The Social Contract theory suggests that we need rules and laws, and as a participant in our society we agree to abide by these rules. What do we do about rules and laws to which we disagree? Let’s take “pot legalization” for the topic. Some states allow and some states do not, so what do you do if you disagree with the laws of your state under this theory?
Think of World Health and the Allocation of Health Care. How should Health Care be allocated? Do all human beings have a claim and right to proper Health Care? How should we pay for Health Care systems? How should Health conditions that threaten large segments of the World’s populations be handled?
Social Contract theory is an important and respected approach in moral philosophy. But it’s not flawless. Compare Hobbes’ version with John Locke’s. (They are considerably different!) One problem with accepting this theory is the treatment of those who are not parties to the Social Contract. Why should we take them into consideration, if they’re not obliged to take us into consideration? For example, what if they are unable to “consent” due to intellectual limitations, like mentally disabled people and non-human animals? This problem extends to people who are not yet born. What do we owe them–given that they (not here yet) don’t “owe” us anything in return? This issue is not merely abstract. The impact of global climate change puts our obligations to future generations at the top of the news.
· Do we have a moral obligation to future generations? Do you think we are obliged to make decisions about our own lifestyles based on concerns about future generations? If so, why? If not, why not? Explain your reasoning.
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