World War Z Compare and Contrast Essay

Topics: John Locke, Social contract, Thomas Hobbes Pages: 9 (2410 words) Published: February 18, 2015

World War Z Compare and Contrast
During Dr. Kreider’s lecture on Zombies and Philosophy he asked us an important question; what do we owe our fellow human beings? What this means to those of us living in the moment of right now varies vastly from answers supplied by interviews in the book World War Z. To help find an answer Dr. Kreider provided us with two definitions of the state of nature under social contract theory produced by early philosophical thinkers. I believe that today’s society falls under Locke’s state of nature, unlike in the book World War Z where it tends to vary greatly from country to country but is predominately Hobbesian. Although many countries that opt to use a Hobbesian State of Nature end the war with what could be considered a small victory; at what price did they achieve that victory? And how does which type of course of action we use determine how we feel about what we owe other individuals and society as a whole? Kreider provided us with two definitions of the state of nature that fall under the umbrella that is the social contract theory, which begin to answer his proposed question. The first being the state of nature as defined by Thomas Hobbes is that of a pre-societal state. In general terms this means there would be no government or any form of laws, leading citizens towards a constant state of war. As a result of this, people would be motivated solely by self interest, and would not have any regards towards others needs. This relates to a lecture on Zombies and Sociology given by Dr. Peters. Dr. Peter’s pointed out the fact that society begins to fail as a whole when its institutions breakdown. Government, the economy, religion, education, media and family are all institutions of society. In a Hobbesian state of nature it is likely that very few of these intuitions would continue to stand, the first to go being government and economy. It is also worth noting that in a Hobbesian state of nature, individuals are motivated to act out of fear, which Professor Gillard mentioned in his lecture. This explains why people act only to meet their personal needs, they are so blinded by fear that they fail to rationalize the needs of others. Locke takes a different approach when it comes to defining the state of nature, which places more emphasis on others. The second definition for state of nature was defined by John Locke. According to Locke in the state of nature an individual was motivated by self interest and also rationality. He argued this was the natural law or the law of reason. Under the law of reason it was assumed that everyone had some basic rights or rights of natural law those being life, liberty and property. In addition individuals are able to recognize and respect the natural rights of other people. To do so they fulfill their own needs while letting others meet their needs as well. Professor Kroening talked about how humanity is not a biological concept in his lecture on Zombies and Biology. This means that people have to actively choose to allow others to meet their own needs in a Lockean state of nature. I will argue that countries that use a Hobbesian state of nature and experience victory do so at the cost of great lose. In the book World War Z, the first interview in the chapter Turning the Tide takes place between the main narrator and Xolelwa Azania on Robben Island, Cape Town Province, United States of Southern Africa. Azania is describing the military plan referred to as the Redeker Plan, that ultimately saved the Afrikaners and their government. The Redeker Plan was first known as Plan Orange or Orange Eighty-Four before it was revised with knowledge of the zombie infestation, was designed by Paul Redeker, a man that people label as dispassionate (105). In summary the Redeker Plan proposed to save Southern Africa by means of determining which Afrikaners would be saved and which had to be sacrificed (107). The small fraction of those deemed worthy of saving...

Cited: Brooks, Max. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. New York: Broadway
Paperbacks, 2006
Kreider, Evan. “Zombies and Philosophy.” University of Wisconsin Fox Valley. Menasha. 13Oct.
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