Thomas Hobbes Law of Nature Essay

1149 WordsApr 18, 20155 Pages
The Law of Nature is a rule of reason that states a man is forbidden from committing any acts that will be detrimental to his life or self-preservation. In this sense, it is also against the law of nature to neglect anything that may otherwise preserve his life. Hobbes believes that because of reason, self-preservation is everyone’s fundamental instinct. He explains that through reason we seek to satisfy our basic desires like food, water, and shelter all of which aids us in our self-preservation. In essence, since Hobbes agrees with the Law of Nature and the Law of Nature is a rule of reason, Hobbes believes that self-preservation is the fundamental interest of reason. Naturally, since the Law of nature dictates that everyone is governed by his or her own reason for self-preservation, it follows then, that everyone has the right of nature; a right to everything, including each other’s body. However, since everyone has the right of nature to pursue one’s desires, if any two person desires the same thing then the natural effect of that mutual desire would be war. For example, since resources like food, shelter, water, and people all are limited resources, if there is more than one person who desires the same thing and there isn’t enough for both, then they would become enemies based on the right of nature that both have the right to anything for self-preservation. Since resources are scarce, people become anxious and insecure about being able to secure the means for their future preservation. Therefore, it is only rational that they distrust others and will compete for those resources in order to fulfill their desires. Following this logic, if resources are scarce and people become enemies because they desire the same resources for self-preservation then reason dictates that the state of nature is that of war. Even though the state of nature is that of war,

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