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this accounted for life and thought.
Bust of Diderot by JeanAntoine Houdon 1771 Jean Jacques Rousseau
1712-1778 The SOCIAL CONTRACT: “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.”
Men are not equal, and society just makes them unequal in new ways. Civilization just increases our depravity and corruption. The uncivilized state is no better, since it is merely trading one set of problems for another, and abstract ideas are less likely. We have to find the balance between decadent civilization and barbarity. Bust of Rousseau by Houdon 1778 Rousseau
Rousseau Social Contract a) We must join to protect ourselves. b) Each individual surrenders all his natural rights to the state. c) The state gives him civil rights in exchange.
d) This exchange causes a change in his will. The citizen begins to think as a member of the group in addition to thinking as a free agent. e) This consent to the general will makes us all free. It may be necessary to force some folks to become free. f) The state has complete power to implement the general will, with accountability to the people. Man should cultivate his heart, not his reason. Man is basically good. Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet "One feels like crawling on all fours after reading your work." Letter to Rousseau "I don't believe a word you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Approach all ideas with an inquisitive and tolerant skepticism.
Approach all human situations with a passionate regard for justice and fairness. Believe what you like but "we must cultivate our garden." from Candide
Bust of Voltaire by Houdon 1778 Voltaire
Voltaire Ethics rest on self love and justice. Self love alone is bad, but humans desire order, so justice is the logical outcome of the combination. Design indicates God is. DEISM Man has free will, but it is conditioned by the laws of the universe. We cannot know if we are immortal. Man is gu...
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