Hobbe's Laws of Nature Essay

700 Words 3 Pages
Based upon the assigned segment of Thomas Hobbes’ The Leviathan, I find that it contrasts very strongly with my own perception of humanity and our motivations. I consider his conclusions to be both ignorant and uninformed (ironic, considering I’ve only ever read one segment of his works…) at least in regard to human nature. Hobbes takes the position that in a “state of nature” there are no laws and as such the concept of justice and injustice is null, because there is no law to violate or enforce. Which, in the most basic, factual and literary sense, is true. But in application, I don’t believe that the theory holds much merit. Hobbes’ basis for the state of nature is that in such a state, there is no authority, and without authority, …show more content…
Ignoring the seemingly self-contradicting aspect of Hobbes’ theory, then by his own definition, if somebody where to invade for the sake of fighting, that would be unjust, as it would violate his natural laws. If not injustice, what would Hobbes claim a selfish and violent act such as rape or murder be? In our society, there exist plenty of people who do not recognize the right of government (theoretically placing them in a state of nature), but out of either principle or (a concept which I believe Hobbes neglects) sympathy, they do not rape or murder whomever they could gain something from.
Without yet even considering the possibility of justice in the state of nature, Hobbes’ views already seem preposterous. With no applied government, if somebody were, hypothetically, to steal something from another person and an observer were to stop the thief and return the stolen item, then whether there are laws or not, that -- at least by my definition -- would be considered justice.
Hobbes does however differentiate good and bad from just and unjust. Good being what men desire and bad being what men hate. These definitions being of childlike in their simplicity are in Hobbes’ eyes, applied on a person by person basis. Perhaps the question, in light of Hobbes’ views and the modern understanding of these words should then be rephrased: “Is there good or bad in a state of nature?” Which I think depends on the majorities feelings. Perhaps the definitions have
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