Living in a corrupt world, innocent people get to suffer from the selfish motives of the
superior, all in the name of nature's rule of survival for the fittest. However, to control the
corrupt world's wrath on the less fortunate, theories of ethics such as Social contract were
formulated, mainly focusing on rational agreement among individuals under a given authority to
settle on what is right or wrong within societies. Nonetheless, despite social contract theory
being a logical way to base ethics, it faces a critical challenge that can make it less effective
The argument for Social contract theory.
In line with Waller's argument, social contract theory allows each individual to benefit
without harming the other within an agreement. In a typical social setup, most less fortunate
individuals result in casual laboring to secure a living. In return for work done, the law subjects
the rich to pay for the services. Consequently, leading to each party's satisfaction ensuring a
serene coexistence, which makes social contract suitable in governing people’s deeds.
Social contract theory also controls the power of the superior within societies. According
to Alan's notes, the theory ensures witnesses and higher authority to be part of an agreement
between two parties to avoid oppression and secure both sides' well-being. Failure to indulge
witnesses and higher power in an agreement may result in the superior in a deal to violate the
inferior's rights for a forceful gain. Hence, social contract theory fits a suitable way of promoting
ethics since it curbs coercion, which is an unethical act from a logical perspective.
Social contract theory curbs the adverse effects of the rule of nature. Contrary to ethical
egoism, social contract theory considers the benefits the other individual receives in an act
(Waller). Hence, the theory cannot permit torture on one individual as the other individual gains.
Consequently, eradicating the thoughts of selfishness or brutality for personal gains, since social
contract promotes civilization and entails severe repercussions if an individual violates an
agreement. Thus making it a suitable means of establishing morality.
The argument against social contract theory.
According to Alan's notes, social contract theory has no control over deceit, making it a
vital challenge when executing the postulation. Therefore, smart people might use it for their
gain. If one can convince the other to sign a lucrative deal despite them gaining more, the theory
will consider the act ethical since both individuals will have signed a contract with their consent.
Alternatively, one can also deceit an individual to sign a deal, where their counterpart will make
a loss as they make a profit. The social contract will still assume it ethical since each individual
agrees to the deal with no coercion. Hence, limiting the effectiveness of the theory on ethics.
As argued in the essay, social contract theory is one of the most relevant concepts to
decide and enforce ethics within societies. However, it still carries a perilous shortcoming that,
despite being negative, can be overwritten by the positivity of the theory. Hence, making it
viable if practiced.
Waller, Bruce N. Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues. Prentice