Philosophy 210 - 11.3.1 Divine Rule

The Mohists claimed that the emperor is chosen by heaven rather than the people. In order to fight against social chaos, heaven identifies a wise ruler to establish control and act as a model of virtuous behavior (Mozi n.d.). This is an example of divine rule, which legitimizes the rule of monarchs and lines of succession in a royal family by stating that monarchs are chosen by divine authority and therefore are not answerable to the people. The idea of divine rule became prevalent in Europe after the Roman Empire adopted Christianity. Yet with the rise of Protestantism and the middle classes in Europe, new ideas emerged about authority and the rights and responsibilities of leaders and citizens. Philosophers in western Europe, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, began to argue that the legitimacy of government rests on a social contract between the ruler and the ruled.

The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax