Thomas Hobbes And John Locke Essay

1081 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
Through the ages, man has struggled with such concepts as natural rights and the role of government infringing upon those rights. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke go into detail on this particular discussion, and in doing so bring up some contrasting ideas concerning human nature and "the social contract." What is the "social contract," some may ask. It is not so much a concrete principle or tangible piece of paper as an idea or a theory, introduced by Hobbes and Locke in such a way as the agreement that we make when we ask to be governed; or ask for governance. To further understand the social contract theory, you must start by analyzing how humans act towards one another in a completely class and structure free environment. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke both begin with opposing views on how humans would act in this "state of nature." Hobbes argues that it is the "nature of men" (p.69) to be inherently jealous of each other and despise their neighbor, even to the point of creating enemies of each other. He argues that in the state of nature, men are at odds with each other by the very virtue of nature itself; since everyone can not have everything, those who do not have something come to be frustrated and envious of those who do. And in that jealousy arises the need for some sort of law or structure, after all, Hobbes would make the point that with no ruling body life would be a constant battle of neighbor versus neighbor all in an effort to gain what the next man has. Since…

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