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What is the Basis of Political Obligation? Why Obey the Law? PowerPoint Presentation
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What is the Basis of Political Obligation? Why Obey the Law?

What is the Basis of Political Obligation? Why Obey the Law?

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What is the Basis of Political Obligation? Why Obey the Law?

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  1. What is the Basis of Political Obligation? Why Obey the Law? • Social Atomism: as rational, self-interested individuals, we are interested in promoting the social good through a contract because it benefits us personally (Hobbes, Locke) • Communitarianism: we are obligated to obey the law because it reaffirms our inherently social nature (Wolgast, Sandel)

  2. Social Contract Theory:Thomas Hobbes • Fear of others in the state of nature (i.e., apart from society) prompts people to enter into a social contract • Governmental authority is based on our decision to give up our rights and abide by the social contract in order to achieve peace (1588-1679)

  3. Natural Rights:John Locke (1632-1704) • We have God-given rights to our life, liberty, and property (gained through labor) • We establish governments to clarify and protect our freedom and natural rights (especially the ownership of property) • State authority is based on the explicit or tacit consent of the majority of a people

  4. Communitarianism:Michael Sandel (1953 - ) • We do not form governments or follow laws simply to promote individual self-interests; such a view assumes that our commitment to community is only a means to avoid conflict (Hobbes) or to protect our rights (Locke) • The purpose of government is to encourage us to recognize how we are constituted in our communal relations to one another