In This Essay, I Will Examine Social Contract Theory And

1619 WordsMar 6, 20177 Pages
In this essay, I will examine social contract theory and explain the perspectives of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. From there, I will explore Dostoyevsky’s poem, Grand Inquisitor, and conduct an analysis of the relationships between the Grand Inquisitor and his subjects as well as Jesus and his followers. After, I will draw parallels associating The Grand Inquisitor’s relationship to his subjects with Thomas Hobbes’ perspective on social contract theory. Similarly, I will analogize Jesus’ relationship to his followers with a Lockean perspective on social contract theory. Finally, I will synthesize my findings and draw conclusions regarding the omnipresence of elite-herd models in political and religious institutions. Social Contract…show more content…
This prompts a societal condition of war. The need to control the evil, malicious, and unreasonable masses becomes the center theme for Leviathan; a goal of which Hobbes accomplishes through the advocacy of absolute monarchy. Contrarily, John Locke presents a far more optimistic worldview concerning the human condition and Social Contract Theory. In his work Second Treatise of Government, Locke is quoted, “Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions” (Second Treatise of Government, II). In writing, Locke establishes that people in their natural state (“all equal and independent”) shall refrain from interfering on another individuals’ natural rights (life, liberty, and right to pursue property). Locke’s underlying premise in his political theory is that humans have inherent knowledge of natural law – what is right and wrong. According to Locke, humans have enough knowledge of these ethics to resolve conflicts without need for an omnipresent and conspicuous social contract. The Social Contract still exists but merely in a judicial manner; Hobbes respects individuals’ rights to maintain peace and order. However, should individuals breech their respect knowledge of natural law, and good and evil, Locke’s Social Contract provides justice. Social Contract Theory, while often only credited solely to political science
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