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Consent theory - Essay Example

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Humans are extremely controversial creatures, but I'm sure all of them have in some sense natural political freedom and equality. In the present essay I would like to examine the issue of consent theory as it relates to political obligation and political awareness…
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Consent theory
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Download file to see previous pages Searching consent implies first of all the ability to communicate about the most advantageous results of their discussion. Deliberate behaviour by consent with coercion is a contradictoriness in its roots, since nobody can make a consent compulsory or obligatory. Each action should by controlled by moral principles (which have naturally come from Rousseau's philosophy of 'kind' human nature). Thus, theory of consent is related to some kind of convergence among people as well as inner consent, which leads to creation of stable moral obligations (Lennartz, 2005).
Rawls, who is an outstanding scholar, speaks about the obligations that people identify as "self-imposed," as if each person her or himself really participates in the creation of the principles of righteousness. In addition, Samuel Freeman, who defends Rawl's concepts, writes: "In committing themselves to these principles, free and equal citizens willingly impose upon themselves certain constraints on future decision-making . . . This precommitment is general, because it is made by and applies to everyone" (Freeman, 1993). Consent theory was expected to offer a concept of political autonomy, such that one can state that their obligation to a state was to some extent consequent from their free action as a personality among politically equal personalities. Such self-sufficiency demands that the philosophy one follows be the product of their deliberative development. "It is not enough simply for it to be the deliberative process that someone exactly like me would use, in other words, indicative of my unique experiences and faculties, because this would allow the deliberation of someone who knew me incredibly well to count as mine. It must be the deliberation that I actually intentionally undergo" (Cushing, 2001).
In order to exemplify the awareness of making choice, let's imagine the following two 'methods' of shopping. The first way is common: a person picks the goods out him/herself and pays the bill at the end of shopping, as this person has gained an obligation by one's deliberate action. The second way is more complicated: one's robot double, programmed with all experiences and tastes of this person, goes shopping, chooses exactly what the human would choose in similar conditions and picks the goods out for this person. In the latter case, it is clear that the person has no obligation to pay for the goods, since he/she does not choose them. The person would have chosen, but in fact the person did not make a choice. Similarly, the consent theory required actual act of consent or choice, which is followed by entire awareness of one's actions.
The most important limitation of consent theory (which probably rubs out the most part of its significance) is its conceptual utopicity. The level of public political culture in our society is quite low, and people follow rules and legislative obligations due to the fear of being punished. People could not rely on the way others adopt common consent, as based on the principle of personal freedom, the theory rejects law enforcement of the consent. As Cushing correctly notes, "there would be a similar assurance problem with Rawls's duty-based account because citizens will not believe that others will comply simply because the relevant institutions "apply" to them" (Cushing, 2001). Thus, an essential perception of our society's political culture ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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