The Social Contract and Citizens of A Country

November 23, 2008
          The soverign, by definition, is the entity we surrender
our rights to. A constitutional monarch, for example, would
resemble the Royal Family of the United Kingdom and a
citizen would be a British subject. Under the United States
Constitution, a representative democracy with three
branches, legislative, judicial and executive, a U.S. citizen,
regardless of birth or immigration would have surrendered
his or her rights to an educated and fair group of people
for the sake of better judgement, much like the Royal
Family except there is no possibility of a biased or
arbitrary decision if the subject, for example, may be
related to the Royal Family or a U.S. government official or
public servant. Changing venue or where you live, in the
case of a child or adult with limited materials or conflict
of moral interest is irrelevant based on the single most
important contingency of foreign policy having positive
relations with the foreign and/or native country of, for
example, someone who would have committed a
criminal offense on foreign soil, in foreign waters or
airspace. The criminal would be therefore extradited
on charges from one jurisdiction to another in
cooperation with another government. These people
are without a doubt subject to moral judgement,
the social contract and would include members of
the sovereign. I still suggest that the soverign may
not be prosecuted to the same degree as opposed
to someone who is an average citizen. Some
exeptions to the social contract will include illegal
immigrants with the unmistakeable tangible of
limited resources by means of not having legal
papers to reside in any country, and most
importantly, a person with diplomatic immunity
if for some reason the person cannot present
proof of such status to a constible or government agent.

Do Laws Truly Benefit The Populus Or The Leaders In Power?

November 20, 2008

Hobbes made the point of a possible moral link to the soverign when it comes to enforcing laws.  Protecting both the people governed and the leaders is already taken into consideration.  The issue of morality and connection to religion manifests throughout his views.  The position I take on the matter as a law student being exposed to such terms like “fruit of the poisonous tree” which exists verbatum in my 2006 copy of my U.S. Constitutional Law book enforces the concept that religion has evolved into the current government in which we live in.  However, the system of Capitalism in this country calls for competitition in business which in turn affects U.S. citizens while the wealthy class never pay taxes.  This issue in and of itself has a moral deficiency because the rules are set automatically in opposition if you’re middle class or less. There is no question as to whether or not anyone in a position of power is morally competent, or just, for that matter.  In a society of living with a certain level of balance and fairness, the truth of the matter is that the us versus them mentality will never cease to perpetuate.  I feel that Hobbes is acknowledging a level of organized despair when he says “Do not that to another, which thou wouldest not have done to thyself;” and continues to add that this ideology will make someone a target of violence or appear as weak prey.  I only see a benefit of the ruling powers in which the civilation is established.

Must We Kill Each Other To Survive?

November 17, 2008

Man, like any other animal, can coexist with other living creatures granted there is comfortable living space, shelter, food and clothing while the rest is material in desire.  However, examples like WW1 and France Ferdinand’s desire to expand the Austrian empire into the former Ottoman Empire, better known as the Balkans or Turkey, led to war because the creation of a navy also led to an upset of authority under the United Kingdom and ultimately, Ferdinand’s assassination. This is clearly a violation of social contract.      According to Hobbes, “the time men live without a common power to keep them in all in awe,” or a lack of respect for power equally as great as another country’s possible future adversary will lead to a Darwinist result of killing off a weaker being to benefit from resources provided.  However, modern technology, like the soon to be released hydrogen fuel cell, will hopefully rid the world of a need to use petroleum to fuel our vehicles and not invade middle eastern countries.  Mankind can invent itself out of a need of depleted resources, but wealthier classes feel threatened by great losses of revenue.

Kant vs. Mill

November 13, 2008

In both conflicting theories of judging moralty, intent vs. consequence, both have flaws but one has a stronger foundation.  Kant’s theory of intent will judge someone immoral if the person did not wish to committ a good act.  Mill only judges a person to be immoral if the consequence of an action decreases overall happiness.  Based on kant’s dedicaton to duty and self-love, the decision making process lies within the reasoning or intent behind a particular decision.  Mill believed that the consequence determined the morality of the person after the action.  I would like to present an example that challenges both theories.  Two people plan a bank robbery with a driver waiting outside in the getaway vehicle.  The first person uses the need to feed a family as his basis of reason.  This reason would be addresses by Kant’s theory of best intentions to feed a family by robbing those with more money.  The second person is a successful business woman on an ego trip and wants the adrenaline rush and is the basis of her robbery of these innocent people, patrons or employees.  Her reasoning is the worst kind, but falls into the Utilitarianism category of not increasing overall happiness, but expediency.  So all three get away with their identities concealed forever and are left with the memories of what they did.  Kant’s theory would present a level of understanding for a desperate need.  Mill’s theory would not agree with the woman on an ego trip because she decided to rob a bank for her own personal gain and has abandoned the principles of Utilitarianism, which include not increasing overall happiness and inflicting pain from fear of death.  Mill’s theory is hard to determine unless the action has an explanation. Kant’s theory is just as difficult to read, but actions speak louder than words.


November 10, 2008

Immanuel Kant has given his opinion on the subject of happiness in that it is empirical, or driven by impulse based on his hypothesis from  experiments. “Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination, resting merely on empirical grounds,” which Kant would suggest that happiness , according to the categorical imperative, is willed a maxim into universal law based on his theory.  If the person suffers from delusional thoughts, then I would understand how willing a maxim of happiness into universal law is possible based solely on imagination.  But then again Kant’s view may have a valid point of argument if happiness were achieved through more than one means besides “imagination”, but instead work, healing, servicing a community  or another type of selfless act.  However, imagination within work could possibly be willed into universal law if the person displayed a level of happiness from the work he or she may be doing.  Take for example a pornographic film.  If the man or woman performing sex acts in front of a camera are experiencing pleasure by means of  intercourse for a movie scene, then at this point I would agree that the imagination of happiness has successfully been executed into a maxim unless the people involved in the act did not enjoy each other’s company, but for all intensive purposes this is not the case.  It is assumed that both or many people involved enjoy each other’s company in such a business.  The categorical imperative would be maximed into universal law by entertaining whomever is watching and would be influenced by cultivated skill as well.  The action is purely rational because these people are paid for what they do in a reasonable setting which is legal and in a controlled environment.  The actions are moral as well since these people are entertainers for those mature adults who subscribe to this material.  I disagree with happiness not being an ideal of reason when one could incorporate happiness in his or her life functions or work or anything else within reasonable fabrication of imagination.  In addition, happiness can be achieved through both impulse and imagination.  I would say this theory is flawed and needs revision.


November 3, 2008

Kant states that the true meaning of moral quality is not stored within duty although it is moral out of respect for the law.  Instead he focuses inward toward the core of the individual personality of that particular human being whom is being addressed as moral or immoral.  He adds that “self-denial” is also included in duty which makes the behavior void eventhough accepted at face value.  Kant also focuses on the age of the person by means of world experience and the maxim or rule of conduct only to be contradicted by “absolute necessity.” Mainly Kant stresses the intentions of the person before the action is committed. Therefore, by means of internal contemplation of the foreseen act, the moral quality is judged at this point “reason by itself and independently of all appearances commands what ought to happen;” and actions which have no examples which would display leadership qualities.  However when addressing an issue like cheating on a test, almost everyone reading this whom is at the age of reason or past it will have had this choice and experience in his or her life out of necessity in most cases to barely pass, maintain that respectable or perfect grade point average if he or she decided to cheat on even the least important exam or quiz.

My Question To John Stuart Mill

October 27, 2008

I can see that you have carefully calculated every word of your theory and, if not succeeded, tried to reach every type of human being by means of disposition or situation.  How would you address  from a lagalistic perspective, interpreting the law based your theory? An example would be dealing with stealing out of necessity, murder, or even rape just to name a few.

Walking on a microscopic thread

October 16, 2008

The utilitarian standard that represents moral qualities by virtue of action and overall consequence is of a high standard that is so easily flawed because of the need to promote the interests of society.  By disposition one person could commit an immoral act under utilitarianism without being at fault unless that person commits his or her entire life to the interests of society, therefore decreasing that person’s value of life.  The standards are through the atmosphere in my opinion.  It is impossible to please every single person around you.  For example, if a Catholic priest has dedicated his life to religion and has withdrawn from the normal pleasures of the average heterosexual man, he is regarded to be a homosexual and a child molester because of the lifestyle of forcing himself away from the pleasures of women and companionship.  If a Jewish family moves into a neighborhood where the gentry is of a Christain faith, the Jewish family is immoral by means of upsetting the overall structure of a perfect Christian community.  This is obviously crazy and represents another example utilitarianism standards that are unattainable by being different.  So if the Catholic priest was castrated to please the interests of worried parents of altar boys and an entire Jewish family loses their identity of sectarian faith by race and religion as one, the overall happiness of everyone around these two examples would be pleased.  The defending argument is that it is up to moral agents and ethics to decide what is right or wrong, but the unfortunate truth is that the overall population most likely will not subscribe to the open minded tolerance of those who are different by any means.

The Value of Self Sacrifice

October 11, 2008

According to Mill, “The great majority of our actions are intended not for the benefit of the world, but for that of individuals, of which the good of the world is made up;”.  I would interpret this statement to mean that the world or parts of the world are made up of human beings that have the moral qualities beneficial to utilitarianism with all thoughts in mind when put to action, do not violate the rights of anyone else.  This is fair to say by definition, however, false by jurisdiction.  When addressed by the first class presentation, I took into consideration the idea of the Amish people being indifferent according to where they are located. When I questioned that particular group member about her experience and commented about cultural relativism in reference to her, she explained that only after being near death in a car accident with her family that one Amish man went against his religious beliefs to help another human being in order to get them to safety. This particular episode is something that I too do not agree with.  I was born and baptised Episcopalian, but when I reached the age of reason or adulthood, I chose not to perpetuate the ignorance and robotic behavior of a typical religious follower. I agree with the man that helped this young woman and her family from being possibly near death. We are all human even though we may look different from one another.  I also agree with the story of the firefighter that risked his life to save someone.  Regardless of that type of profession being a job to help those in danger, he just could have said saving that person is too much of a risk and let the person burn or choke to death from smoke.  The Utilitarian perspective of not violating the rights of others suggests walking an extremely fine line. Death can be by fate under some religious beliefs.  This is impossible for most people, especially in the U.S. who will always object to old world religious thoughts and doctrines.  I reject the ignorance of religion. The unfortuneate truth is that government laws have been based on these same ancient rules for the benefit of the people in power.

Utility and the Benefits

October 7, 2008

According to Mill, Utility can be used to one’s advantage as long as the credibility of the person remains unchanged.  Lying in this sense based on circumstances is beneficial, however the truth must be told around a “white lie” or fenced words with another person.  In other situations the truth can be a total 180 degree lie if the circumstances do not affect your credibility.  An example would be disputing facts on a written affidavit in court. Testimony is evidence which can dispute what is written based on whether or not the witness was coerced into a confession. 

Group 6 objection: Answers to first group discussion

A) You can lie based on the conditions present

B) One moral value must outweigh another to reach balance based on the strongest truth.  (Your credibility must be kept in tact, then lying becomes habitual.)

C) The strongest truth may be prejudiced toward another group or individual.

D) Mill’s response in convincing based on conditional circumstances.