Humanity And Morality In Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan

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Thomas Hobbes At the end of the ensanguined English Civil War, Hobbes wrote his book Leviathan, published in 1651. As he was witnessing the excessive violence and cruelty in his surroundings, he was made aware of the brutality that humans are capable of and developed a pessimistic view of the world. This translated into his belief that the State of Nature is a state of war where every person is against each other (80). Hobbes insists that such a condition results in a life of destitute because of the severe lack of morality and constant fear experienced by the members. Due to the terror-filled mode of being people are consistently in, no one is actually free. Their behaviour becomes uncontrollable, prohibiting amenities such as industries,…show more content…
There is no guaranteed safety for anyone. Although some may be physically or mentally stronger than others, all are capable of murdering one another; humans are created as equals. There is no point in making agreements with neighbors because not only are people`s words subjective to their current emotional state but it is not in anyone’s best interest to keep the accords or remain honest (84). He discusses the Right of Nature, which is essentially the right to do whatever one deems as an acceptable act committed in order to survive (79). The problem is that virtually anything can be labeled as fundamental for one 's protection. Because of this, it has the potential to become a right to unethical acts. However, the Law of Nature, which Hobbes believed to be revealed by God through human’s ability for extensive reasoning, condemns the destruction of human life while simultaneously affirming human self-preservation (80). It contains nineteen parts which revolve around seeking peace though justice and morality, as well as doing unto others as one would want to be done upon oneself (97). This is the same reasoning, along with the longing to escape perpetual fear, which drives people to form a…show more content…
In such a condition, people are able to pursue their own interests (Locke 2005, 3). Due to the restrictions imposed by the Law of Nature, which focuses on the preservation of humanity as well as their independence and equality, it is a peaceful place. No one is ranked above another because each person is God’s creation. Since no one has the right to take away what God produced and therefore owns, killing another human being is unacceptable (Locke 2005, 4). Locke did not think humans are good or evil because he viewed the human mind as a tabula rasa, meaning it is blank at birth and completely shaped by its environment. His belief was that the State of Nature has actually existed and will continue to as long as there are kings and queens governing independent communities (Locke 2005, 6). Right of Nature is an entitlement of all people; it is the right to live, the right to liberty, and the right to property, in respect to everyone else’s same rights. Infusing the resources provided by nature with one’s labour creates private property, but due to the Law of Nature, one cannot take more from nature than he can use, to make sure others have enough left. However, the State of Nature does not preserve people’s property.
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