Thomas Hobbes - View of Nature Essay

946 WordsJan 5, 20154 Pages
Thomas Hobbs -view on human nature -what kind of state should we have (government) - views on freedoms and liberties View on human nature Materialist view on the world Hobbes assumes that, without strong, centralised authority human beings will perpetually be at war with each other where “every man is Enemy to every man.” " The natural state of man's life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". The only reason we form a society (the "social contract") and agree not to harm the other person is to protect ourselves from being harmed by other people. Without government, Hobbes says, life would be "solitary, nasty, brutish, and short." From this, it follows that we are not essentially ethical or "good" people. For Hobbes, ethics is only something that comes with politics, and politics is rooted in selfishness and the desire for self-preservation. Hobbes viewed human nature as shown in the state of nature was that men have a natural tendency to be selfish and will hurt anyone to get what they want. That is why the social contract is formed, because of this continuous fear of death, that at any moment you could be killed. Hobbes and Orwell contrast each other. Orwell said humans will perpetually be at war because of a strong, centralised authority as in 'big brother is watching you'. In Hobbes' time the rulers claimed their authority to rule by virtue of divine right. God made them King and anyone who questioned the authority of the King was challenging God. Hobbes considers the nature of liberty under sovereign power and says that liberty means the ability to act according to one's will without being physically hindered from performing that act. Only chains or imprisonment can prevent one from acting, so all subjects have absolute liberty under sovereignty. Although the contract and the civil laws mandated by the sovereign are "artificial chains"

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