Political Thought Discussions

1. Write a 1-2 page paper in which you compare and contrast the thoughts of Aquinas and Augustine on the role of religion in government. Within your paper, assess the legitimacy of tyranny as a form of government from the viewpoint of both philosophers.

2. Earlier we examined Augustine and Aquinas, both of which had great influence on the role of the Church in government. With Reformists like Calvin and Luther, the role was further defined. Write a 1-2 page paper in which you analyze the role of religion and its influence on the state in one of the following modern (within the past 20 years) countries: Iran, Iraq, USA.

3. Select one of these three philosophers (Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes) and write a 1-2 page paper in which you analyze the significant ways in which their ideas differ from those at work in modern democracies. What could we gain from following their ideas more closely, and what might be dangerous if we did so?

4. Emerging nations are generally defined as those countries working to become industrialized (such countries include Cuba, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, etc…). Research and identify one emerging country and discuss why Marxism might be an attractive option for that country and its leaders. In addition, based on your readings and understanding of Tocqueville, how might he view that country if he were to visit it today.

5. Identify and describe a current issue (this could be a controversy or just an issue of importance) in American Government. Explain in 1-2 pages how one of the modern philosophers we’ve studied would respond to that issue.

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