Unit 4 Discussion

Post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion board, and respond to other students' posts.

  1. During times of financial crisis, some governments choose to use debtor's prisons to punish and deter those who default on their debts. Is this a legitimate use of the government's power to punish those who break social contracts, according to Hobbes and Rawls? Why, or why not?

  2. In the past, governments would deny fire department services to certain community members who had to purchase annual subscriptions from private fire departments as a form of fire insurance. Is this a legitimate form of social contract, or is fire protection such an important public good that government should always provide these services? Why or why not?

  3. Rawls' second principle of justice discusses the concept of social mobility, the idea that we should be able to move to a higher social class if we work hard and attain higher education. What do you think Rawls would say about recent lawsuits involving colleges and university policies on affirmative action?