Thomas Hobbes State of Nature Essay

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In the beginning, there was a darker side to the preservation of life. Man lived a life of kill or be killed, without any regard for other than his own. Life was solitary, poor, brutish and short. This barbaric and primitive state is what Thomas Hobbes believed to be the State of Nature. Practical reason dictates that when threatened you either act, give up your property, or anticipate for a sign of weakness to act. This means that all have a right to everything so long as it can be attained. People cannot be trusted to follow the Golden Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity, seen in many religions as stating that one must do unto others as one would like to be treated themselves. With the ever looming danger of a cutthroat, survival of the…show more content…
Locke believed that reason is what tells those in the natural state not to murder or offend anyone’s right to life, liberty and property. John Locke stated that this Natural right is inalienable, meaning that it becomes a great injustice to violate it. Where Hobbes’ believed the state of nature and a state of war to be one and the same, Locke saw them as two separate entities, and sees the state of war as a smaller occurrence. Locke believed that nature is at peace until one man attacks another. In this state of war it is suitable for the person being attacked to defend themselves from the transgressor. For Locke, It becomes increasingly difficult to defend the natural right due to the possibility of the state of war. In order to preserve the right, the people would also have to come together to form a social contract. They would then establish a state, whose job would be to PRESERVE the right, and to punish those who seek to attack it. The state will then decide upon a neutral judge. John Locke argues that the government’s only job is to act as an fair mediator of self-defense. This way the power of the state comes from consent and delegation of the governed. The government is limited by its people’s natural right and cannot overstep its bounds. Since the law of nature states that a person cannot violate another’s natural right, the same mentality must be kept by the government, or sovereign. If the sovereign fails to preserve or
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