John Locke and Thomas Hobbes

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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 better argument than Hobbes because Hobbes’ belief that it is necessary to have a supreme ruler in order to prevent the state of war in society is inherently flawed. This is because doing so would create a state of war in and of itself. Locke states that the correct form of civil government should be committed to the common good of the people, and defend its citizens’ rights to life, health, liberty, and personal possessions. He expects that a civil government’s legislative branch will create laws which benefit the wellbeing of its citizens, and that the executive branch will enforce laws under a social contract with the citizenry. “The first and fundamental positive law of all common-wealths is the establishing of the legislative power; as the first and fundamental natural law, which is to govern even the legislative itself, is the preservation of the society and (as far as will consist with the public good) of every person in it.”1 Locke believes that humans inherently possess complete and i... ... middle of paper ... ...he state of war from occurring in society. Locke also has a better argument than Hobbes because Hobbes’ belief that it is necessary to have a supreme ruler in order to prevent the state of war in society is inherently flawed. This is because doing so would create a state of war in and of itself. Works Cited Citations 1. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Pub Co, 1980), 69. 2. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Pub Co, 1980), 8. 3. Louis P. Pojman and Robert Westmoreland, eds., Equality: Selected Readings (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 1997), 33. 4. Louis P. Pojman and Robert Westmoreland, eds., Equality: Selected Readings (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 1997), 30. 5. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Pub Co, 1980), 15.

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