The Social Contract

The Practical Argument for Morality

Lesson Objectives

• Appreciate the reason why an Ethic without religion was needed in the 1600s

• Understand how Hobbes' approached morality in a whole new way

• Appreciate the need for government as a guardian against the State of Nature

• Understand how the Social Contract works

• Understand how the Prisoner's Dilemma examines Social Contract Theory

• Understand the disadvantage that social contracts have on the vulnerable

Key Terms

Wars of Religion

Divine Right of Kings

State of Nature

The Social Contract

Court of Public Opinion

Prisoner's Dilemma

Implicit Contracts

The New Need for Secular Ethics

Protestants & Catholics Won't Stop Killing Each Other

• 1517: Martin Luther kickstarts the Protestant Reformation

• 1522: Knight's Revolt (Protestant Knights v. Catholic elites)

• 1524: German Peasant's War (Peasant Protestants v. Catholic elites)

• 1529: Tudor Conquest of Ireland (Prot England v. Cath Ireland)

• 1531: War of the Two Kings (Denmark v. Norway)

• 1549: The Prayerbook Rebellion (England)

• 1562: French Wars of Religion (36 Years)

• 1566: The Eight Year's War (Low Countries)

• 1618: German Wars of Religion ("Thirty Year's War")

• 1621: The Huguenot Rebellions (France)

• 1639: Wars of the Three Kingdoms (England, Scotland, Ireland) (12 Years)

     • 1639-1640: Bishop's Wars     

     • 1642-1651: English Civil War

• 1651: Thomas Hobbes publishes The Leviathan in England