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Social Contract Theory

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This essay will give an evaluation on the social contract theory of John Locke and how these values identify with the consistency of the criminal justice system and private settings. This essay will discuss whether or not the values and principles will apply to both venues. This essay will also include a summary of the major differences of the social contract theories. This essay will provide a discussion of the key principle associated with Locke’s social contract theory; it will determine how these principles inculcated in the United States Bill of Rights. This essay will show how the principles will play out in the criminal justice system and security settings; last it will describe freedom in relationship to personal rights, ethical standards, and obligations. According to (Souryal, 2007) John Locke’s social contract theory refers to the views of individuals, groups, government, and community. Social contract theory deals with the association with modern moral and political theory, which gives an exposition and defense by Locke’s colleague Thomas Hobbes. Locke’s theory also believes mankind’s natural condition pertains to the state of complete and perfect liberty and individuals will conduct in his or her life as he or she sees fit from the interpretation of others.

Locke’s theory does not give an individual the freedom to do as he or she chooses, even if he or she believes it is in his or her best interest. The state of nature will not deal with civil power or regime that will penalize a person for his or her judgment for his or her lack of correct judgment for the laws in which it proves one individual has no morals. An individual is under the assumption that each individual is equal to the next individual. Therefore, each individual has the capability of defining the Law of Nature, the implications with the law of nature say that individuals will have limits on the amount of property he or she can own; an individual should not take more than he or she needs from nature than he or she can use, will leave other individuals without enough resources for him or her to survive on (Powell, 1996). Summarize the Differences

The difference between John Locke’s natural rights and traditional republicanism are focal points. The traditional republicanism will emphasize on the need for mutual understanding above what a person will expect in the importance of the citizens. Some people lean on his or her understanding more toward John Locke’s natural rights because Locke describes his state of nature as a fictitious his situation, which the government is not ready to handle or because it does not exist. John Locke has the belief that existence of the Law of Nature is to live by which everyone obliges. Not one person should cause harm to his or her life, liberty, health, and possessions. The key ideologies of natural rights philosophy are within The United States Declaration of Independence, which has various ideas consent about the government, rights of revolution, and social contract. The classical republicanism has the similarity of the Roman Republic, which its government will provide the citizens with liberty through the government and place emphasis on common goods or the best interest in society as a whole (Powell, 1996).

Some people who share the same republic should exhibit various similarities of beliefs, such as moral education, civil benefits, and research in a uniform or close nit city. The civil welfare shows when a person allows his or her own goodness, which goes above and beyond his or her own beliefs or needs so that he or she will ensure that the next person is taken care of. The research findings and proper teaching will show that a classical republic will change an individual or person’s freedom. The moral thought of hypothesis will suggest citizens will need to learn how to be virtuous with the basis of a civil religion; the virtue will courage, fairness, generosity, and self-control. The smaller areas are able to stop factions or group of people working together on a limit of diversity within the areas (Kelly, 2012). The people who live within these areas will share similar ethics, lifestyles, religion, and wealth. Also to have a preventative measure of different beliefs, each area or city will have a religion, which is a prohibition of the Constitution; Amendment I (Constitution Society, 2007). The Key Principles

According to Souryal (2007), Locke is a firm believer in the Law of Nature and its existence. The deep beliefs that Locke share these beliefs as having God deep within that well tell people not to cause harm, steal, or destroy someone’s property. As for Locke the social contract theory is in place once people within the state of nature begins to recognize and adhere to the Law of Nature while forming civil society. The important elements of Locke’s reasoning are body, home, and physical (Souryal, 2007). According to Locke’s belief the political society and government establishes a common consent, which creates a solid body politic with one government that will combine commonwealth that will shelter property from those who like to put a knot in the string of Law of Nature (Souryal, 2014). Locke’s major reason for his dispute is the well being of people as a whole is the common ground for the various responsibilities of citizens and the obligation of the government. The differences will allow an argument for struggle eliminating chaos. The government will designate ways to dissolve the chaos, and people will remain steadfast to his or her obligations within society by majority rules. Some people will believe it is impossible for majority to not confer to the rules of an area, such as a King with his palace (Powell, 1996).

So a social bond may not have an association with a democracy. A government’s body will have to execute the primary functions of a government that has a civil foundation. How are these Principles inculcated in the United States Bill of Rights? John Locke believes he has a positive influence on President Thomas Jefferson, and the country’s founding fathers during the introduction of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. John Locke’s social contract theory about the United States governmental and political system is undeniable (Constitution Society, 2007). The beginning stages of the Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson did find that John Locke’s writings and research would become beneficial within the United States Constitution. The social contract theory will infuse the two documents together (Constitution Society, 2007). President Thomas Jefferson actually appreciate John Locke’s philosophies about each person has the right to life, liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. This is the duty of the United States Government to protect the rights that President Thomas Jefferson enacted within the United States Constitution (Constitution Society, 2007). How do Principles play out in the Criminal Justice Setting?

Some people will believe the social contract theory does not have a leg to stand on in today’s criminal justice system only because certain areas within society believes it will exclude him or her from adhering to the laws, because he or she has a different lifestyle or above the law. An example is how the local media will target the lower income area; the news will broadcast and report the bad things in these areas of the city. The lower income areas are always the areas of common breathing grounds for criminal activity; however, the crimes that occur in the middle class or upper class areas will get a smaller broadcasting, so that it can prevent the area from receiving a bad image. This will leave minorities with the belief of no one cares about the killings of the youth in the lower income area. Describe Freedom in Relationship to Personal Rights and Ethical and Obligations Some people will believe that his or her morals are what he or she did learn as a child or children from his or her parents, surrounding adults, and positive influences within a child’s life.

Morals has the strong definition of beliefs, which a child will develop as a value system that he or she can refer to when he or she will have to react or behave in a particular situation (Banks, 2009). Ethical standards revolve around how a person will act in a situation that will test his or her morals or values. These values come into play at childhood and the way the parents will raise children, which cultures and positive role models. John Locke’s social contract theory emphasis on the rights of individuals to preserve his or her safety through the acceptance of the understanding of the rules for living together in society. In today’s society Locke’s theory will have no influences over the criminal justice system of security setting, by preserving the overall right through the constitution of law. Each political community there will be a constitution, which will reflect the good will of people, since the constitution is suppose to be the will of the citizens. The jurisprudence of the social contract theory will promote peace, equality, liberty, and harmony, which bedrocks the democratic society.


Armitage, D. (2004). John Locke, Carolina and the Two Treatises of Government, Political Theory. , 32, 602-627. Information retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke-political/

Banks, C., (2009), Criminal Justice: Ethics and Theory Practice (2nd ed.). Information retrieved from http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/28702783?selectedversion=NBD43064300 Constitution Society, (2007) The Social Contract and Constitution Republic. Information retrieved from http://www.constitution.org/soclcont.htm

Kelly, M. (2012), Social Contract. Information retrieved from http://americanhistory.about.com/od/usconstitution/g/social_contract.htm Russell, D. (2004). Locke on Land and Labor. Philosophical Studies, 117(1-2), 303-325. Information retrieved from

Powell, J., (1996) John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. Information retrieved form liberty-and-property/

Souryal, S.S. (2007), Ethics in Criminal Justice: In search of the Truth (4th ed.). Information retrieved from the University of Phoenix database ebook collection

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