By going to jail to meet this objection that louis

This preview shows page 28 - 30 out of 35 pages.

by going to jail.To meet this objection that Louis Waldman said that King can’t pick and choose which laws to abide by so thereforehis behavior is immoral, and destructive of the principles of democratic government, and danger the civil rights thatKing promotes: King sometimes said that the evils he opposed were so serious, so numerous, and so difficult to fightthat civil disobedience as justified as a last resort. The end justified the means, though the means are regrettable.According to the Social Contract Theory, we are obligated to obey the law because we each participate in a socialsystem that promises more benefits than burdens. But what if some citizens are denied their basic rights? Under suchcircumstances, the social contract is not being honored. By asking the disadvantaged group to obey the law andrespect society’s institutions, we are asking them to accept the burdens of social living while being denied itsbenefits.Civil disobedience is the most natural and reasonable means of expressing protest. For when the disadvantaged aredenied the benefits of social living, they are released from the contract that would be otherwise require them tofollow society’s rules. This is the deepest argument for civil disobedience, and the Social Contract Theory presents itclearly and forcefully.
6.5 Difficulties for the Theory1) First, it is said that the Social Contract Theory is based on a historical fiction. As agreement unanimous? If not,what about the people who didn’t sign up – are they not required to act morally? And if the contract was made along time ago by our ancestors, why should we be bound to it? None of us ever signed a “real” contract.
The contract theorist might say, however, that a social arrangement like the one described does exist, for all of us:There is a set of rules that everyone recognizes as binding generally followed. Each of us accepts the benefitsconferred by this arrangement; and more than that, we expect and encourage other people to observe the rules.This is a description of the actual world. We are bound by animplicitsocial contract, because we accept thebenefits of social living.Thus, the story of the “social contract” need not be intended as a description of historical events. You begin tobreak some of the rules in a game, because that looks like more fun. Perhaps nobody promised to obey; but, byjoining the game, each person implicitly agreed to abide by the rules that make the game possible. It isas thoughthey had all agreed. Morality is like this. The “game” is social living: the rules, which make the game possible,are the rules of morality.Thus, life is not like joining a game, whose rules you may reject by walking away. Rather, life is like being thrustinto a game you can’t walk away from. The contract theorist has not explained why one must obey the rules ofsuch a game.The social contract theorist may say this: Participating in a sensible social scheme is rational; it really is in one’sbest interest.This is why the rules are valid– because they benefit those who live under them. If someone

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 35 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Spring
Professor
MELISSALAMMEY
Tags
Ethics, The Bible, The Land, Ethics Notes

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture