John Locke and Thomas Hobbes both believe that men are equal in the state of nature, but their individual opinions about equality lead them to propose fundamentally different methods of proper civil governance. Locke argues that the correct form of civil government should be concerned with the common good of the people, and defend the citizenry’s rights to life, health, liberty, and personal possessions. Hobbes argues that the proper form of civil government must have an overarching ruler governing the people in order to avoid the state of war. I agree with Locke’s argument because it is necessary for a civil government to properly care for its citizens, which in turn prevents the state of war from occurring in society. Locke also has a
The story “lord of the flies’’ by William Golding, the novel correlates to the philosophical views of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. John Locke was an English philosopher that surmised man's natural moral compass would point towards good, Locke's philosophical writings stated “ that individuals in a state of nature would have stronger moral limits on their actions. Essentially, Locke thought that our human nature was characterized by reason and tolerance. People, Locke believed, were basically good’’ ( Locke and Hobbes Overview 2). John Locke thought if people were given no rules they would make a paradise, flourishing in law, order, and structure, Thomas Hobbes believed people were naturally cruel and chaotic, with a need of a strong ruler to make decisions. Hobbes stated, “Who felt that mankind was inherently evil and required a strong central authority to ward off this inclination toward an immoral behavior, Locke believed that human nature allowed men to be selfish’’( Locke and Hobbes Overview 2 ). Thomas Hobbes believed a strong iron-fisted ruler was needed for the safety and well being of a society. The ideals of man in a natural state, follow Thomas Hobbes philosophical view represented through Jack's brutish and monarch like attitude which lead to them living in a dystopian society.
Locke and Hobbes started with a central notion that people with similar “state of nature” would on their own accord come together as a state. Locke believed that individual would not perpetually be at war with each other. He believed humans began with a state of natural characteristics of absolute freedom with no government in site. Hobbes work differs from that of Locke’s because he felt people needed a strong central authority to ward off the inherent evil and anarchic state of man. Locke believed that within the state of nature man would have stronger morals and thus limit their actions. Locke also, credited people with the ability to do the right thing within a group. And the natural rights and civil society where Hobbes differentiated with this by believing that people had to resolve their natural rights and the their were privileges granted by the sovereign. Locke believed the relationship between citizens and government took the form of a social contract, in which in exchange for order and protections provided by institutions the citizens agree to surrender some of the freedoms within the state of nature. This was also, agreed that power of the state was not absolute but exercised according to law. If broken by the state it forfeits and the contract becomes void. This allots for the citizens of the state to have a “voice” and power for change to replace the government with moral obligation by the governed. Hobbes believed absolute power was the price man should
First, Hobbes says that nature is chaos. There are no rules, and the only means of protection are the strengths of each individual. There is no trust among anyone, and each individual only cares about his or herself. Hobbes develops the right of nature, or self-preservation, out of these circumstances. Each individual has a right to think of self-preservation in a world where no one can be trusted. One might think that this wouldn’t fix the problem of the natural chaos. However, Hobbes explains that the focus on self-preservation will be so powerful that individuals will make covenants that will be adhered to because they preserve everyone and hence oneself. This is in accordance with Hobbes’ concept of the laws of nature. He explains the laws of nature to be: seek peace, forfeit rights, and keep covenants. Humans pursuing self-preservation would realize that by seeking peace and forfeiting rights such as taking what one wanted from others as one saw fit self-preservation is easier and more achievable. This also requires the formation of governments to enforce the covenants made. Otherwise, there would be no way to know for certain that the covenants would be respected and upheld. With the formation of government come concepts such as justice. Hobbes bases his definition of justice on the very thing that created the government: covenants, and the keeping of those valid or
The ideas presented by Hobbes and Locke are often in opposition. Hobbes views humanity much more pessimistically; viewing men as evil according to natural law and government a way to eliminate natural law. Locke takes a much more optimistic stance; viewing government a means to preserve the state of nature and enhance it as men are naturally peaceful and equal. Discarding the differences in ideology, their ideas were radical for their time. The interest they took in natural law, man's natural characteristics, and the role of government, provided inspiration for, and was the focus of many literary works for the future.
Hobbes believed that people should not possess any rights, because if we did, chaos would be created. Chaos would come afloat because humans are greedy, selfish and self-interested, making us unable to think of anyone else but ourselves. Our responsibilities would be to simply follow the “ king’s” rules, or in a society like ours, simply follow the laws. Ultimately in Hobbes's ideal society people would have no freedom and one responsibility, with the exception of the king who is in charge of keeping order; thus making his/her rights and responsibilities flexible. He thought this was because, during the English revolution, the chaos was created because people opposed the leader, and instead disagreed with him and his ruling
In conclusion, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes both had different views on government. Locke believed that people should have rights while Hobbes believed otherwise. John Locke’s views were more effective that
Thomas Hobbes published his most famous work, Leviathan, during the height of the English Civil War. This was possibly the most violent and chaotic time in all of British history, and is certainly reflected in Hobbes’ writing. He introduces his view on the state of nature, that is, society without government, as a state of war, in which the lives of men are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Hobbes 89) From this state of nature he describes natural laws, which help to form the purpose of government in his eyes. The first, and “Fundamental Law of Nature” is that men “seek peace, and follow it” (92) This fundamental law is also what he believes a sovereign is meant to uphold. He argues that the Sovereign must do everything in their power to preserve the commonwealth. Hobbes strongly advocates for an authoritarian form of government.
Mankind naturally wants protection and safety. Thomas Hobbes believed that, because of this natural want for protection, people will consciously give up their rights and freedoms. That means someone has to be in charge, resulting in the king or president and so forth. Hobbes placed obligations on who shall be bound by natural law. Thomas Hobbes supported a thing called absolutism. He believed that the civil law is the real law, and all men go after what is in their own best interest. Hobbes argues that people are rational, which allows him to think that they should be willing to submit to a higher power. The ‘real law’ that is talked about, Thomas Hobbes believes is only there to limit natural freedoms of particular people, not to hurt people, but to help them and band together against the same
In the 18th century, a fierce debate broke out among many philosophers about the nature of the human psyche. Many argued whether humans in a state of nature were constantly at war with one another or whether these same humans were peaceful in their natural setting. From this debate, many other important philosophical arguments arose over the state of human nature. One of the most important arguments was the discussion of equality between human beings. Many authors believed that natural inequalities existed between human being. While others debated that human inequality was either negligible or completely non-existent. Within this debate, two thinkers, Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith, came down with complex arguments on the equality of human beings. This essay will begin by walking through the argument of each influential thinkers. After establishing the argument of each writer the essay will then make the argument that Thomas Hobbes has a greater commitment to the idea of natural equality based off his that even though natural differences exist these are so negligible that their existence is unimportant.
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two English thinkers in the seventeenth-century who 's ideas became a key to the Enlightenment. Baron de Montesquieu and Voltaire were philosophers who applied the methods of science to understand and improve society. Thomas Hobbes believed in a powerful government. He believed people were naturally cruel, greedy, and selfish, and if they were not strictly controlled they would commit crimes and abuse one another. He believed that life with no government would be horrible and in order to escape the horrible life that one had to sign a social contract, which was an agreement were the people gave up their freedom for an organized society. He also believed that only a powerful government could guarantee a
Hobbes believed that in nature people had to do whatever was necessary to survive and that even if living together, people were still likely to fight. His view of people was dark and most likely due to the horrors of a series of political schemes and armed conflicts he had seen during the English Civil War. He believed that a contract was necessary. Hobbes felt that people were not capable of living in a democratic society. Instead, a single dominant ruler was needed, and if everyone did their part, then the community would function smoothly. Hobbes’ theory is unlike Locke and Rousseau’s. He believed that once the people gave power to the government, the people gave up the right to that power. It would essentially be the cost of the safety the people were seeking.
Secondly, when we ask the question, what is freedom, we are not simply asking for a definition. We are seeking to find some truth in regards to liberty. We don’t ask this difficult question in order to get some sort of dictionary definition, we ask this question in order to gain insight. We ask this question to know how we should live our lives and how our government and other institutions should act in respect to liberty and our freedoms. Berlin’s two conceptions not only provide us with a definition, but also helps us determine how our society and laws should progress.
Thomas Hobbes believed that the government should essentially limit itself to the protection of property and persons. Hobbes thought that power derived from the office, not from the people. Things like virtue, social equality, and welfare were not important. To protect themselves and their government Hobbes believed that it was imperative, natural and rational for people to give up some liberty in order to gain security of self-preservation. This is called the Social Contract. The concept of the Social Contract Theory is that, in the beginning, man lived in the state of nature where life was, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (page 619). In this state every
Thomas Hobbes born in 1588, was an English political theorist who believed in Monarchy. Hobbes felt that humans, by nature were inherently selfish beings. During the English Civil war, he expressed the need for an absolute ruler. Like how a man has control over his household. To Hobbes, “without an absolute ruler people would kill each other” (Lawrence Smith Lecture). Due to humans being inherently selfish, they would risk the commonwealth of the community for themselves. This would likely cause complications in society and the social disorder. Hobbes conveyed that, “laws make people behave as civilized people” and without them, people