Hobbes And The Problem Of Human Obligation

1225 Words Nov 16th, 2014 5 Pages
I believe Hobbes understands the state of nature as something that needs to be avoided at all cost. I have interpreted Hobbes’ as trying to understand the problem of human obligation, whether or not there are moral reasons for each of us to obey the laws of our country. Moral reasons, for Hobbes, are laws that are imperative for us to all obey. Failure to cohere to these laws would result in serious consequences for greater mankind. So, Hobbes indicates that human obligation is just political obligation and offers a rational justification for an absolute sovereign - his solution. In this essay, I discuss the position advocated by Hobbes on the problem of human obligation and then his solution to it. In my opinion, although there are very strong criticisms of his solution to the problem, his argument still holds great hopes to solving the problem.

Hobbes’ argument stems from a hypothetical state of nature, whereby humans are not involved with a political commonwealth. And so consequently, are free “to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature.” (Hobbes 1986, 13) One may read from Hobbes that this means that the issues caused by man in humanity derive from conflicts of passions, however, according to Hobbes I think he means that they derive from the fact that we all have unique consciences and combined with our unrestricted application of our own judgement, this in effect makes moral obligation and so political obligation impossible to…
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