Analysis Of Rousseau´s The Social Contract

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Rousseau is wrong in his assertion about censorship and trying to control the court of public opinion, as people need freedom of thought and speech to advance ideas and keep ignorance from prevailing. Rousseau makes his argument in The Social Contract where he says we must not let the public opinion be in the hands of the people because it is the base of citizens’ morality and they will corrupt it. However, you cannot tell people how to think and advance a society on a subject because if you are wrong, then the society is stuck in a state of ignorance. Rousseau’s argument proposes that a ‘censorial tribunal’ be appointed to administer the public’s opinion to the people as though it were law. He says that, “Just as the general will is declared …show more content…
John Thomas Scopes, better known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. The State had passed the Butler act that made it unlawful to deny the Bible’s account of man’s origin while also banning the teaching of human evolution in public schools. It held the Bible to be of higher moral and religious value than Darwin’s theory and passed because the state’s legislature had been lobbied to pass laws against evolution. Here the state was acting as a censorship by denying the more logical scientific opinion to prevail in the classroom and pressing upon students the story in the Bible. I contend that the state was wrong in its judgment on Darwin’s theory, and in coercing the Biblical account to be taught it denied people their right to free thought and speech. Instead of allowing students to form their own opinions and reason the matter independently, they were inappropriately taught a story that fails to conclusively answer how humans came to be better than the explanation given in the theory of evolution. Therefore, it allowed the ignorance on human evolution to continue while the religious and moral motives for this Act faded on their own further proving Rousseau’s reasoning …show more content…
That answer provides more knowledge to the people and allows for further discussions to be made off of this information. For the truth on any given matter to overcome the adversity of previously held false assumptions there must be open discussion in which free thought and the voicing of it through free speech are allowed to exist. Censorship, like that passed by the state of Tennessee, kept people ignorant to learning the full truth about evolution. The Scopes case was ultimately overturned on a technicality, but the Butler Act was upheld and stood until its repeal in 1967. In 1968, the US Supreme Court ruled that bans on teaching evolution, such as these, were in violation of people’s first amendment rights. In the roughly 40 years in between the people of certain states that had bans were kept from open discussion on the topic in public schools and universities, thus hindering the society’s knowledge on this

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