Political obligation essay

In other words, it is not clear that the debt must be repaid through obedience, rather than in some other way. More often philosophers working in this vein sought to clarify what was at issue in the assertion or denial of political obligations, or duties to obey the law.

On the gratitude theory, someone is obligated to obey the law because this Political obligation essay owes a debt to the political society for the education, protection, and other benefits it has provided. Oxford University Press, Harvard University Press, There are a number of obvious difficulties with this account.

Simon and Schuster, With respect to political obligations, then, neither state coercion i. It also appears that considerations of fair play would only arise if the beneficiary is also a participant in the cooperative scheme for instance, Canadians benefit from the rule of law that the American government provides, but they are not obligated to pay US taxes.

It is possible for the state to get explicit consent to its rule, since most of the people that it rules over are not unconscious or otherwise incapable.

These exhortations would have us vote in elections and be well-informed voters; buy government bonds; limit our use of water and other scarce resources; donate blood, service, or money beyond what we owe in taxes in times of crisis; and generally contribute in an active way to the common good.

Political Obligations: Are We Morally Obligated To Obey Our Governments?

Popular opinion would seem to provide at least prima facie evidence that political obligations exist. Finally, some natural duty theorists argue that Simmons misconstrues the natural duty of justice.

If someone benefits us by merely going about their business-as-usual, it is difficult to see how any kind of special debt would be generated. Opponents of political authority commonly argued that if individuals have not consented to government or if the conditions of their consent have been violated, political obligations either do not exist or cease, and resistance is justified.

And since we generally obey governments, pay taxes, etc. You are not currently authenticated. Thus if we had some reason to believe that obedience maximizes utility in democratic countries and fails to do so everywhere else, only then would the utilitarian say that democracy is a necessary condition of political obligation.

And it would also fly against our intuitions to say that we owe this phantom lawn-mower for their services provided. Several theories remain in contention, however, as the following section will attest.

In the latter case, the dissenter must go out of his way to retrieve water from the public well. Their claim, instead, is that too few people have either expressly or tacitly given the kind of actual consent that can ground a general obligation to obey the law, and hypothetical consent cannot supply the defect, for reasons already noted.

In any case, there was nothing novel about the problem Green addressed in his lectures: Hume, A popular alternative token of consent is that of democratic participation or voting. Some general attempts to refute philosophical anarchism ought to be noted first, however.

The problem of political obligation, then, is not simply the question of whether a person has a reason to do that which the law would have her do. Thus, the theory no longer collapses into consent theory. A common concern that many people have with this result can be phrased as the question: To escape so dreadful a condition, people surrender their independence by entering into a covenant to obey a sovereign power that will have the authority to make, enforce, and interpret laws.

Political Obligation Essay

Whatever you want, can others create an obligation for you to do so by going ahead and starting the program themselves? Merely approving or having a positive attitude towards government is not a sign of consent; again, a sign of consent must be a deliberate undertaking.

It seems to me that we can. There have always been doubters, however, and they have become increasingly prominent in recent years. After days on which each person has done his part, your day arrives. People like Locke would argue that things like using public roads or voting, which imply consent, can be grounds for political obligations.

On his assigned day a person is to run the public address system, play records over it, give news bulletins, tell amusing stories he has heard, and so on.

Political Obligation

Anyone who acknowledges membership in a particular polity must therefore acknowledge that he or she has a general obligation to obey its laws. The Cynics and others did question the value of political life, and indirectly the existence of an obligation to obey the law, but they left no record of a discussion of the subject as sustained as even the five or six pages in the Crito.

So understood, a theory of political obligation will tell us nothing about the authority a state enjoys over non-members; for example, whether and why short-term visitors residing on its territory have a duty to obey its laws.

The duty to obey the law is derived from this:Political obligation[->1] thus refers to the moral duty of citizens to obey the laws of their state The phrase “political obligation” is apparently no older than T.

Theories Of Obligation Essay

H. Green's Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation, delivered at Oxford University in –80 (D'Entrèves, p. 3). In contrast, if “political” refers to the agent or entity to whom a person owes the obligation, then a theory of political obligation will be synonymous with a theory of the duty to obey the law, since it will aspire to explain why those who are subject to a particular state's jurisdiction, be they citizens or foreigners, have a moral duty to act as it directs them to.

Democracy and Political Obligation Essay Words 17 Pages The public life of political servants is characterized by other duties and obligations than private life. Hobbes on the Basis of Political Obligation GEORGE SCHEDLER THIS ESSAY* IS DEVOTED to showing that Hobbes was not an ethical egoist and to explaining the consequences of this discovery for other interpretations and criticisms of his account of political obligation.

11have divided the body of the essay into four parts: (1) I show that.

Whether political obligation is the central or fundamental problem of political philosophy, as some have maintained (e.g., McPherson), may well be doubted. There is no doubt, however, that the history of political thought is replete with attempts to provide a satisfactory account of political obligation, from the time of Socrates to the present.

Political obligation is one of the oldest and most persistent problems of political philosophy. The Greek tragedian Sophocles raised it in Antigone, first performed around BC, and Plato’s dialogue Crito recounts the philosopher Socrates’s response to the problem, in the face of his own death, some forty years later.

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