1.Natural law theory bases morality on human reason and human nature. That is, we can look to the elements of nature, including human behavior, to help guide our ethical decisions. However, philosophers interpret what is "natural" differently. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau held that humans are naturally compassionate and altruistic. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes regarded humans as wholly self-interested and suspicious of one another. Philosopher John Locke believed the mind is a tabula rasa-a blank slate-at birth, and that there is no universal agreement regarding principles perceived as innate. Human rights are primarily based on natural law. Most of us believe we have a right to be free, treated humanely, and respected as human beings; however, people do disagree on what rights natural law accords us.
• What do our natures entail exactly, if anything? Do you align yourself more with Rousseau, Hobbes or Locke? Accordingly, how might we successfully base our laws on the laws of nature, if at all?
• Referencing the television series Lost, what do you believe our natural rights afford us, specifically, in terms of actual laws? What laws might we need to re-evaluate or change, if any, to better reflect these rights?
2.The social contract theory is based on the notion that a voluntary, unanimous agreement exists among a society's members to obey governmental laws formed by those they collectively select. It is not a formal contract, but a moral code that enables us to each pursue our own self-interests, understanding that others feel permission to do the same. Ideally, this will serve to create a peaceful society. The principle of equality considers the concepts of justice, social benefits and harms, and real versus perceived differences between people. "It is unjust to treat people differently in ways that deny to some of them significant social benefits unless we can show that there is a difference between them that is relevant to the different treatment"
• Media sometimes serves to solidify or undermine our understanding of the social contract in terms of race, class or social equality. Current topics of racial profiling, police brutality, and other issues of social inequality often appear in media. Please share specific examples and post a link to a political cartoon that best illustrates your ethical approach.
• Are philosophers Carole Pateman and Charles Mills correct that the social contract