According to Thomas Hobbes a good life is lived free from fear of war and the threat of violence. According to Hobbes, the most fundamental right that a person has is the right to live and therefore it is essential to have a guarantee of a life without fear of death in order to have a life considered “good”. Another aspect of a good life, according to Hobbes, is the assurance that contracts will not be broken. In a nation where contracts are not guaranteed citizens would fear that one party may not follow through with their end and potentially harm the other party. Hobbes also claims that comforts, property and even spirituality are not important for the living of a good life. These, while desirable to many individuals, are less valuable to a pers...
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...n effect, Goldman is the opposite of Hobbes in both her view of the idea of a good life and political legitimacy.
Between these two views of political legitimacy Goldman’s is the more accurate. First, Hobbes’ view of a good life would be alien to nearly every other human. People measure a good life by the things that they have done and experienced and not by how long someone lives. For instance, a person who sacrifices himself to save someone else could be said to have had a good life. Second, Goldman recognizes that freedom is essential to having a good life. Without freedom a man is naught but a mere automaton and he cannot truly decide his own fate. Lastly, because freedom is an essential right and coercion violates that right, governments cannot be legitimate, since they all use coercion. In sum, Goldman’s theories are more accurate than those of Hobbes.
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