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we have examined the idea of the social contract -- an idea as old as ancient Greece, but as relevant as todays headlines. The authors we have read and talked about including Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, each provided both competing and complementary ideas about the nature of the social contract. While complex, the idea of a social contract is deceptively simple: in exchange for liberty, the people agree to be governed in a way where certain, agreed upon basic rights are protected. For Hobbes, the all-consuming right was protection from others and ourselves. For Lock, property, with its elucidation and protection by government, was the objective. For Rousseau, the nature and nurture of the common good were the contracts preoccupation. While we have no one author to point to, founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution demonstrate that, in the American experience, those basic rights can be distilled into four words: Life, Liberty, Happiness and Equality.
How we as a society stay true to our social contract depends heavily on the creation of both intellectual activity and government policy. You have read about each: intellectual activity related to the concept of distributive justice and government policy in the form of affirmative action. Remember, the social contract governs both social and economic interaction among the governed and the government.
Your fourth paper assignment is to answer the question below:
1. In your estimation, do members of the social contract have an ethical obligation to resolve economic and social inequality in civil society? Explain.
To do well on this assignment, your paper must include the following:
Define what you consider ethics to be;
Outline from your readings what course of action, if any, should be taken to resolve economic and social inequality in civil society;
Defend your positions in the form of argument(s), i.e., arguments that demonstrate and support your position. Your paper in no way should include unsubstantiated opinion;
Provide a minimum of four (4) references to support your arguments from in-class readings or your own research;
Meet the formatting requirements outlined below.
Your assignments must be typed, double-spaced and in Times twelve point font. Your papers should not exceed seven (7) pages in length, including your citation page. While there is no minimum for the length of this assignment, you should make sure you meet all criteria, regardless of the length of your paper.
It is required that your paper both adhere to the Indiana State University Academic Code and a style guide of your choice (information about APA, MLA and Chicago Manual style guides, and college writing techniques and tips, are available on the Internet).
Additionally, all work must be presented in a coherent, well-written manner. In other words, your papers should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Papers are expected to contain both thoughtful and polished arguments. All papers must include an introduction to your argument, discussion and support of your argument, along with a conclusion. Finally, all papers must be submitted in a .doc or .docx file format.
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