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Thomas Hobbes and Social Contract Theory

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Thomas Hobbes and Social Contract Theory
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Thomas Hobbes And Social Contract Theory
Hobbes, a philosopher, argues that in order for human beings to live a life of order and without fear, they need to have some form of sovereign being or power to rule over them. This sovereign power can be an individual or a group of individuals that have the power to govern the rest. According to Hobbes, the sovereign power is necessary in order for people to live without fear of deaths and social conflicts.Hobbes clarifies that the alternative to this kind of scenario is a ‘state of nature’ which is characterized by fear of deaths and social conflicts. Hobbes has a peculiar view of human nature and believes that human bodies are machines and that political organizations are like artificial human beings. Hobbes also says that it is in human nature to be deficient of judgment and that humans need science to help them make some judgments regarding their everyday lives (Cahnand Markie, 2009).
Hobbes’s understanding of human nature is that humans need to be motivated before embarking on actions that define their lives. He believes that humans are not fundamentally selfish nor are they fundamentally rational in their judgments. It is also in human nature to be needy and vulnerable to several situations that control our everyday lives. Hobbes argues that humans are easily led astray and that human’s capacity to go astray is as abundant as humans’ ability to be fragile.

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According to Hobbes. A social contract exists due to the two human laws that human lives seem to conform to. The first law states that “Every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it, and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war.”(Cahn and Markie, 2009).The second law states that “That a man be willing, when others are so too, as far-forth as for peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things, and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself.” (Cahn and Markie, 2009)According to Hobbes, the main function of morality is to maintain law and order in the various societies that humans live in and that human need morality to define various aspects of their lives (Cahn and Markie, 2009).
References
Cahn, S. M, and Markie, P.J. (2009).Ethics.History, Theory, and contemporary issues. London: Oxford University Press

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