Human Rights

2484 Words Mar 27th, 2012 10 Pages
How successful were Hobbes and Locke in their attempts to justify the existence of Human Rights?
In this essay, the main distinctions of Hobbes and Lock’s work will be discussed and how their work contributed to the existence of human rights. Other predominant thinkers, such as Bentham and Marx will be brought in to critically evaluate Hobbes and Lock’s attempts on human rights. Finally a conclusion will be drawn upon these points to state whether Hobbes or Locke was Successful to justify the existence of human rights or whether there were any flaws in their thinking. “Human rights are the
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According to Hobbes, to deny this right would be meaningless. Hobbes sharply distinguished this natural "liberty", from natural "laws", described generally as "a precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taken away the means of preserving his life; and to omit, that, by which he thought it may best be preserved." In his natural state, according to Hobbes, man's life consisted entirely of liberties and not at all of laws – "It followed that in such a condition, every man has the right to everything, and therefore, as long as this natural right of every man to everything endured, there can be no security to any man... of living out the time, which Nature ordinarily allow men to live." This would lead inevitably to a situation known as the "war of all against all", in which human beings kill, steal and enslave others in order to stay alive, and due to their natural lust for "Gain", "Safety" and "Reputation". Hobbes reasoned that this world of chaos created by unlimited rights was highly undesirable, since it would cause human life to be "solitary, poor, nasty,

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