Contract

Children are a party to the contract because their parents are.  Since children are the responsibility of the parents and dependent upon them they must act in accordance to the contract of the land; further more it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure of this.  They in a way are the sovereign of the children.  Once they reach adulthood they can decide if they want to save up money and move of the country and opt out of the contract.  If they choose not to then they have accepted the terms of the contract and must follow the laws of the land.  Someone living in poverty is also part of the contract because like Peter pointed out in class they do receive benefits of the contract such as home land security, well-fair and hospital treatment.  Although they might wish to move away, since they can’t and they are still receiving some of the benefits the contract offers they are also subject to its punishment and judgments.

Hobbs

Hobbs says that people in society or out of nature have given up certain rights, such as the rights to others people things.  However these rights do not disappear completely they are transferred to the sovereign or government.  We give the government the right to act with the force that we the people have forfeited over to them in order to enforce the contract or laws that we as a civilized society have agreed upon. This by definition sounds as if the government cannot act immoral; however I disagree, this just does not sound correct to me. The government can act immoral when the punishment that is being given does not evenly match the crime. Another example is when the government intrudes on the rights that we did not surrender to them.  When these actions take place the government is then subject to moral judgment.  The laws that the government is put in place to enforce is or should be the limit to its power; any action after that without the consent of the people is a violation of the contract and therefore immoral.

Self Love

Rationality and self love are different entities but they do coincide.  A person’s rationality can often be blinded or altered because of self love. An example of this is life and death situations.  One might not find it reasonable to jump out of a building, but if it was on fire then you might find logic behind this even if it is hundreds of feet above the ground.  Self interest can also be out off because of rationality.  Parents are a great example of this because they usually put their children first, even if it goes against their self interest or love.

Mill wins in my book

If I had choose one of the flawed choses I would have to go with Mill. The reason is simple… for me.  I believe although reasonining is very important in why do things however the end result is what is. Therefore you have to judge someone by there actions.  “The road to hell is paved with good intensions”.

To Cheat or not to Cheat… Is it even a question?

Kant said that intent is the key to determining the morality of an action.  He also believed in Categorical Imperative.  Categorical Imperative is defined as “Act only such that you could will your maxim into universal law”.  The example used in class is to decide if it is moral to cheat on an exam.  Kant said that this cannot be because it is not possible to make this a universal law.  If cheating on an exam was the universal law then there would be no need for an exam, it would be pointless.  So I guess what I am saying is that you cannot have the two things (no exam, and cheating on the exam) co-existing.  It’s an oxymoron.

Happiness

Happiness does have an intrinsic value, I would say that mill would say that happiness is dependent on morality.  Which I agree that the true contentment is.  in order to be truly happy you have to feel that what makes you happy is moral okay for you to indulge in.  However in certain aspect such as momentary happiness it doesn’t always have to be the morally right choice rather something that you may find pleasurable at that time but may fade away shortly.

Question for Mill

If I had to narrow down the questions I had for mill I don’t think it would be one that applies to his notions on utilitarianism but rather a personal one.  I would ask him about his relationships between him and his loved ones; his family, his friends, and lastly himself.  I would want to know if he practices his beliefs (which I assume he does) and if it is working for him.  If got an understanding that he was truly content with his life and his relationships with others this would satisfy my questions about his beliefs on utilitarianism.  I think that he would to give me an answer he would say that he has a loyal and loving marriage if he is married, and that he has few but very close true friends who share his beliefs morals to same extent he does.  I do not think that Mill can really have a lasting relationship with someone who does not share his beliefs because their personalities and values would clash too much.  This is also something that I believe he should say because I believe that this would prove his utilitarian life style to be the wholesome one he claims is achieved by someone who follows these practices.  I truly believe that you get the best understanding of someone when you see how they interact with other people; this is why my question would be a personal one.  I would want to see if he practices what he speaks about.