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SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY OF JOHN LOCKE - Essay Example

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During the Enlightenment, several pre-Classical thinkers wrote articles and books that provided society with a new way of viewing criminal activity and laws. Their ideas had a profound effect not only during the enlightenment but on criminology and criminal justice system today…
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SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY OF JOHN LOCKE
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SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY OF JOHN LOCKE During the Enlightenment, several pre ical thinkers wrote articles and books that provided society with a new way of viewing criminal activity and laws. Their ideas had a profound effect not only during the enlightenment but on criminology and criminal justice system today. Pre-Classical thinkers viewed society through a pessimistic lens. They believed that all humans innately were brutal, but the fear of a brutal death at the hands of another brash human being drove them to create a social contract to form a government with laws. Under this government, certain rights had to be surrendered, and the government had absolute authority. In return, the government's job was to protect the people. From the parameter of John Locke, the social contact theory was formulated in a distinct form. He was the one who believed a baby at birth was similar to a blank slate. Giving the baby a variety of experiences was like writing on and filling the slate. These experiences shape the individual and their personality, as they are not born with one. Locke shared the same ideas with other contemporaries like Hobbes, believing that humans give up certain freedoms to have protection through their government.
However, he also believed that human beings good-natured but are corrupted by money, property, and other wealth. Governments were created to correct these inequalities. Overall, this principal in the Enlightenment period had a profound impact on the future, as they brought about new ideas and change. Much of the constitution of the United States is based on the ideas regarding society and government produced by these philosophers. In addition, their effect on criminology was important, as up to this point, mysterious, evil spirits had explained crime. Now, crime was considered an activity engaged in by a human who chose on his or her own free-will to partake in a deviant course of action. This is the fundamental belief of the social contract theory by Locke.
His point in this statement is that everyone must take its steps one at a time. Everything should be done carefully with the right time and the right places so that it will be meaningful and productive. He writings made a divergence in different parts of the world. He became popular and famous with the help of these writings. But after all, logic and rationality was not the only answer to life a better life. There is something better from thinking and reasoning. Sometimes, as human we need to rest our minds for more important things to think of.
However, from the point of view of Kelly, it is pointed out "Although Locke characterizes marriage as a contract, it is a contract qualitatively different from the social contract that forms the basis of government. The social contract requires that all persons give up their right to punish transgressors, transferring it to a neutral authority." (Kristin, 2002) It is true that Locke viewed the perception of life as a mode of authority and operational rigidity but from the perception of social contract it can be stated that the basic fundamentals of Locke's idea was more open and accommodative than it is interpreted and viewed popularly.
References:
Kristin A Kelly (2002). Private family, private individual: John Locke's distinction between paternal and political power. Social Theory and Practice, 28(3), 361-381. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 181592061). http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlinkdid=181592061&Fmt=3&clientId=2606&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Lamb, D; (2004); Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization; Wellington: National Book Trust Read More
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