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Peace According to John Locke and Thomas Hobbes - Essay Example

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Peace According to John Locke and Thomas Hobbes

Fundamentally, it is human nature that is focused upon in such theories, and this helps to explain the manner in which situations develop through time. Generally, it can be asserted that any theory that applies to society needs to have some kind of perspective on human nature too that would help to explain the situation in which man lives today. Whichever way one views human behavior, the present condition today has to be explained through that particular perspective. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are two social theorists that took human nature into great consideration in their work, and they each explained the manner in which society developed through this behavior. They also explained how society functions and how things have come to be socially and politically speaking through this behavior. Specifically, one of the their main areas of focus is 'peace' and how human beings up hold the idea of peace. Locke and Hobbes each have interesting views on this subject, and address it in their renowned works: John Locke's Second Treatise of Government and Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan.
The subject of peace for John Locke in his 'Second Treatise of Government' is viewed from a particular angle. ...
t is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself" (C H A P. II. Of the State of Nature: Sect. 6). This clearly refers to suicide, and that in a liberal society people are not supposed to take their lives. Locke further asserts that it is wrong to take anyone else's life too. He asserts that man " has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession" (C H A P. I I. Of the State of Nature: Sect. 6). If one takes his or her own life or anyone else's, peace in society would be disrupted, as people would be disturbed. Also, others might resort to the same action and worsen the situation.
Natural Law:
With regard to John Locke's idea above, he bases his reason for this on his explanation of mankind's origin. He asserts that human beings do not have complete freedom to make decisions. Human beings must consider what is right and what they are answerable to. Locke refers to belief in God through this view, and this is evident when he writes about the state of nature. Locke asserts, "The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent" (C H A P. II. Of the State of Nature: Sect. 6). Therefore, Locke asserts that whenever one takes a step in society, s/he ought to consider what a higher authority expects of him or her. It needs to be emphasized here that this view requires one to have a firm belief in a superior being. Undoubtedly, it may be asserted that such belief does aim ...Show more

Summary

Between Thomas Hobbes' and John Locke's views on peace, it may be asserted that Hobbes' understanding is more convincing because he takes general human behavior through history into consideration, and asserts that there is no guarantee how human beings will act in the absence of rule of law…
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Peace According to John Locke and Thomas Hobbes essay example
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