Unit 4 Discussion
1.According to Hobbes’ Social Contract, man in the State of Society must accept the role of government to create laws and enforce these laws. He saw the state had absolute power. Thus, the government (courts) had the right to arrest those who did not pay their debts. Hobbes maintained that the state had absolute power not only to protect the rights of citizens but also to punish according to any law it enacted. i.e. debtor law
Rawls in his Theory of Justice stressed that each person had a right to liberty and freedom. He believed we should assist the worse off to the degree that despite inequalities, the plight of the worse off needed to be improved. Hence, he would abhor the use of debtor prisons for the poor. Rawls was a moralist who in his Veil of Ignorance Theory encouraged an ethic whereby the state would promote the well being of the worse off through a socio-economic political system. He would not promote a model of governing that accepted imprisonment of the poor for debt.
2.Social Contract Theory describes how the individual has the right to the protection of life and property. Hobbes would accept that a fire protection system might be needed. Of course, his positon would reflect an antiquated fire protection system according to the socio-economic political view of the 17th century milieu.
Rawls would maintain government had a role in assuring fire protection to all. The individual in a dilapidated tenement apartment, as well as the wealthy millionaire condo owner were entitled to the same level of fire protection. Rawls’ difference principle maintained that despite inequalities, even in this issue of fire protection, one must insure that the plight of the worse off is protected and improved.
- Rawls first principle suggests each person is entitled to freedom, liberty and equality. In his second principle, his difference principle maintains despite inequalities among people, we must insure that the situation of those poorly off will improve. Section 17 allows for the use of incentives, training and education to help the less fortunate. Affirmative action can help disadvantaged students through a school’s prescriptive selection policy. This will discriminate and disadvantage any applicant that meets the academic requirements of that institution for admission but lacks the step up of race, colour, religion or socio-economic status that are required by affirmative action policy! I think that on the basis of research, if Rawls discovered a group of students were prejudiced by affirmative action, he would encourage the use of a lottery system for all of these students. Hence, no one group would be treated unfairly.