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Suggested initial topic reading: Locke and the state of nature: evaluating the critics.
In so doing he can be seen to be echoing the sentiments that he expressed in the Second Discourse regarding civil religion as being a legal institution. This dissertation seeks to compare and contrast Rousseau’s use of gods and civil religion as a means of strengthening the legislator with that used by Plato in The Laws.
He accordingly notes that “[a]s men began to look to the future and as they all saw themselves with some goods (quelques biens) to lose’, and that ‘there was not one of them who did not have to fear reprisals against himself for wrongs (torts) he might to do another,” (Rousseau, Second Discourse, p. Suggested initial topic reading: The present global economic crisis: A new Kuhnian paradigm shift?
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In contrast, this dissertation looks at the measurement of well-being in terms of happiness.
In so doing it looks at the state of Bhutan, the only state in the world to record an official measure of happiness.
Within the chapter ‘On civil religion’ of Book IV of the Social Contract Rousseau discusses how institutions of state contribute to the preservation of regime.
In so doing he suggests that when citizens deviate from general will (when seeing such a course as advantageous) the regime is at its greatest level of threat. Immediately thereafter Rousseau notes the role of Ceres (the Roman God of Harvest) and in so doing can be seen to be using religion as a basic for civil law.