Essay on John Locke And Thomas Hobbes

Essay on John Locke And Thomas Hobbes

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The argument referring to the nature of human beings and government is one that been debated for hundreds of years by many of the world’s greatest minds. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are two opposing philosophers who have devoted many years to studying this subject. For Locke, the state of nature— the original condition of all humanity before civilization and order was established—is one where man is born free, equal and have rights that others should respect, such as the right to live and the right to liberty. For Hobbes, however, the state of nature is one of constant war; solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short ; it is, in Hobbes’ mind, civilization that separates humans from their primitive state. Hobbes believed that an individual’s only drive in life is to serve themselves above all else. In order to obtain this goal, humans must use conflict as a means of self-gain to take what they desire for their self-serving nature and therefore, he believes the structure of an absolutist government is an essential part in a well-run society. Although Hobbes’ theory is well documented and goes deep into the heart of what he believes is mankind’s true nature, it is John Locke who provides one of the best in depth accounts of true human nature and government, as he suggests that man is not born with any pre-conceived ideals, apart from being born free. Locke theorised that man was born with a clean slate, thus, they have the ability to make decisions that are either good or bad through that of rational thought as they were not born with any imprinted traits. Through this rational thought, they can come together to form a well-serving government based on consent.
When looking at human nature through the eyes of John Locke, right away on...


... middle of paper ...


...a balance between the four must exist in order to live in unity with one another.
When looking at the bigger picture, it is evident that it is John Locke who has the better understanding of human nature and government. His outlook on man includes the same principles that humans are taught since birth today; that no man is greater than another, and that all people have natural rights that need to be protected by a civil government. Should these rights be infringed, it is within the people’s civil liberties to oust the poorly representative government. Unlike Hobbes, Locke did not view man as being born with a set agenda that is self-serving and evil, instead, Locke saw the potential in the human species, a potential that had gone unseen by Hobbes as he believed that man needed to be under the rule of an absolute monarch in order to prevent a state of perpetual war.

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