Should Slave Contracts be Legal?

1278 WordsJul 17, 20186 Pages
Even 150 years after the abolition of slavery, it is still a hot button issue as to its lasting effects on racial relations and social hierarchy to this very day. While no sane, intelligent person would claim that the mass enslavement of Africans, Native Americans, or other nationalities and races was a good thing, simply due to human rights violations and the philosophical invention of racism, philosophers as recent as Robert Nozick are able to ask a different question with a similar moral implication: should someone be able to legally sell themselves into slavery free of coercion? While many philosophers disagree with Nozick’s affirmation of slave contracts, if principles of self-ownership are applied, it is apparent that slave contracts…show more content…
Specifically, John Locke says in his work Two Tretises of Government “For a Man, not having the Power of his own Life, cannot, by Compact or his own Consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the Absolute, Arbitrary Power of another, to take away his Life, when he pleases.” This idea of divine authority is what leads me to believe that the church guided Locke’s philosophy a different direction than it would have gone without outside coercion. In context, Locke’s philosophies were written in 1690, long before the atheist revolution within the philosophical community in the post-Darwinian era of science. Furthermore, without the fundamental assumption of God his theory cannot stand. This is even more important than possible beliefs Locke may have if born in a different time, because modern philosophy has dictated that the concept of God and philosophy must be made separate because one cannot ever truly know if a God exists. This rule that dictates a separation of church and philosophy has existed since the philosophical teachings of Friedrich Nietzsche were accepted into the philosophical community, and these more modern acceptances counter an older culture. Therefore, Locke does not make a convincing argument based on the fact his philosophies aren’t valid in a more progressive society. Another philosopher who makes argument against the concept of voluntary slavery is John Stuart Mill, known for coining the term
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