Many states require that drivers wear seat belts while operating their motor vehicles. This is not like forbidding the use of cell phones or intoxicants, which might impair the driver and endanger other people on the roads. The seat belt law imposes a governmental regulation that can, at most, be held to protect only the individual citizen whose behavior is being restricted. Why should the government be able to tell an individual what to do in the privacy of his or her own car?
Write a paper assessing the seat belt law, in terms of the social contract theories of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Support your assessment with research on their social contract theories. You may begin your research with suggested Resources, but you are also expected to conduct your own independent research into the scholarly and professional resources of the field.
Consider the following in your paper:
- Should the government provide security by overcoming the selfish desires of the individual citizen, or should citizens cooperate voluntarily in service of the general welfare of all?
- What justifies the imposition of governmental authority on individual citizens?
- Are individuals always obligated to obey the dictates of their government?
- Which elements of the traditional theories are relevant to this case?
- Is it unethical for individual citizens to ignore this governmental requirement?
- You may also wish to apply other conceptions of the basis for social and political order.
- Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
- APA formatting: Include a title page and a references page, formatted according to APA (6th edition) style and formatting.
- References: A typical paper will include support from a minimum of 3–5 references. You may use some of the materials recommended in the Resources, but you should also include support from your independent research of scholarly or professional materials.
- Length: A typical paper will be 4–6 typed, double-spaced pages in length.
- Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.
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