Rather than living in chaos, danger, and the hostility of our neighbors, we find ways to live together. It isn’t easy, but can we avoid doing so?
If everybody has self-interest in their own welfare and safety, then everybody also has self-interest in the welfare and safety of others. Self-interest involves community interest, and we must think about what we are willing to give up in order to get that safety and stability for ourselves, our families, our community, our nation, and even the world.
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are just two examples of social contract moralists. Locke’s philosophy helped Thomas Jefferson formulate the United States Declaration of Independence. We are interested in what it means to live together in an orderly way under a social contract.
For the initial post, address one of the following sets of questions:
What is a time when you or someone you know of experienced a conflict between duty to self and loyalty to the community? What would logical reasoning say should be done in that case? Why that? What would an Ethical Egoist say to do? Why would they say to do that? Note what you feel is the best course of action.
What is a time when you or someone you know experienced a clash between professional duties and familial duties? Reference a professional code such as that of the American Nurses Association or American Bar Association in explaining the clash. What moral values should have been used in that case? Why those values? What would social contract ethics have said to have done? Why would social contract ethics say that? Note what you feel is the best course of action.
Articulate and evaluate a time when you or someone you know saw personal obligations collide with national obligations. How did that tension involve differing positions on a moral debate? Did those positions rely on any key moral theories? If so, how so? If not, why not? Note what you feel is the best course of action.
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