Thomas Hobbes Argues That Reason Is Both A Cause Of War

995 WordsMay 18, 20174 Pages
Thomas Hobbes argues that reason is both a cause of war and a cause of peace. It is a cause of war because reason obeys the law of nature and human exercise the right of nature rationally will inevitably lead everyone to war. It is a cause of peace because the state of war is a bad place for everyone to function the law of their nature. Thus reason leads to a better but more vulnerable conditional state that is the state of peace. In this paper, I will explain this dual role of reason in Hobbes ' theory. I will do so by first explain what is the law of nature and what is the right of nature, and how does reason obey the law of nature inevitably lead human to war. Then I will explain the three rational laws that lead human to peace.…show more content…
We fight to acquire what we desire, to defend what we have acquired or to acquire or defend our reputation. But in the states of war, we are not able to preserve our life well. Thus to preserve one’s life, reason makes human wants peace. The first law is saying: every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has the hope of obtaining it, and when he can’t obtain it, that he may seek and use all help and advantages of war. Which means if possible, peace is a choice of reason. However, making peace requires everyone to lay down parts of his rights. Thus we have the second law claiming that in the state of peace, a man is willing, when others are willing too and when the man is still able to defense himself, to lay down his right to all things and be content with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself. Hobbs believes the only way to make peace is to lay down one 's rights because as discussed in the previous part: retain the right of nature inevitably leads to war. But one could only lay down his rights while others are doing so as well because if he is the only one who is disarmed, he simply made himself a prey to his armed competitors and will be taken advantage of, which is not allowed by reason. Things could go smoothly if two people sign a contract and lay down their rights simultaneously. However, when they are signing a
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