Analysis Of Thomas Hobbes 's ' Leviathan '

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It could be argued that Thomas Hobbes’s claim in Leviathan that a person has no right to challenge his sovereign’s law or decision is flawed because such judgements should serve public good. Since the sovereign power’s authority to make laws or decisions has its source in its subjects, these judgements should reflect what subjects think to be good or evil, instead of prescribing how people should think. However, this argument does not take into account that although there are cases where people can reach uniform agreement on issues of good or evil, many other judgements depend on incommensurable beliefs. If people challenge the sovereign’s judgements based on their own beliefs, the commonwealth cannot function to resolve conflicts. By separating the judgements of good and evil into those which are mere preferences and those which hinder the individual security, I affirm Hobbes’s claim of individual subjects having no right to challenge the sovereign judgments of good and evil, unless the judgments directly hinder the subject’s preservation of life, giving him the right to disobey the judgement. This argument is important in that it illuminates what an individual can do when his conscience conflicts with his country’s law or judgement.
The argument that finds a flaw in Hobbes’s claim considers the possibility that sovereign judgement of good and evil may fail in providing good to the public, in contradiction with the fact that people renounce their rights for their security.
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