The Construction of Morality: Philosophers

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Many political philosophers use the theme of morality to introduce their theories of civilization. Human morals are intertwined with the political system and are presented in human nature. By definition, morality is the distinction between right and wrong. Thus, philosophers use the concept of morality in the same distinction, but understand and apply them in different context depending on their theories. The interpretations vary between political thinkers.; One particular pair of theorists believe morals are presented in the lives of humans, but created in a different manner. John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the two political social contractist that are concerned with the issue of morality; although, both use the concept to explain civilization, they differ in the understanding of how morality has been constructed and applied. For Locke, the state of nature has natural laws that are given to humans for their moral rights; in contrast, Rousseau believed rights were created in the sense of moral obligation. Therefore, morals are seen as given by god in the form of natural rights or created by humans when a civil government is put into place. Although both theorists believe a newly established authority should have limits over their powers, only Rousseau provides a concrete theory that reveals how authority would create moral liberties for humans to obey. Rousseau explains the state of nature as a state in which humans are free to do what they please without having the obligation to consult rationality or morality. “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains…” is one of the famous quotes found in his book, The Social Contract (Rousseau 105). These chains he mentions are not presented in the state of nature but rath... ... middle of paper ... ...o humans in the natural state; this idea id disproven once Rousseau’s theory is expanded. Rousseau claims morals are set in place by a civil government, who will protect its citizens from physical impulses humans have in the state of nature. This suggestion is seen in the Bill of Rights; many of the amendments written protect the moral rights of American citizens. In sum, morality is a concept thought to be naturally given to humans until Rousseau demonstrated how it could be constructed instead. Work Cited "The Bill of Rights: A Transcription." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. Locke, John. "Selected Sections." Second Treatise of Government. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, and Frankel. The Social Contract. New York: Hafner Pub., 1947. Print.

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