Social Contract Theory Of Locke And Rousseau

1723 Words 7 Pages
This paper will examine the conflict between freedom and protection in the Social Contract Theory of Locke and Rousseau. It will defend Locke’s position that we leave the state of nature and give up our personal freedom in order to be protected in a society against Rousseau’s position that we give up our freedom only to receive the same freedom back from others amongst the society and therefore we are free and protected at the same time. Locke’s theory is more valid for the reason that when man enters a society, there are laws and regulations that must be followed in order to create that society; when man leaves the state natural freedom, man is no longer able to serve justice as he sees fit if laws are broken, an appointed official is the …show more content…
In a society, man is “denied a liberty to judge of, or defend his right” (L53), meaning that if someone harms him in anyway, an elected (or unelected in some instances) judge serves justice, and that judge is the one who determines the right of the man, not the man himself. Thus, that man is not free because what he thinks is right isn’t always what the judge thinks is right. Additionally, there have been additions to the law of nature added to create a civilized society that protect further people’s well being, such as drug laws. You are not free to do certain types of drugs, even though it is not hurting anyone else but …show more content…
If there were none of these rules, regulations, or standards, no one would be protected and therefore would not be in a society. People would be able to kill, rape, steal, etc. and it would be a dog eat dog world of self-preservation, which clearly is not the answer as Rousseau explains;
“But the self-preservation of each single man derives primarily from his own strength and from his own freedom. How, then, can he limit these without, at the same time, doing himself an injury and neglecting that care which it is his duty to devote to his own concerns” (R180).
There is no question weather we needed to enter a society to survive or not. That being said, Locke makes the more valid point, we must follow these rules, regulations, and standards, we are not free to do whatever we please, we are not free to our life we are charging at police armed, we are not free to our liberty to simply do anything we want, and we are not free to peruse our happiness if that happiness is against the laws that society has made. However, we are protected by the society that surrounds us and from other societies. We must remember that the laws and regulations are in place for a reason, to protect us, and that it is in our best interest to follow them. Man may be free to make choices but man is not free from their

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