Essay on The State of Nature is a State of War

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To understand Hobbes’s argument for why the State of Nature is a State of War it is important to understand Hobbes’s meanings of the terms State of Nature and State of War. The State of Nature is the condition where mankind is forced in contact with one another in a society where there is no authority to enforce power or laws. In this state, the lack of authority encompasses the lack of political institutions and the connotations associated with them: no national allegiances and no punishment. All men in this state have the right to any actions, even to harm one another and none of these actions are unjust. The resulting atmosphere created by this Sate of Nature is the State of War where all rational people live in constant fear of …show more content…
Through man’s futuristic thought comes the ability to anticipate the actions of other men, which create fear since man can never know what might happen if he does not pre-emptively strike first. Thus for Hobbes we are stuck in a State of War because man is equal in strength and mind, man’s principle desires and man’s ability to plan.
In order to avoid this State of War, Hobbes dictates that a sovereign state must be created with absolute power given through the cessation of the rights from the sovereign’s subjects. Hobbes main argument for absolute power is that a sovereign with the most power is the type of sovereign most likely to successfully have the capabilities to avoid a State of Nature. Once the sovereign has the rights of every individual it now has the authority to carry out the will of the population as a whole. In return for giving up their rights, the sovereign provides the subjects now with protection and security from both the subjects within the sovereign and from other nations. A sovereign nation’s decision to attack is a reflection of the subject’s morals. What then comes from the sovereign’s ability to enact war against other nations is Just and Unjust War Theory.
The sovereign makes a moral decision in regards to war at two opportunity points. Michael Walzer states that war is always judged, first with reference to the reasons states have for fighting, secondly with reference to the means they adopt. The first judgment is Jus
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