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A Cornucopia of Views on Democracy - Essay Example

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A Cornucopia of Views on Democracy

Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, and Kant are philosophers who have taken human nature and natural laws into consideration when they discussed democracy. Hobbes, for one, digs into man’s right to life and survival. According to him, natural laws are governed by the fact that man needs to fight for his survival. It is natural for man to seek peace in his life but if he gets into conflict with others due to competition, diffidence, and glory, then he has the right to defend himself in order to restore his peace. With competition, he fights for gain, with diffidence, he fights for safety and with glory, he fights for his own reputation. Thus, although he seeks peace and knows he deserves it without hurting anybody if he is threatened of such peace, then he can wage war in order to get his peace back. Hobbes also contends that a person’s rights, when renounced or transferred to others, are entered into social contracts, such as when people entrust their rights to a ruler. This means that all persons must mutually agree to transfer their right to a political sovereign or in Hobbes’ term, the state of Leviathan. It is also agreed that this state punishes violators of the agreement to obey the laws of society. The ruler’s power should come from the natural right of people to live in peace. Similarly, Locke believes that man is governed by natural law but goes further in saying that it is the manifestation of human reason which restricts the egoism of pure self-interest such as having one’s individual peace. ...
Hobbes also contends that a person’s rights, when renounced or transferred to others, are entered into social contracts, such as when people entrust their rights to a ruler. This means that all persons must mutually agree to transfer their right to a political sovereign or in Hobbes’ term, the state of Leviathan. It is also agreed that this state punishes violators of the agreement to obey the laws of society. The ruler’s power should come from the natural right of people to live in peace. Similarly, Locke believes that man is governed by natural law, but goes further in saying that it is the manifestation of human reason which restricts the egoism of pure self-interest such as having one’s individual peace and liberty, and promoting more sociable benefits. Locke proposes that man has three basic natural rights: to life, liberty and property. When people entrust a leader to these, it should not be absolute but only partial. Rulers are also vulnerable to the temptation of hoarding power. People are comfortable obeying the government as long as their individual rights are protected, thereby enhancing their freedom. Should they feel that it fails to do so, or that government violates their rights, they would feel the need to fight against it to regain their rights. Aristotle believes that the state should cater to the needs of its citizens and does not exist only for the sake of maintaining lives, but more than that, achieving good lives. He believes in communal service, that all citizens should share in the administration of justice and should not encourage one to live only for himself. Those who are self-sufficient and do not need others to survive are seen as outcasts because it is believed that a social instinct is implanted in all people by nature. Since ...Show more

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An essay "A Cornucopia of Views on Democracy " discusses how democracy has been viewed from different perspectives by prominent philosophers over the course of history.  It attempts to merge their ideas while I as the author give my own views in reaction to their contentions. …
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