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Rights Based Ethical Theory Social Contract Sociology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2217 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Recently internet filtering policy is not pursued by Australian government. Therefore, to avoid the unavailability of certain required data to Australian public. Child pornography is the undesirable information which needs to be filter on internet, but it is consistent with Australian anti-child pornography laws, which defines the level of filtering on the internet. This topic should reflect is Australian government filtering policy is ethical in which ways and for what purpose? Compare it with Right based ethical theory in conjunction to ACS ethics. Moreover, compare it with the culture distinct with your own culture and evaluate the arguments and attitude of government of that culture with your own culture.

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Internet filtering policy by Australian government should be done therefore; unwanted data like child pornography can be controlled. On the other hand, Australian government decide not to seek any changes in internet filtering policy whereby required data is inaccessible to the public and people freedom will be affected. In what ways and purpose Australian government ethically controlling over the internet using Right based ethical theory in conjunction of ACS codes of ethics. I conceive Australian government is controlling ethical by filtering internet policy to stop child pornography. Therefore, it would stop individual and society morally that child pornography is wrong and against law. Moreover, compare it to right based ethical theory they are following legal and positive right in benefit for individual and society self-interest.


Contract based ethical theory is based on pre-moral existence of human being and social contract, in which individual have rights to satisfy their desires to avoid antipathy and life, motivation to being moral, respectively. Social contract can be elaborated more how it is motivated individuals or group to being moral because it is the collective of self-interest. Like, it is unwritten agreement, but if we are honest with other then it would be easy for us to trust them and gained the same benefit. Social contract can be divided into two type legal right and moral right. Legal right are defined by the government or the law makers and enforced by the law officers of the community. Whereas, moral rights are formed by the society or community culture in which their personal and community relationship involved to follow them. These both rights are enforced to combine self-interest and common goods for a society.

Define a right as a ‘justified claim that individuals and groups can make upon other individuals or upon society; to have a right is to be in a position to determine by one’s choices, what others should do or need not do”. In the case of a legal right, the claim must be justified by legal principles and rules. Likewise, a moral right must find grounding in moral principles and rules. One form of rights does not necessarily lead to another, although this distinction is not well recognized in contemporary society’. (Beauchamp & Childress , 2001)

This social contract is criticised because of its minimalist molarity. In a sense where there is no formal or legal contract they would not behave morally. For example, child is drowning in 4 feet deep water. Therefore, according to minimalist molarity we have no obligation to save that child. This minimalist molarity can be perceived by two principles (1) do no harm, (2) do good. This means we do not harm that child (or anyone else) and do good for our society like free education to our community or society. But don’t we think it’s morally good to save that child if we have power and have no inconvenient to ourselves.

Philosophers and legal scholars have often differentiated rights into two kinds (a) positive rights (b) negative rights. Negative right can be explicit we have right to leave another alone that is not to interfere the rights of others. For example, rights to vote, rights to own a computer. They are negative in a sense that we have right to go to polls and cast vote to any particular election without the interference of others and right to purchase our own computer. Negative right holder must be aware that they cannot demand or expect others that they will take them to voting polls if they cannot travel or purchase them a computer if they cannot afford it because others are not obligated according to their rights. On other hand, positive rights are welfare right like giving education and health care to everyone. For example, Australian government provides free education till twelve grades to their citizens and give medical care even if they cannot afford because positive right state that it is their rights to be provided.

Government filtering policy and Contract Based Theory:

Australia Government control ethic over internet censorship is focus primarily on child pornography, sexual violence, and other illegal activities. This was compiled as a result of a consumer complaints process. In terms of Contract based theory, Australian government is playing ethical role to stop the maximum illegal activities, sexual violence and child pornography or child abuse or exploitation websites and materials and making amendments in Internet filtering policy. Like, in June 2011 two Australian ISPs, Telstra and Optus consent to block the vulnerable access lists of websites and materials to child abuse, provided by concerned govern bodies. This is an example of social contract in which law makers motivate individual and group to being moral for collective self-interest and common goods. This is collective self-interest for society and culture in a sense to save these and their children from child pornography. Government filtering policy is ethics which can also be evaluated by one of the kind of right based theory that is positive rights. This positive rights explicit welfare rights like every individual and community culture should benefit from the government applied procedure or polices. These child pornography, create public concern and stimulate demand for legislative and other reform. Access by children to pornography and use of children in pornography are recognised as social harms even by those who support the industry. Interestingly there is more government and community concern about pornography. (Jeffries, S., 2008). Therefore, filtering the access of child pornography is applied as positive rights by the government. The purpose government filtered internet policy is to lead legal and moral rights as individual and society or culture. Furthermore, government decided not to advance the filtering policy to avoid the unnecessary interference in their freedom of speech and aversion from public. In conjunction too few of the ACS codes of ethics which are as follows; primacy of the public interest, professionalism and enhancement of quality of life contributes major insight from right based ethical theory. Right based ethical theory motivated that public should have collective interest with common goods. Comparing rights based theory with professionalism; it increases the unity of society and respects other members of the community or society. Moreover, Legal contract bond us to enhance the quality of life of those who are affected by our work.

On the other hand, there is a rag of debates against internet filtering policy. They perceive Australian government act is not ethical by filtering internet policies and this law is the waste of money and this internet censorship would be creeping and never ends. For example, some people said filtering policy might make the internet speed worst; even some desirable material would be unavailable like any RC rated material which will include blocking access to web pages of banned films and hardcode pornography. This web filtering may easily by pass proxy servers. Those who retaliate against internet censorship they have the following arguments: (Dudley-Nicholson, 2011)

Child pornography is not exchanging on World Wide Web, but on virtual private network, file sharing sites and peer to peer networks.

No user can opt out of this short of changing to a new ISP.

Government is only blocking URL, change in one sentence will change the complete website and need to start over again.

This filtering is very strict that if it swept up the website no appeal process is available.

Therefore, they believe internet censorship is an epic fail because of the above mentioned reasons and they feel their freedom of speech is being interfered. They also do not want child pornography material over the internet but they are against the web filter policy.


According to my arguments Australian government controls filtering policy is ethical by applying some necessary web filtering for internet censorship which includes child pornography as their main objective to block. As a result, their society and culture are educated that child abusive is immoral. To avoid antipathy from public, recently they are not pursuing filtering policy because high web filtering can make desirable data unavailable.

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My culture vs. other culture:

One of the Arab countries Saudi Arabia is quite distinct from my culture. In Saudi culture they do not allow freedom of speech, especially women’s or anything against their government or their religion. For example, they don’t respect ‘Shia’ (another religion distinct from Saudi religion) Muharram procession and completely banned them. However non-Muslims are free to worship in their own homes. Whereas, Australian culture give rights to their public for freedom of speech whether, it’s against their government or religion and respect all the religion and culture. Moreover, if Saudi found anyone deemed criticize their Royal Family, government or their religion they might imprison them. Saudi culture is ruled by dictatorship opposite to Australian culture which is democratic. Their media is also being censored by their government to avoid use of abusive material against their government, royal family and religion. They have a strong content filtering policy over the internet that no type of sex adultery, pornography and other abusive material could be access because they believe it’s against moral rights, their religion rules and acts and carry death penalty. Whatever their law makers have defined for their society benefit is enforced by the government officials to follow them whether they like or not because their law is based on Holy Book, the Quran. The system is often known as ‘Sharia’. In Australia pornography is legal; their internet filtering policies is only to stop child pornography because according to their ethics child abusive is immoral act to their society or culture. If compare Saudi government with the attitude of my government, people in my culture there are defined rules and regulation but they are not implemented by the society or culture neither government enforced them. Recently, they have taken an action against internet censorship by blocking pornography website access because they have realized that their youth quality of life is being affected by that. Therefore, it’s their right to stop abusive material over the internet to save their youth from pornography and sexual abusive materials. In my culture, government allow freedom of speech especially we encourage women’s and media. Press media in our culture have extra ordinary rights for freedom of speech. They bluntly reveal government corruption secrets and most of the times they misused their power by criticising unnecessary to the government and law. Media sometimes portray good things wrongly to the public of our society and culture. It’s illegal to criticise Saudi government or their religion and if they found anyone deemed they would imprison them. Government in our culture gives rights to other culture to celebrate their occasions. Like, Christmas, Shia Muharram procession etc. and because of this different cultural celebrations some other religion get offended and conflict started between different cultures in a society. Saudi governments only allow those events for celebration which are defined by their religion to maintain decorum. Saudi government try to follow ethics firmly because for them honesty, quality of life and competence matters a lot. To sum up, in Saudi culture their government follows ethics as per defined in their religion. For example, welfare rights: The state guarantees the rights of the citizen and his family in cases of emergency, illness and disability, and in old age; it supports the system of social security and encourages institutions and individuals to contribute in acts of charity, education: The state provides public education and pledges to combat illiteracy. (Gulf Legal Services Ltd, 2001). In my viewpoint my culture now there are more divided into diverse cultures, therefore, the culture comes into power or government follow their own cultural rules. This means we do not have particular ethics only follow rules on discretion or ad-hoc basis.


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