Civilization Only Exists Because Of The Commitments That Bind Us All Together – This Is The Foundation Of Contractualism!
Who cares about Contractualism philosophy after you have been scammed? Does it help you recover or get your money back?
Actually, it does, it is the foundation of how we live and work together! That is what Contractualism is all about and why understanding it is so very important!
Most of you reading this have never studied moral philosophy, yet moral philosophy is the foundation of everything we do as a society. As the victims of crime, understanding that there are those who violate these moral philosophies makes it even more important for you to understand it as we all work together to hold it all together!
This may seem very abstract, but if you read through this article, you will – we hope – come to understand its importance to scam victims.
First, What is Contractualism?
The philosophy of contractualism is a theory of political legitimacy that holds that the government’s authority is derived from a contract between the ruler and the ruled. In the context of support groups, contractualism can be applied to describe the implicit agreement between members of the group to support each other through their shared experience of traumatic experiences such as relationship scams.
According to T. M. Scanlon in his book “What We Owe to Each Other”
We all believe that some actions are morally wrong. But when we claim that an action is wrong, what kind of judgment are we making?
Judgments about right and wrong cannot be straightforwardly understood as factual claims about the empirical world or about our own psychology. Yet they do seem to make claims about some subject matter, claims which are capable of being true or false. Moreover, while certain kinds of experience can be important in putting us in a position to make moral judgments, making these judgments themselves does not seem to be a matter of observation. Rather, we arrive at the judgment that a certain kind of action would be wrong simply by thinking about the question in the right way, sometimes through a process of careful assessment that it is natural to call a kind of reasoning. But what kind of reasoning is it?
Finally, the fact that a certain action would be morally wrong seems to provide a powerful reason not to do it, one that is, at least normally, decisive against any competing considerations. But it is not clear what this reason is. Why should we give considerations of right and wrong, whatever they are, this kind of priority over our other concerns and over other values?
That is the essence of Contractualism and why it is important in our daily lives because it provides a framework for understanding and respecting the rights and obligations of others. It also helps us to resolve conflicts and to create a more just and equitable society.
The Essence of Contractualism
The essence or fundamental of contractualism is the idea that the moral obligations of individuals are derived from an implicit or explicit agreement between them. This agreement can be between two individuals, or it can be between individuals and their society. What we (society) consider good versus evil is an example of this.
Under a contractualist view, individuals are considered to be rational and autonomous agents (have agency) who have the capacity to agree to and be bound by moral obligations. These obligations are not imposed from the outside, but rather they are freely chosen by individuals.
Contractualism is based on the idea that individuals have the right to self-determination. This right includes the right to choose their own moral values and to live their lives in accordance with those values. Contractualism also recognizes that individuals have a reciprocal obligation to respect the rights of others.
Criminals may determine their own moral values, but clearly, they do not respect the rights of others!
Contractualism is a complex and nuanced theory, and there are many different interpretations of it. However, all contractualist theories share the basic idea that moral obligations are derived from an agreement between individuals, and between individuals and society.
Key features of contractualism:
- Individual autonomy: Contractualism is based on the idea that individuals are rational and autonomous agents who have the capacity to agree to and be bound by moral obligations.
- Consent: Contractualism emphasizes the importance of consent. Moral obligations are only binding if individuals have freely chosen to be bound by them.
- Reciprocity: Contractualism recognizes that individuals have a reciprocal obligation to respect the rights of others.
- Justice: Contractualism is concerned with promoting justice and fairness. Moral obligations should be designed to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly (equally) and with respect.
Contractualism is a powerful theory that can be used to justify a wide range of moral obligations, including the obligations of individuals to each other, the obligations of individuals to their society, and the obligations of society to their citizens.
How can contractualism be applied to different ethical dilemmas:
- Should I lie to my friend to protect their feelings? Under a contractualist view, you would need to consider the potential consequences of lying to your friend. If you believe that lying would ultimately benefit your friend, then you might argue that it is morally justified. However, if you believe that lying would ultimately harm your friend, then you would need to find another way to protect their feelings. This is an example of encouragement vs. support!
- Should I help a stranger in need? Under a contractualist view, you would need to consider your contractual obligations to yourself and to others. You might argue that you have a contractual obligation to help others in need, especially if you are able to do so without harming yourself or others. However, you might also argue that you do not have a contractual obligation to help others in need, especially if you are unable to do so without harming yourself or others.
- Is it ethical for the government to collect taxes? Under a contractualist view, you would need to consider the contractual relationship between the government and its citizens. The government has a contractual obligation to provide its citizens with certain services, such as national defense, law enforcement, and education. Citizens also have a contractual obligation to obey the government’s laws and to pay taxes. Therefore, it is ethical for the government to collect taxes as long as it is using the tax revenue to provide its citizens with the services that it has promised to provide and that its citizens agree to those laws.
Contractualism is complex but it can be a helpful tool for thinking about ethical dilemmas. By understanding the essence or fundamentals of contractualism, we can make more informed and ethical decisions.
In Our Daily Lives
Specific ways in which contractualism is important in our daily lives:
- Relationships: Contractualism can help us to understand and maintain our relationships with others. For example, when we enter into a contract with someone, we are making a promise to them. This promise can be anything from a simple agreement to meet for lunch to a more complex agreement to start a business together. By understanding our contractual obligations, we can build trust and cooperation with others.
- Work: Contractualism is also important in the workplace. When we are hired for a job, we are entering into a contract with our employer. This contract outlines our rights and obligations, such as our job duties, our salary, and our benefits. By understanding our contractual rights, we can ensure that we are being treated fairly and that we are receiving the compensation that we deserve.
- Government: Contractualism can also be applied to the relationship between the government and its citizens. The government has a contractual obligation to provide its citizens with certain services, such as national defense, law enforcement, and education. Citizens also have a contractual obligation to obey the government’s laws and to pay taxes. By understanding our contractual obligations to the government, we can help to create a more just and equitable society.
- Support groups: Individuals join support groups seeking help after a traumatic event, and in joining agree to an obligation to not only help themselves but to also to help the other members of the group.
In addition to these specific examples, contractualism is also important in our daily lives because it helps us to think about the ethical implications of our actions. When we make a decision, we should consider how our decision will affect others and whether we are fulfilling our contractual obligations to them. By thinking contractually, we can make more ethical decisions and create a better world for everyone.
Here are some tips for applying contractualism to your daily life:
- Be clear about your expectations in your relationships with others. Communicate your needs and wants clearly and honestly.
- Be willing to listen to the needs and wants of others. Be respectful of their expectations and try to meet them whenever possible.
- Keep your promises. If you make a promise to someone, follow through on it.
- Be fair and honest in your dealings with others. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
- Be willing to compromise. There will be times when you and others disagree. Be willing to compromise in order to find a solution that works for everyone.
By following these tips, you can apply contractualism to your daily life and create a more just and equitable world for everyone.
Living in Anger is the Opposite of Contractualism
Living a life in anger is the opposite of contractualism in several ways.
First, contractualism is based on the idea that individuals have the right to self-determination and that moral obligations are derived from an agreement between individuals, and individuals and society. Living anger, on the other hand, is based on the idea that individuals have the right to express their anger freely, regardless of the impact on others.
Second, contractualism emphasizes the importance of consent and reciprocity. Moral obligations are only binding if individuals have freely chosen to be bound by them and if individuals have a reciprocal obligation to respect the rights of others. Anger, on the other hand, does not emphasize consent or reciprocity. People who live in anger often feel justified in expressing their anger, even if it harms others.
Third, contractualism is concerned with promoting justice and fairness. Moral obligations should be designed to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and with respect. Living anger, on the other hand, is not concerned with justice or fairness. People who live in anger often lash out at others without considering the consequences.
Support Groups & Contractualism
What is a Support Group?
A support group (especially for crime victims) is a safe space for people who have been victims of crime to come together and share their experiences, offer each other support, and learn coping mechanisms. Support groups can be helpful for victims of all types of crime, including violent crime, property crime, and financial crime but are vital for the victims of scams and financial fraud.
Support groups for crime victims can be led by trained professionals, such as therapists or social workers, or they can be peer-led or coach-led or faciliatated. Peer-led support groups are often run by people who have themselves been victims of crime but not always. They can also be led by professionals that play an educational role.
Support groups for crime victims can offer a variety of important benefits, including:
- Validation: Support groups can help victims to feel validated and to know that they are not alone.
- Support: Support groups can provide victims with emotional and practical support.
- Information: Support groups can provide victims with accurate information about their crimes, the reasons behind them, knowledge to recover, rights and resources available to them.
- Coping mechanisms: Support groups can teach victims coping mechanisms for dealing with the aftermath of crime.
Support groups for crime victims can also be a place where victims can advocate for themselves and for other victims of crime.
However, the most important aspect of support groups is that the victims that come together can form bonds over shared experiences that allow them to develop an agreement between themselves to mutually support each other.
How does Contractualism apply in Support Groups?
Under a contractualist view, support group members are considered to be mutually obligated to provide each other with support and encouragement – this is both implied but often explicitly stated by the group facilitators. This obligation is based on the shared understanding that all members of the group have experienced a traumatic experience and that they can benefit from the support of others who have been through the same thing.
The contractualist view of support groups is helpful because it emphasizes the importance of reciprocity and mutuality. It reminds members of the group that they are not alone and that they can rely on each other for support. It also encourages members to contribute to the group by sharing their own experiences and offering personal views and advice and support to others.
Ways in which the contractualist view of support groups can be applied to the context of relationship scams:
- Support group members can share their stories and experiences with each other, which can help validate their experiences and reduce feelings of isolation.
- Support group members can offer each other advice and support on how to cope with the aftermath of a relationship scam, such as dealing with financial losses, emotional distress, and rebuilding trust.
- Support group members can hold each other accountable for their recovery goals and provide encouragement along the way.
The contractualist view of support groups can provide a framework for members to understand and appreciate the mutual obligations that they have to each other by being a member of the group and by having received support themselves. By working together, support group members can create a safe and supportive environment where they can heal from the trauma of a relationship scam.
Some additional benefits of support groups for victims of relationship scams:
- Support groups can provide a sense of community and belonging, which can be helpful for people who are feeling isolated and alone, and to see how others progress.
- Support groups can help people to learn from the experiences of others, learning about the reality of these crimes, the underlying psychology, and to develop strategies for dealing with the aftermath of a relationship scam.
- Support groups can provide a safe space for people to share their feelings and experiences without negative biased judgment.
- Support groups can help people to rebuild their self-esteem and confidence.
Those Who do Not Support Others
Even members of support groups who do not actively support others can still benefit from the contractualist view. For example, members who are struggling to share their own stories or to offer advice to others may still be able to benefit from the support of the group. Simply being in a space with other people who understand what they are going through can be helpful and validating.
In addition, even members who are not actively supporting others may still be contributing to the group in other ways. For example, they may be listening to others’ stories, offering a shoulder to cry on, or simply providing a sense of presence. All of these contributions are valuable and help to create a supportive environment for all members of the group.
Except that when members sit back and just watch and either never contribute or stop contributing. This can easily become a break of the obligation that members share with the group and each other. When members abandon their obligations, it can result in harm to the group as a whole and to the specific individuals in the group, especially to the person who is no longer supporting others,
However, it is important to remember that support groups are not perfect. There may be times when members feel frustrated or unsupported. However, the contractualist view of support groups can help members to remember that they are all in this together and that they have a mutual obligation to support each other.
If you are a member of a support group and you are not actively supporting others, don’t worry. You are still welcome and your contributions are still valued. Simply being there and listening to others’ stories can be a huge help. However, it is important to try to do more for yourself and for others – the act of trying can often overcome whatever challenge is being faced.
Leading Others in the Wrong Direction
When individuals or even a complete group lead others, such as relationship scam victims in a direction that is not supportive and in fact may cause additional harm to those other members, this can have a significant impact on contractualism. This is because it undermines the mutual obligations that members have to each other and can create a sense of betrayal and distrust.
In addition, when individuals or groups lead others in a harmful direction, it can make it more difficult for members to trust and support each other. This can make it more difficult for members to heal from their traumatic experiences and can lead to further isolation and distress.
Specific ways in which contractualism can be impacted when individuals or groups lead others in a harmful direction:
- Members may feel less inclined to share their stories and experiences if they feel that they are not being supported or that they may be judged or criticized.
- Members may feel less likely to offer support and encouragement to others if they feel that their own needs are not being met or that they are being exploited.
- Members may feel betrayed and distrustful of the group if they feel that they have been led in a harmful direction.
- Members may feel less connected to the group and may be less likely to participate if they feel that the group is not supportive or that it is causing them additional harm.
If you are a member of a support group and you feel that you are not being supported or that you are being led in a harmful direction, it is important to speak up or walk away. You can try to talk to the leader of the group or to other members who you trust. If you feel that you are not being heard or that the situation is unsafe, you may want to consider leaving the group and finding a different one that is more supportive.
It is important to note that contractualism is not a perfect theory. However, the contractualist view of support groups can still be a helpful framework for understanding the mutual obligations that members have to each other.
Contractualism is an important theory to learn about because it can help us understand and respect the rights and obligations of others. It can also help us to resolve conflicts and to create a more just and equitable society.
Reasons why it is important to learn about contractualism:
- To understand our moral obligations: Contractualism can help us to understand the moral obligations that we have to each other. For example, contractualism can help us to understand why it is wrong to steal, to lie, or to harm others.
- To resolve conflicts: Contractualism can help us to resolve conflicts in a fair and just way. For example, if two people are in a dispute over a contract, contractualism can help us to determine which person is right and which person is wrong.
- To create a more just and equitable society: Contractualism can help us to create a more just and equitable society by ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and with respect.
Contractualism is an important theory to learn about because it can help us to make better decisions in our personal and professional lives.
Some other benefits of learning about contractualism:
- It can help us to think more critically about ethical issues.
- It can help us to develop a more nuanced understanding of morality.
- It can help us to better understand the relationship between individuals and society.
- It can help us to become more ethical citizens.
If you are interested in learning more about contractualism, there are a number of resources available online and in libraries. You may also want to consider taking a course on ethics or political/social philosophy.