Strengths And Weaknesses Of Social Contract Theory

843 Words4 Pages
In the Elements of Moral Philosophy, written by James Rachels, the theory of Social Contract Theory is defined as “the set of rules, governing behaviors, that rational people will accept, on the condition that others accept them as well” (Rachels EMP 85). The author describes that the theory aims to explain the purpose of both morality and government within a society. Rachels states that the “purpose of morality is to make social living possible; the purpose of government is to enforce vital moral rules (Rachels EMP 85). In essence, social contract theory dictates an implicit set of rules by which a specific society is governed. The set of rules lays the framework for what will be considered moral or not within the society. The goal of this essay is to objectively analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the social contract theory, and describe how they impact the world. Ultimately, even though the text provides concerns regarding the disadvantages of the contract, the contract still exists today and thus can be successful despite the author’s criticism. Social contract theory promotes the existence of social order and provides the foundation for morality (Rachels EMP 82). Even though that there exists a strong inclination for the emergence of anarchy without a common source of morality, philosophers like Hobbes, believe that the enticement is built into society by humanity existing among each other. The need inherently exists for humanity to form some sort of accord to
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