Moral Obligations of The Social Contract

I have been told that because of the wealth of this country, there is a moral obligation for “it” to “provide a floor for every citizen.” The context was healthcare, but there have also been discussions on such things as living wage, etc.

A very noble sentiment.

However, when we say “the country has an obligation”, who do we really mean?

Do we all have the same moral obligations? Do we all have the same morality?

If “we” have an obligation to “provide a floor”, do the recipients of this noble deed incur any obligations for accepting it? For example; if “we” are providing you with healthcare, do you have an obligation to stop smoking?

Further, to what extent do “we” go to force the fulfillment of these obligations on those who refuse to recognize them? Is it not an imposing morality to use the threat of force or incarceration to do so?

And looking at these obligations, what is the difference between the social contract and religious beliefs? Are the Church of the Great Society not just as fervent in their puritanism as the best Fire & Brimstone Baptist preacher?

Is this argument of moral obligations not materially the same as those claimed by organized religion?

The recent spate of confrontations in restaurants of Sanders, et al - how are they different from the public shaming of the Puritans? We’ve even heard the chants in the halls of Congress I believe- of course the ignorant fools think it originated in Game of Thrones. I am not a decent person if I disagree, or so I have been told. Who defines “decent”?

What is the difference in me forcing my religious beliefs on you and you forcing your social contract dogma on me?

Would you allow me to pass a bill taking 10% tithes off the top to fund your moral obligations as defined by the Bible? To jail you and confiscate your property? To garnish your wages in the name of The Lord?

What is a decent human being? Is it moral for others to do your killing? To pay your bills? To raise your children? Is it moral to ignore the laws of a society to which you do not belong because you want “a better life?”

Who decides? Who judges?

Is it enough I don’t steal from you or murder you or lie about you? Or does your dogma require more?

Where do these obligations come from?

Do you get to impose your morality on me?


It’s the price we pay for being a civilized society.

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Says who?

We are neither civilized nor “a” society.

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of course, decisions are made by the impartial agents of the bureau of social justice…

it must be double plus good

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This is coming from a guy that said this about Conservatives in my thread just recently;


Him-Because they deserve it. They aren’t decent human beings. Generally.

Me-who deserves what?
Him-The people being yelled at deserve to be yelled at.

Me-So Conservatives aren’t decent human beings, and we deserved to get yelled at, and called Racist, Sexist, and nothing is off limits to the Liberal activists. It doesn’t matter if a Conservative is out shopping, or out for lunch or dinner with family, or out with the kids. Nothing is off limits to the Democrats. That’s sad.

10 chara

Me-lol. 10 characters
That’s definitely a logical way of thinking, and isn’t ignorant at all! lmao!

Him-It’s actually relatively easy - don’t be a conservative and you won’t get yelled at.

Thanks for trying.

LOL. I should have known.

Not with a 10 foot pole, huh.

Yes we are and yes we are.

There will always be some people who do not want to contribute to the good of society. We call them selfish and self centered.

Society is tyranny. There’s no way around that.

The only way to escape tyranny is to leave society altogether. That’s not as easy as going inside your house. You have to get out of the reach of anyone who can enforce their will on you.

It would be intolerable to live in a society unless there are plenty of tyrannies you like as well.

To cut through most of the ramblings of the OP, society seeks to preserve itself. The social contract seeks to prevent social unrest.

And the power structure looks to preserve itself. Going back to the days of Rome, bread and circuses was about keeping citizens from revolting. Fast forward to today, when enough people demand a social program, politicians will eventually give it to them to stay in office. Its got nothing to do with morality, its about self preservation.

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Social programs don’t win elections, otherwise Democrats wouldn’t be as powerless as they’ve been for the last few decades.

Society has to decide they want the social programs. This is a long term endever. The country didn’t start with social programs such as social security, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

I don’t really care about “obligations.” I’m more concerned with outcomes. I believe the core of policy should pursue a social optimum (from a game theory standpoint). Take the prisoner’s dilemma:

. Cooperate Defect
Cooperate Both serve 1 A serves 3;B goes free
Defect A goes free;B serves 3 Both serve 2

The Nash equilibrium is for both to Defect because it’s more risky to cooperate as the other prisoner (i.e. it’s the only choice where the outcome is worse if they unilaterally change decisions). Whereas, the optimum is for both to cooperate as that has the overall optimum “economic” outcome (a total of 2 years served, rather than 3 or 4 years in the other cases). However, acting strictly in one’s own self-interest, it’s not the rational choice.

Conservatives, rugged individualists, Dont Tread On Me, Soveriegn Citizen types are more likely to go the Defect route. I’d rather go the Cooperate route, but that takes coordination and, gasp, Central Planning (the HORROR!!!).

This thread reminds me of a quote by Margaret Thatcher on society.

"I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand 'I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it’ … and so they are casting their problems upon society, and who is society? There are individual men and women and there are families, and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then after our neighbour … and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.”

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it started with an aptly named form of slavery

The purest libertarian I have run across.

Cuz the voters said so and the Constitution does not specifically prohibit it.