Political Obligation & Consent

Political Obligation
Political obligation is the obligation to obey the law because it is the law other than moral justification. e.g Not driving recklessly because that is the law.
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Moral obligation
Obeying the laws because it is the right thing to do. e.g Not driving recklessly because it may hurt someone, not just because it is the law.
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Hume & society
As a society there is a greater power, we obtain what we cannot as individuals throughout the division of labour e.g NHS. We have multual security and laws enforced ensure justice & a common definition of it.
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Why HUME thinks laws are efficient
rgued that laws and the state are the most efficient means of securing peace and stability. He felt that we should explain why we feel that we should obey the laws and argue that our feeling is right – the benefits we receive give obligation to obey
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Explicit consent
The first generation that set up the first government verbally agreed to show obligation to the state.
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Explicit consent criticsms
1 - This type of consent was unlikely to ever have occured. 2 - Hume says that even if it did happen it would not apply to humans at the present time.
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Tacit / implicit consent
By living in a territory you are automatically & implicitly expressing your loyalty. If you were not loyal, you would leave. There is no formal agreement / anything writen on paper.
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Tacit concent criticsms
1 - Hume says that most people can not afford to leave the territory thus you need the option of dissent to show consent. 2 - It doesn't seem proportionate, e.g. walking on a pavement is not same scale as agreeing to a complex political act.
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Hypothetical consent
If we found ourselves back in the S.O.N most people would want to be ruled by some type of government. If we agree that this is true then it is a good enough basis for showing consent.
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Hypothetical consent criticsms
1 - Goldman - disagrees as he thinks we should stay in the S.O.N. 2 - We have not lived in the S.O.N thus we do not know what we would want. 3 - Dworkin - 'a hypothetical consent is not worth the paper it is written on.'
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Every person who votes in an election is giving consent to show loyalty to the winner, this is the basis of democracy.
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Criticisms of Voting
1 - Not everyone votes therefore they have not given consent. 2 - Children & teenages are not allowed to vote thus haven't given consent. 3 - Two party elections where only 2 parties have a realistic chance of winning, no choice.
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State providing benefits
Hume believes the state provides benefits to the citizens, therefore we have an obligation to show our loyalty.
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Morality being the reason for following democracy.
Rawls - Obeying any democratic government is the moral course of action for any rational person. If a government is not faithful to democratic policies the people should rebel.
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Criticisms of morality being the reason for following democracy
Anarchism (Goldman) - argue it is irrational to obey the state. It is argued Rawls' view is very liberal.
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Everything to be shared, no rich, no poor. Should be no punishments just rational debates. Believe people think for themselves and should take responsibilty. Recognise common interest & cooperate to build society of equals.
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ANARCHISM on authority
Being authority degrades human nature and alienates us from our trye selves as we are forced to follow rules. Supression leads to self - interest & supresses creativity.
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S.O.N is anarchists ideal state as human nature is creative, cooperative & selfless. Hobbes view is that the S.O.N is awful and wants authority.
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ANARCHISM criticisms
Assumes a very optimistic view of human nature. Rational debates instead of punishment do not take into account unstable immoral people e.g.serial killers BUT in anarchist society people wont want to kill - these acts are frustration under government
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Definition of Power
The ability to make other and yourself do what you want. Can be gained by persuasion, respect, fear, threat influene or obliagtion.
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The difference between Power and Authority
Power is the ability to rule and authority is the RIGHT to rule. Authority is respectable, legitimate and established where as people can just TAKE power. Authority is a form of power.
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Power to..
The ability to satisfy desires, the freedom to act as one desires, creates an abstence of obsticales.
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Power over..
Gives the ability to affect another persons interests/life e.g mothers power over child. Controll theory - ability to overcome resistence. Effect theory - Ability to adversley affect another without intention, as an effect.
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If you accept authority you are...
Submiting to the, giving your respect/confidence and consenting.
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The effects of authority
Can limit freedom, heighten controll, increases secuirty and more equality with common laws.
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Descriptive Authority
A state has authority if it can enforce a law & people obey. Could be followed by fear, if you disobey you are punished. A state is believed to be legitimate. E.G. dictator.
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Normative Authority
A state has authority if the people obey as it is the right thing to do, obey for moral reasons. It is justified/legitimate and has a right to rule. E.G a democracy to an extent.
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De Jure authority
An authority figure reached through office, status or set of rules with the purpose to regulation actions of others, maintain public order, make/impose laws. E.G. The queen.
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De Facto authority
Reached through expertise/skill with the purpose to give expert advice to those who need it, people surrender judgement to the authority. E.G a doctor.
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Locke - Legitimacy is only for democratic governments. Hobbes - Only attained through power. It doesn't guarantee government is respected or citizens obey it.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Moral obligation


Obeying the laws because it is the right thing to do. e.g Not driving recklessly because it may hurt someone, not just because it is the law.

Card 3


Hume & society


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why HUME thinks laws are efficient


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Explicit consent


Preview of the front of card 5
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