John Thomas Hobbes And The State Of Nature

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Opposite to Augustine, Thomas Hobbes believes that the laws set what is wrong and without laws there would be no right or wrong. In Hobbes book Leviathan, argues government is an artificial part of life. Without government, we would be in the “state of nature”. In the state of nature, we are in a condition of war. Hobbes argues that in the condition of war “every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice. Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues” (Hobbes 79). Without any government and laws, there is no justice. There is no room for the cardinal virtues in the condition of nature, as there is only the need to survive. Murder, stealing, and any other action is perfectly justifiable to survive. The right to whatever we want is our natural right and no action is unjust This raises an important issue on why have laws in the first place. Hobbes argues that are motive to establish law is for the security of a man’s person, in his life, and in the means of so preserving life as not to be weary of it” (Augustine 82). In the theoretical condition of war, life is a living hell and is a struggle to survive. By establishing law, we avoid this condition of war and total anarchy. Hobbes argues that we have laws just for our protection and not because an action is naturally unjust. Hobbes
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