Locke says that we are born good with a blank slate. Whatever we learn and how we learn it from society is what fills the slate. However Hobbes believes that we are born bad and because of this we need a ruler to control that attribute with fear of punishment. I believe that Hobbes is right in the sense that we are born sinful. Yet, I do not agree that we need a ruler to control our sin by fear. Rather, we do have a blank slate that society does affect, bringing the idea of good into our perspectives. We are born with a sinful nature because of our natural survival instincts. If left to our own, away from society, we would act upon nothing but the will to survive. Every decision would be based on the idea of how to better us, practicing an extreme form of selfishness. Yet, when brought into society we would start to understand the idea of others and performing selflessly. Society will begin to show us what is accepted as right and what is accepted as wrong. Once understanding what is considered good, I have faith in humanity to at least try to make appropriate decisions.
Using your survival instincts is neither wrong nor sinful. Rather, my point is that in a situation where we are taken away from society our one interest is to survive. Within that interest it is not whether right or wrong, but rather what it will help or hurt us. An example of this would be in the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In Golding’s novel the children have even already been addressed to the rights and wrongs of society, yet they still forget them when... [continues]
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