John Locke and Socrates both have two distinctive and compelling arguments about what the social contract is. While government’s today extract ideas from both theories of the social contract, it’s is hard to determine which is the just and appropriate. While there is little comparison between the two theories other than fact that there must be a relationship between the government and the people for a society to exist, there are several opposing ideas in these arguments. First, the Socrates idea of an implicit social contract versus Locke’s explicit social contract. Secondly, Socrates believes laws make the society and in contrast, Locke believes society makes the law. Finally, Socrates believes the very few educated persons or minority should control society while Locke believes in the majority power. Both theories have valid points and flaws but, I believe that Locke’s theory is more convincing and is more appropriate for society.
Socrates’s idea of this implicit social contract is based on the idea of residents. According to Socrates if you reside in an area and at a mature age you decide to continue living there then you there by give consent to abide by the laws of the land. To be more specific he says, “But he who has experience of the manner in which we order justice and administer the State, and still remains, has entered into an implied contract that he will do as we command.” On the other hand, Locke’s idea of a social contract is explicit, meaning there must be some form physical agreement between a group of people enter in to society. Socrates’s idea is great but, it would lead to chaos and possible war that is why it’s only partial applied in today’s world. Let’s take for example the US and Mexico. Using Socrates ...
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...ght direction because we see it today. Most of our elections today are determined by the majority vote. Our laws and court cases are dependent on the majority vote. The simple fact is weather the majority is just or unjust it is their society that they created and they should decide how it is governed.
In conclusion the point of this essay is to determine which of Socrates’s or Locke’s theories is appropriate and our obligation to obey the law. While there is a bigger conversation to have about morality and ethics in these theories I have chosen to focus on implicit versus explicit social contracts, the dependence of law and society on each other and minority and majority power. From these three topics I believe that Locke’s theory is more suitable for society, but to some extent some of Socrates’s ideas have valid points.
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