Friday, April 11, 2008

The Morality of the Minority

The first flaw of the Social Contract theory of morality (see previous blog) is this: If morality is simply what the majority of society legislates and nothing more, why should the minority follow it? We can find no rational basis for asking the minority to accept the social contract—to give up its wants and bend to the will of the majority.

As a member of the minority, I may follow the will of the majority as long as I find it convenient. I may follow it generally because I realize the value of it. I may even sacrifice some of my personal wants to preserve social stability, because I see that I benefit in the long run. But I will follow the law only to the extent that it does benefit me or up to the limits the government can enforce.

People who believe law to be without absolute moral authority will not take obedience seriously. They will obey it only when it is personally advantageous or when the risk of getting caught is too great. (To be continued).

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