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Political Philosophy Essay

2463 words - 10 pages

     Every country in the world has a government that sets laws to keep order and peace. Not every government can be just in its ruling, but what defines a just ruling? And does anyone truly have the right to control others? Throughout time different types of governments have been established. As history progressed most governments were overthrown because of the laws that were imposed. Emperors and Kings changed to Presidents and Prime Ministers. This was caused by revolutions because the people did not like the way they were being ruled. But should people be ruled in the first place? Who should have the right to do such a thing? Today, the most powerful countries are run by democracy. But what is its purpose? It is supposed to carry out the will of the majority. So this means that someone will always be unhappy. Political philosophy deals with these sort of issues. Great minds such as Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire and Locke have looked at these issues and have tried to find the best possible answers.
     In days of old, kings created laws in order to keep peace. Most of the laws were set for selfish reasons. As history progressed people felt that they were being ruled unfairly. So should laws even exist if there will always be someone who is receiving the “short end of the stick”? Is it not the purpose, of laws and rights, to help people live in a safe environment? This is the main purpose of laws; to keep order. The governments that we have today have so many laws because they keep trying to solve problems by creating more and more laws. There are even laws for creating laws. However, although they are supposed to be in the best interest of the people, laws limit their free will. Laws tell a person what they can or cannot do. Unfortunately, they are still essential because they keep most citizens safe. So therefore, set laws, although essential, limit the free will of people no matter how sophisticated or organized they are. To support this, the theories and opinions of John Locke, Hobbes, Voltaire, and Plato will be presented. The first three of these philosophers lived at approximately the same time period and all support the essentiality of laws, although they limit free will. Plato lived much earlier but still has his own views on government and how it should be run. This paper will use their theories on the state and citizen to support the thesis.
     One of the first influential philosophers to create an impact, Voltaire was known for his views on independence and freedom. Francois- Marie de Voltaire was born in Paris to a wealthy family in 1694. He lived during the time of the enlightenment, which was a period of new thinking using critical reason to free minds from prejudice and unexamined authority. Later on in his life, Voltaire was a prisoner in the Bastille and then exiled to England because of a duel with Chevalier de Rohan, an Aristocrat who found...

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