fundamental value must be represented in law, which is the right of others to act in accordance with their individual values (as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others).
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    And how does the mandate offered by majority consent differ from the social contract?
    Because we are not forced to consent. Social contract, however, is an assumed burden of anyone in a society.

    Here's the difference:

    Under social contract, I SHOULDN'T hurt someone else for money.

    Under majority consent government, I will be punished for hurting someone else for money.


    Do you see? Social contract is in essence a moral code, which its proponents force onto any person in a social context. I find such a position unteneble.
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Because we are not forced to consent. Social contract, however, is an assumed burden of anyone in a society.

    Here's the difference:

    Under social contract, I SHOULDN'T hurt someone else for money.

    Under majority consent government, I will be punished for hurting someone else for money.


    Do you see? Social contract is in essence a moral code, which its proponents force onto any person in a social context. I find such a position unteneble.
    I see the difference you are trying to establish. So if I were to define the social contract as not a moral code, but rather a mere societal responsibility (as I believe Rousseau defined it), then would you agree with it? I don't quite see how the social contract is a moral code as much as it is a preexisting, tacit agreement. I was under the impression that all the social contract stated was that to live in a society, your obligation is to live by that society's laws and express dissent through democratic means. Establishing that there exists that implicit contract or agreement isn't really intended to have any moral pertinence.
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Majority consent is a type of mob rule. Laws can change quickly. Values tend to shift slowly.
    Does this mean that we should revert to some kind of 'Divine Right of Kings'?

    Majority consent as expressed through (peaceful) pressure groups, demonstrations and individual lobbying is healthy. It does not mean that an administration has to acquiecse in a reflex manner - but it does mean that a dialogue should be opened, and change or modification, an option.
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    I see the difference you are trying to establish. So if I were to define the social contract as not a moral code, but rather a mere societal responsibility (as I believe Rousseau defined it), then would you agree with it?
    Those two things are the same. Moral codes are significant because they confer responsibilities.

    I don't quite see how the social contract is a moral code as much as it is a preexisting, tacit agreement.
    If so, then it is void to those who do not agree to it.

    I was under the impression that all the social contract stated was that to live in a society, your obligation is to live by that society's laws and express dissent through democratic means.
    Why Democratic? Social contract didn't exist in feudal socities?

    Establishing that there exists that implicit contract or agreement isn't really intended to have any moral pertinence.
    Sure it does. Anytime the word (or notion) "should do" comes up, it's moral sentiment. That includes "obligations" or any other synonym you care to insert.
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut View Post
    Does this mean that we should revert to some kind of 'Divine Right of Kings'?
    ??? Not sure how you interpreted that.

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut View Post
    Majority consent as expressed through (peaceful) pressure groups, demonstrations and individual lobbying is healthy. It does not mean that an administration has to acquiecse in a reflex manner - but it does mean that a dialogue should be opened, and change or modification, an option.
    Majority consent, as expressed through the legislative body, is the current means of altering the social contract. Generally speaking, the types of assemblies you have referred, cannot prove they have majority support or that such support is anything other than fleeting. Laws and value systems should be altered in a more deliberate manner, hence the bodies of legislation in a modern democracy. It is also why representative democracy may be superior to direct democracy.

    Quite the opposite would be government via polling. This week the majority has decided that meat should be outlawed...

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Because we are not forced to consent. Social contract, however, is an assumed burden of anyone in a society.

    Here's the difference:

    Under social contract, I SHOULDN'T hurt someone else for money.

    Under majority consent government, I will be punished for hurting someone else for money.


    Do you see? Social contract is in essence a moral code, which its proponents force onto any person in a social context. I find such a position unteneble.
    Clive, a bit off the mark. Majority consent government exists BECAUSE of a social contract between the citizens as a whole. Those who act as the majority at a given time are not suddenly non-participants. Under the social contract, you agree in punishment for hurting someone else for money. Under majority consent government, the punishment is meted out. The two work together. A majority consent government does not exist without a social contract. Otherwise, the majority consent government would have no authority to enact its values on the minority.
    Last edited by Ibelsd; October 4th, 2006 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: Justice, The Social Contract, Right Action.

    Clive, a bit off the mark. Majority consent government exists BECAUSE of a social contract between the citizens as a whole. Those who act as the majority at a given time are not suddenly non-participants. Under the social contract, you agree in punishment for hurting someone else for money. Under majority consent government, the punishment is meted out. The two work together. A majority consent government does not exist without a social contract. Otherwise, the majority consent government would have no authority to enact its values on the minority.
    Except that under majority government, the contract is explicit and may be rejected at any time. The social contract, however, exists with all people at all times--so far as I understand it.
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