Hobbes and Locke’s Effect on the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights

Topics: Political philosophy, United States Constitution, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 3 (1203 words) Published: May 13, 2012
Hobbes and Locke’s effect on the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights

The basic instinct of man is self -preservation. However, without guidance, you can become self-destructive. These guidelines are outlined in the Constitution of The United States and have been updated over the years in the Bill of Rights. In order for The Constitution of The United States to have been written, the creators had to understand what it was that the people truly wanted in a government that would take some of their freedoms away, yet protect them from each other. In the 1700’s, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two philosophers who differed greatly in their views of mankind. Hobbes appeared to have no faith in mankind and considered them unable to think or act for themselves without a higher authority to dictate them. Locke, on the other hand, believed that man was quite capable of making decisions that would affect themselves and others with the help of higher authority. Hobbes believed that man would only think of himself and was incapable of taking into consideration how his own actions may affect others. Locke believed that man was basically a considerate and thinking people who wanted to share their ideas and learn from one another in order to coexist in a peaceful manner. Hobbes believed that all men were evil and the only way to control them was by way of making them fear for their lives if they went against the laws of the government. Locke believed that man wanted a government that would preserve and enhance the laws of nature that already protected their lives, liberties and estates. Even though these two men agreed on the principle of natural law, that all men were created equally, their view was still drastically different. Hobbes believed that war was the only reasoning that man could come up with in order to get what he wanted. In his mind, the equality was that even the weakest of men could kill the strongest of men,...
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