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Social Contract Theory and Batangas Eastern Colleges: A Manifesto

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Religious icons and similar items are okay outside our classrooms but never inside our classrooms. This is why I think this should be so within our campus.

The author with grade school kids participating with the school's free monthly reading comprehension activities.

Social Contract Theory is the foundation of all modern constitutional societies. It represents a break from the Medieval Period whence the assumption is that the legitimacy of the state is dependent on some religious belief.

Religion is antithesis to democracy. The absence of women priests, pastors, imams, or rabbis indicates this. More indicators.

In addition, religion is antithesis to rationality. Emphasis on faith over reasoning is the rule. Reason why many among the religious easily succumb to fallacies.

Countless events in history show how religious wars can be devastating.

Thanks to the advent of Social Contract Theory, such wars and related animosities are now more of things of the past in our society than anything else.

Social Contract Theory stipulates that reasoning is an inescapable foundation of governance.

All men are, by nature, predisposed to reason and reason well.

As they reason well, they learn from the past.

Among the lessons of the past, men realize a pattern. When men live their lives under the rule of nature in the absence of law and order, men are constantly at war. This means their lives are brutish and short under such circumstance.

As men reason well, they also learn how to predict the future on the basis of their lessons from the past. In this case, they get to know that if they live their lives in the future under the rule of nature in the absence of law and order, they are bound to live their lives constantly at war with one another; their lives are bound to become brutish and short.

Such an ending to their lives is unacceptable. Thus, to escape such a future, they come together and organize. They organize themselves into societies that are meant to encourage brotherhood among men. Ergo, they come to partake of some social contract to live their lives under some rule of law.

Wherever they exist, men are bound, assumed under this theory, to organize societies.

Religion does not come into the picture. This has been the case since the beginning of modernity — rationale for governance sans religious tenets.

These lessons of modern civilization have not been lost to the founding fathers of the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the United States. The same for the founding fathers of the University of the Philippines, Tayabas Western Academy and Batangas Eastern Academy.

We need to revisit how we have come to have a social contractarian republic.

I have always insisted that democracy as an institutional behavior be practiced by the school administration — this is for good reasons, of course. Now, protecting and defending this practice, as passionately and as coherently as possible, I enjoin everyone who belongs to the school community of Batangas Eastern Colleges to get to know more -- as much as he can -- about Social Contract Theory — its history, its nature, its practice and its relationship to the practice of democracy.

As I am going to explain, this is where our age of modernity begins. This is another story I intend to take up next time.

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