The Social Contract and Retributive Justice
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The Social Contract and Retributive Justice

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The Social Contract and Retributive Justice The Social Contract and Retributive Justice Presentation Transcript

  • The Social Contract and Retribution Justice By: Amanda Strobel JUS 303
  • Social Contract: State of Nature
    • Requires people to voluntarily give up their rights entitled to them in the state of nature
    • STATE OF NATURE is an idea of a condition in which “human relations are not regulated by any sort of civil authority” (pp lecture)
    • This gives justification for authority
  • Social Contract Theory: The Beginning
    • Socrates
      • Citizens have seen how the city conducts itself, can choose whether to leave or stay. Staying implies an agreement to abide by the Laws and accept the punishments that they mete out. (Friend,1)
      • The state is the morally and politically most fundamental entity, and as such deserves our highest allegiance and deepest respect. Just men know this and act accordingly.
  • Thomas Hobbes
      • Was a British philosopher that also contributed to many fields like political science and theology.
      • Lived through English Civil War
        • Lead to debate over the Divine Right of Kings
      • War also raised religious conflict
        • Catholic vs. Protestant
        • War ended with constitutional monarchy.
  • Thomas Hobbes’s Social Contract Theory
    • Men by nature are equal
      • This breeds distrust and causes conflict
      • Main causes are distrust, competition, and glory
    • State of Nature is constant war
      • No justice or peace
      • So men seek the social contract to live in groups and in peace
  • Justice
    • For Hobbes, justice does not exist in the State of Nature since it is of constant war
    • Only in the social contract can justice exist
    • Justice is people performing on their valid contracts made to establish society and peace
  • Punishment
    • Determined by the greatness of the good to follow rather then past evils
    • Done for the correction of the offender
    • REVENGE- is counter to the social contract
      • Take society back to the state of nature
  • Problems with Hobbes’s Theory
    • State of Nature might not be accurate
    • Might lead to an oppressive government
    • If authority has to much control people might end up losing all freedom.
    • No way to leave social contract
  • Robert Nozick
    • Was a political philosopher
      • Studied at Columbia, Oxford and Princeton
      • And was a professor at Harvard
    • He greatly criticized utilitarian justice theories
      • Wrote Anarchy, State, and Utopia
      • Also was a strong supporter of libertarianism
  • Nozick’s Social Contract
    • Focused on liberty and freedom
    • Uses protective associations to be hired to protect liberties and property
    • He rejects the ideas of the social contract because he believes in minimal government and as much liberty as possible
  • Differences
    • Nozick focuses on the individual rights and freedoms needed for a just society with minimal authority.
    • Hobbes states that there is need to give up some rights in order to live in a group and have a just society.
    • A monarchy government being the best for guaranteeing peace since it has the most authority and easiest decision making.
  • Retributive Justice
    • Unlike Hobbes’s Social Contract theory, Retribution Justice looks in to the past to respond to injustice
    • Focuses on merit and desert and correcting an imbalance that has been made
    • Restores order and reinforces rules
  • Retribution Punishment
    • Traits
      • Punishment is always necessary
      • Criminals deserve to be punished
      • Punishment is morally necessary
      • “Punishment must fit the crime”
  • Nozick’s Theory of Revenge
    • Revenge is personal/emotional
    • Has no limits
    • Is unjust
    • Retribution is done to fix a wrong
    • Impersonal
    • Has limits
    • “is committed to general principles”
  • Linking the two theories
    • Hobbes states that punishment is needed to keep order and prevent chaos.
    • Nozick states that punishment is needed to keep order and balance for justice.
    • They both agree that punishment needs to be used to correct a wrong and the offender
  • Punishment Differences
    • Nozick
      • Punishment is always needed
      • Done even if there is no benefit for anyone
      • Is always morally needed
    • Hobbes
      • Only done when for the good of society
      • Punishment is not always needed (there are times when the social contract is invalid)
  • Death Penalty
    • http://kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=NzQzNjg0MDIz
    • This article is about the death penalty in KUWAIT. Speakers discussed the death penalty at a seminar entitled, 'The Death Penalty: Is it a Given Right for Society or a Rightful Punishment?,' held at Kuwait University's Faculty of Sharia.
  • Kuwait Death Penalty
    • A common social problem is should states or countries abolish capital punishment or leave it as it is with all the traditions that come with it?
    • Kuwait is undergoing this debate since currently capital punishment is used in the country
  • Hobbes and the Death Penalty
    • “ These guidelines are provided in order to prevent people from taking matters into their own hands, which starts an unstoppable chain of revenge that can tear a country apart,”
    • (Al-Qattan)
    • This is exactly Hobbes view of revenge leading us back to the state of nature
  • Nozick and the Death Penalty
    • “ a third, neutral party should be in charge of administering an impartial trial in such situations in order to achieve justice rather than revenge.” (Al-Qattan)
    • Nozick states that an unemotional third party with regulations should determine punishment to avoid revenge
  • Social Contract and Death Penalty
    • “ Kuwaiti culture differs from that of other nations, meaning that Kuwait should have its own laws allowing it to handle issues in its own way, regardless of how they are dealt with elsewhere.” (Al-Qattan)
    • Same idea as Socrates' theory of a social contract with the state
  • Nozick and Death Penalty
    • Nozick stated that every crime deserves punishment
      • an example from the article is
      • “ a pregnant woman is found guilty of murder, in which case she cannot receive the death penalty since that is considered to be unjustly penalizing her unborn child, but will instead receive a life sentence in order to ensure that justice is done.” (Al-Qattan)
  • Weaknesses of the Theories
    • “an incorrect verdict or false identification of the murderer, the wrongly executed person's family cannot be compensated, unlike the family of the victim.”
    • This upsets the balance of justice and punishment would not be for the good of the people
  • Social Contract Problems
    • Some people might not willingly be in a social contract with their government
      • Women in the middle east
    • What happens when legal actions are taken in revenge
      • Abortion just to hurt the father for example
  • Conclusion
    • Both theories were very adequate in explaining the new problem of countries questioning the death penalty and how this country should handle the situation.
    • Every one in Kuwait has made a social contract to live their and understand that the death penalty is established to avoid revenge and ensure the balance of justice reminds.
  • Bibliography
    • Al-Qattan, A. (2009). Death penalty prevents people from taking matters into their own hands . http:// kuwaittimes.net/page.php?newsid =Mw==& nav_id =0
    • Feser, E. (2005). Robert nozick (1938- 2002). http://www.iep.utm.edu/nozick/
    • Friend, C. (2004). Social contract theory. Retrieved november 25, 2009, from https:// myasucourses.asu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?ta b= courses&url =/bin/common/ course.pl?course_id =_66363_1
    • Markel, D. (2005). State, be not proud: A retributivist defense of the commutation of death row and the abolition of the death penalty. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 40 (2), 407-480.
    • Nozick, R. (1981). What is justice? Philosophical Explanations,
    • Social contract.(2009). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, , 1-1.