Human Nature

Topics: Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Government Pages: 4 (1136 words) Published: April 23, 2015
Sara Choque
Political Science
Reading Response
“And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies,” stated Thomas Hobbes, an eminent English philosopher. One of Hobbes’ masterpieces is “The Leviathan” where he records his thoughts about absolutism, and his dissatisfactory view on the nature of man before government. John Locke, another well-known philosopher, opposes Hobbes’ conclusions about human nature. He wrote “Of Civil Government,” here Locke speaks of a state of nature where men are free, independent, and equal. Locke and Hobbes were some of the most influential philosophers who discussed human nature and society; yet, these men had conflicting views over their political philosophies. Thomas Hobbes’ view on the nature of man is that humans are equal in faculties of body and mind. As a result in the belief of equality in ability, people will eventually desire to obtain their own ends.  Hence, the state of war is cultivated because people are naturally willing to fight one another. In this state every person has a liberty to do anything one thinks necessary for preserving one's own life. Hobbes concludes that to achieve peace one must submit to an absolute government with a ruler through social contract. In essence, Thomas Hobbes main idea was that in the absence of an invincible absolute ruler, men would seek to destroy one another. Furthermore, John Locke’s main idea was that men in the state of nature are free and equal, and at the liberty to do as they please, but only within the ‘bound of the law of nature’. Locke thought that God gave these rights to people—he used a biblical justification to support his argument. Notably, John Locke defended the claim that men are by nature free and equal against claims that God had made all people naturally subject to a monarch. Both men had clashing views over the necessity of a government, and that was justified through their perspective of human...
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