This is just a draft; I very well may flesh this out more in the future. But anyway:
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT DOES NOT EXIST
The social contract is an abstract invention of people who want to praise authority. (There are many invalid and valid reasons to praise authority.)
But it is treated like a god. It doesn’t actually exist. People repeat their claims that it exists, but, much like god, saying something over and over doesn’t make it true. Nor does it matter if it comes out of the mouth of Moses, Thomas Hobbes, Jesus, John Locke, God, or Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It doesn’t matter who talks about something — what matters is if that something is true.
And the social contract is not true. At the very least, it is a poor abstract political concept that represents a poor way of making a point.
A contract requires consent between 2 parties.
Nobody chooses to be born, or chooses which country, community, or society they are part of. Nor are people old enough to consent to things until they are 18. This is the basis of statutory rape, among other laws. Nor do people enter into contracts as groups, where one is an unwilling participant simply because you are part of a group. Even in class action lawsuits, you have to agree to have money awarded to you. (I always thought that was funny: WHo doesn’t want free money?) It’s simply not a contract in any way, shape, or form.
I mentioned this to someone I know — and his laughable response was: “No one chooses to be born, but you are still bound by the rules of law you’re born into, whether here or anywhere else in the world. We don’t choose our parents or siblings, but that’s kind of tough shit, isn’t it?”
Wow. Way to completely dodge the issue. “Tough shit.” Here’s the funny part about this person’s logic… I tell them to think about how that is applied to black slaves in the 1800s, to people under Sharia law, to people who are victims of the law today (gays who can’t marry, many other examles). His laughable response? “Neither of those things represent the rule of law…. You are using “law” in two different senses of the word. Pick one. I know you’re not so stupid as to fail to understand the difference between law based on the legal tradition of the Magna Carta vs. Sharia.”
Wow. I can either agree with what he said, or acknowledge that I am stupid. Hah! Apparently, “law” in America means something different than “law” in an Islamic country. (Which is very funny, because the dictionary definition for Sharia includes the word…[drumroll]… LAW!)
Law is, succinctly, that which rules us. Very few people are actually subject to a law that they personally voted on or crafted. For the most part, nobody has any consent into which laws directly affect them.
Here’s the hilarious part: This person’s response to me was: “The word “Islamic” is a modifier on “law,” changing the meaning. You know they are not the same thing. I know you know the difference.”
So here we have it. By the logic of someone trying to justify the social contract to me, “Islamic law” is not “law”, despite having the word on it. Wow. He knows I know the difference, and yet I’m positive there is no difference. Use another word if you’re trying to talk about something else.
They also said: “The phrase “law” = “that which rules us” is a tautology and meaningless without specification.”
Wow. Meaningless. Of course I could have cited the dictionary definition, before this person cut me off. Which is: “a binding custom or practice of a community”. That most certainly applies to all law, before or after the Magna Carta, including Sharia, and everything else under the sun.
Definition 1B: “the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law”. OMG! That is a tautology and is meaningless with specification! Except for the fact that Merriam-Webster carries a great deal of weight in the “meaning” department. It’s a dictionary, after all. Anyway, 1B applies to Sharia, Slavery America, and everything else under the sun.
1C: “A rule or order that it is advisable or obligatory to observe.” Applies to all forms of government, including Sharia.
Definition 2 is religious. But it’s the same thing as 1. Religion, when it becomes a set of rules to be followed, becomes government. That’s why Sharia law is law. I don’t know why this is a hard concept. That’s why it’s the same word in the diciontary!
Anyway, the whole “definition of law” thing was a tangent that detracts from my original point: THE SOCIAL CONTRACT DOES NOT EXIST. Saying it does makes it exist no more than a congregation saying god exists makes Him exist. The next time somebody says the social contract justifies something, I’m going to tell them that imaginary concepts don’t justify anything. COME UP WITH A REAL REASON, AND LEARN A BETTER WAY TO MAKE YOUR POINT. The social contract is just an item of faith for people who like to worship.
And oh, if the person who cut off my discussion wants to comment here, it will marked as spam. Quid pro quo. Tit for tat. You cut me off, I cut you off. You had your chance to make a valid point, and you blew it. But if someone else wants to — email-verifiable comments only — then feel free to tell me why I’m wrong. You probably won’t be happy with the debate that ensues, though, as I am not going to budge. But I would relish the opportunity to tell yet another person why they are wrong :)
Music: Triptykon – The Prolonging