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“ While his opinion on government was deeply flawed, Hobbes was correct in saying that a society does not have to explicitly write out a social contract for it to exist.”

Exactly. People don’t seem to understand this today. Many also argue that if Locke or Hobbes or Rousseau did not exactly describe what life was actually like for prehistoric tribes, their theories must fall apart completely. But natural rights don’t stop existing because Locke’s state of nature did not comport exactly with the actual state of nature. That was never the point of positing a state of nature.

“ The theories born out of these men’s work has become something of a slander in modern society. Many people, on both sides of the aisle, grossly misrepresent these theories.”

Yes. We have grossly oversimplified these ideas in modern education and teach our children a bastardized version that is easy to straw man.

“ Locke comes closer to my own definition of the social contract in his suppositions on the subject”

Me too.

“ As noted before, Hobbes was correct in saying a society need not write the contract down to be effective. Locke was correct in assuming the contract arose out of a need to ensure that each man’s natural rights were protected and ensured by society at large. And Rousseau contributed the crux of my definition by supposing with each natural right comes a related “natural duty,” so to speak.”

It might be semantic, but I think I’d disagree on the idea of natural duty. I think God gives man natural duties. And a social contract necessarily implies them. But in a state of nature I’m not sure they exist in the same way that property or self-defense do. I could be wrong. I’ll have to mull that question. I suppose I’d say the strong have a natural duty to protect the weak, so perhaps you’re right.

“ In doing so, we forget that society and government are not the same things and that we should not treat them as the same thing.”

Absolutely agree with that. And on marijuana and interracial marriage.

Tip for the future: you don’t need to end by saying that you hope we agree with you. That’s implied by the fact that you’re making an argument and trying to convince us of your position.

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