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Lecture 5

Philosophy 34-226 Lecture 5: Notes on The Moral Force of the Law

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University of Windsor

Lecture 5,6 on The Moral Force of Law  What role do you play in democracy? Are there roles?  Can you break the law in the democracy?  Rawls  what civil disobedience is and what is not? o It has to be a public act o Directly against the states Crito (Plato)  Crito was made up of dialogues  If you define something clearly, you cannot teach it (bias, self-interest); if you don't know, you can't teach  Society must based on justice, truth  Socartes was charged with two: corrupting the youth and being the worst appear the better (meaning taking words and twisting it); much like lawyers, not educating people at all  Crito wants to break socerties out of prison  Crito is concerned with his reputation; he's going to lose face if he doesn't break him up  The whole dialogue is about persuasion o Socerties refuses to leave, Crito sees himself as a unique character o Crito: "Who will take care of your kids?"  socerties' self-interest o Socerties: "people take care of my kids anyway"  Peer pressure  Plato starts to call socerties a coward for not leaving  Socerties tells crito why he doesn't want to leave  sets up an analogy  the states is like a parent, the same way parents raise kids as the states with citizens o He doesn’t want to break the trust to his parents, he makes an analogy between his country and his parents o He wouldn't leave because that would break the laws of the country, the laws have shaped who he is and his identity o 2 exceptions: festival and the ones serving in military o Civil disobedience  leaving o Argument: There is no reason for civil disobedience, even with regard to your best friend; the rules and laws are everything  Pros of this argument: obligations to people who take care/support of you (moral issue)  Law  explicit morality  The state is like a parent, the parent, morality, and the laws are the same thing  The state legislates morality  Socerties: "I can't break the law if the parent (state) if the relationship between the parent and the child is about morality"  Pros: the duty is put up front to the citizens  Cons: what if the state really isn't a parent? What follows then? John Rawls  Plato says the state, the law is supreme; there is no civil disobedience  Rawls defines civil disobedience first before asking questions o What is civil disobedience? o What are the conditions where you can engage in civil disobedience?  Introduction o Social philosopher. Help people to do well in life o Supports the idea that the state should help the people to live better o "Theory of Justice" o Dominant thinker in everything; mass influence in the western world, mostly in America  Social contract o Between in one individual with another and with the society (social contract is social order) o Ex. I won't kill you if you don't kill me  gives the idea of self-interest, thus gives survival ability o The contract is not written down, something we are born into; a tradition o Developing a new social contract to update civil disobedience in the democrat societies o Society shapes mostly by self-interest o Original position  individuals have no idea about social contract or our future outcome, we decide to make agreements; but we do know we have self-interest  They agree a lot more than disagree  Rational individuals recognize it's better to have laws and rules to maintain peace, self-interests and others' self-interest so rules are formed publicly because of self-interest  Things are more confused so we have professionals such as lawyers o When can you break the social contract? o Rawls' Primary Principle is justice as fairness  A principle is not a rule; it's something that supports legal rules or reasons for the rules  Differences raise through time, difference people work differently  Democratic society allow legit difference; the laws are about fairness o Two basic principles of Justice: Each person has the same claim to a full set of basic liberties, and... Social and economic inequalities can exist, but only if they satisfy two conditions: Offices and positions are open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity (equality principles) everyone starts at the same point (no one knows what everyone ends up being, poor or rich) Such inequalities are they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least- advantaged members of society If inequalities exist, best benefits must give to members with least advantages In other words, inequalities can only justified if the best is brought back to the worst of society to give them equal opportunities Difference principle  ex. we provide welfare to the poorest members of society, treating them "differently" Differently means worst off o It is ok to have legitimate differences (the differences in status) in democracy, as long as: The worst off benefits The individual has an entitlement; the state has the responsibility to help them Sometimes differences can't be legitimate  ideal political framework = civil disobedience (protests) Rawls  there should be disobedience (legitimate concern) when principles are not met o LINK: Social contract & civil disobedience  Rawls: In a society that is merely just, you have to engage in civil disobedience, but not often, civil disobedience should be rare (formalist conception for democracy) o Ex. boiler  Civil Disobedience (breaking the law) o What civil disobedience is NOT Militant action (ex. kidnapping somebody
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