Why Political Obligation Can Not Be Grounded?

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“Political Obligation Cannot be grounded in Benefits since Most Citizens Never Ask to Receive Such Benefits” – Discuss To have political obligation is to have a duty to obey the laws of one’s country or state. The benefits that may result in political obligations can include security, welfare and infrastructure. The benefit theory for obligation has many criticisms besides the idea that “most citizens never ask for them” and I am going evaluate this theory alongside what I argue to be the reason that political obligation cannot be grounded in benefits: the philosophical anarchist theory. Walker argues that we have do have an obligation to obey the law insofar as the benefits we enjoy provided by institutions and the state. This is…show more content…
For example every time a child attends a state school there is no personal effort of level of kindness given by the state as the state is not a moral agent therefore we have no obligation to react morally to the benefits. Furthermore we pay taxes in order to receive such benefits therefore gratitude is not owed in such circumstances and therefore there is no obligation to obey the law. Even if some gratitude is owed to the state it does not mean that obeying the law demonstrates such gratitude or is even a necessary repayment. Many may consider that any debt of gratitude is effectively cancelled out by the fact that (at least in a democracy) the people voted in the government, giving them mandate and legitimacy. Walker tries to rebut Simmons criticisms by using Socrates argument in Crito that the state is responsible for our upbringing and moral education which are large enough benefits to give us a strong debt of gratitude to the state and our obligation to obey the law is our duty to the state in repayment to this debt. Socrates demonstrated this in his refusal to disobey a jury that sentenced him to death. I argue that Socrates and Walkers arguments are easily over turned by Simmons reasoning that the state and its institutions do not “go out of their way” to provide for the people as it is their purpose to do this using taxes and therefore no debt of gratitude is owed and consequently there is
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