He further elaborates by saying, “ The only obligation, which I have the right to assume is to do at anytime what I think is right”(Thoreau 387). Thoreau places critical thinking and principle over blindly following what is dictated by the government. By taking control of their will, men make it impossible to be governed unjustly and can bring about a more just society. This reliance on themselves to know what is righ... ... middle of paper ... ...action. These are the men who prevent society from progressing because they refuse to take a stand.
(188) Therefore the accepted rules of conduct to follow, principles of ethics and our interpretation of morality would not exist. The principals of Good & Evil would be subjective, left to the interpretation of each person. According to Hobbes the catalyst for the process of an absolute power would not be because it is right & just to keep war at bay, but because man has an intrinsic desire to live. Man fueled by his own self interests and capable of reason will see an absolute power, (as every man is naturally equal), as the only way to preserve himself. For it is the “general rule of reason, that every man ought to endeavour peace” (190) It is in man’s self-interest to follow the laws of nature and to willingly give up all of his rights in order to secure his or her safety & preserve his or hers way of life, as long as all other’s do the same.
Locke’s ideal state is one of which man has “perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions as they think fit… without depending upon the will of another man” (365). He unifies man under his God, who he believes has provided mankind with morality within the laws of nature, which prevents a world as heinous as that of Hobbes. Unlike Hobbes but similar to Rousseau, Locke rejects an all powerful sovereign to rule over people, stating that having a sovereign would not provide a much better life than that within the chaotic state of nature because there is no civil liberty to question or control an ill willed leader. He also claims sovereign's wills are “inconstant, uncertain, unknown, and arbitrary” (369). Locke’s solution for the emergence of a civil society is to establish an indirect democracy where there is a centralized governing body of people who decide on behalf of the people in account with the laws of nature.
“We are left alone, without excuse. This is what I mean when I say that man is condemned to be free” (Sartre 32). Radical freedom and responsibility is the central notion of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy. However, Sartre himself raises objections about his philosophy, but he overcomes these obvious objections. In this paper I will argue that man creates their own essence through their choices and that our values and choices are important because they allow man to be free and create their own existence.
The State of Nature and its Implications for Civilization in Hobbes and Rousseau In his Leviathan Thomas Hobbes expresses a philosophy of civilization which is both practical and just and stems from a clear moral imperative. He begins with the assertion that in the state of nature man is condemned to live a life “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” It is in the interest of every man to rise above this “state of nature” and to give up certain rights so that the violent nature of the human animal can be subdued. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s vision of the state of nature parallels that of Hobbes but for its more optimistic tone: “I assume that men reach a point where the obstacles to their preservation in a state of nature prove greater than the strength that each man has to preserve himself in that state.” In general, Rousseau’s words prove reasonably less severe than Hobbes’s. According to Hobbes the bestial rights that a man is forced to give up must also be given up by every other man if civilization is to quell the state of nature. This surrendering of rights then forms covenant of peace which mankind has agreed upon collectively to rise above the state of nature.
Thus given that every man is vulnerable to any other man, all men have a very strong desire to escape the state where killing each other is acceptable, escape the state of nature. This can be done, simply put by endeavoring peace which coupled with not making war except to defend oneself, is the first law of nature (Leviathan 1, 14). The second law of nature is derived directly from the first. It insists that man lay down his right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men liberty against himself,” (Leviathan 1, 14). Essentially, in the state of nature, a man has a right to all things.
In this paper, I will argue that men do not always have to go from power to power, always trying to subjugate all beneath them. I will raise and support two objections against Hobbes theory on man in the state of nature and freedom, and argue that John Locke’s theory on the state of nature and freedom is rational, as it applies to man. Hobbes presents an argument that all men are equal in their natural facilities, that there is no natural inequalities so great as to give a benefit to one, that another cannot claim as well. Hobbes construes the state of nature as a continual war of all against all, where a man can do what ever he can get away wi... ... middle of paper ... ...ving” (sec. 95).
He argues that a state or commonwealth is where all men surrender their natural rights to the state in order to escape the state of nature where they live in perpetual fear for their life. I agree with this because man’s primary aims are for safety and security (Hobbes, The Leviathan, Chapter 13 part 1, pg.186). The concept of government was established as a means of protection, for which individuals were prepared to submit to a greater power. One might argue that it is only logical that man would create a system where their rights and property are being protected. Since man’s first desire is self-preservation, wouldn’t it be in man’s best interest, and hence, a natural culmination, that governments are established to maintain a peaceful way of life?
According to Hobbes the state of nature plays a role in the reason for absolute sovereignty. This idea that mankind is a continuous cycle of conflict where violence exist in which he thought would bring human life to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. As he puts it is “every man, against every man.” To Hobbes essentially human beings are selfish and without government would kill each other without a question because they rely on three principles: competition, diffidence, and glory. The idea that man kind will invade for self gain, for safety, and for reputation. Its in this state of nature that men rely on their strength in order to survive and will use any means to survival.
Blindness in A Clockwork Orange In the novel, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess has tried to show the importance of individual freedom over doing the right thing. He has taken an extreme example of violence and perverse acts to accent his strong belief. It is my opinion that Burgess has been blinded to some essential truths in his quest to ensure personal freedom. Personal freedom can be described as acting upon your own accord and not becoming restricted by the social paradigm in which you live. This is definitely a noble cause, all men should have the right to choose the path of their own lives.