Governmental Philsophies: Locke vs. Hobbes Essay

Submitted By kreasons6
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A. Thomas Hobbes
1. Hobbes believed that people were naturally selfish, unsociable human beings. Human beings in general were simple minded, with selfish desires, and were most influenced by their desire for power over others. Hobbes believed that man were addicted to having power, and quarrel amongst people is only natural. Men also live by a “social contract” in which they treat others the way they wish to be treated themselves. Yet this social contract is not substantial enough to maintain order. Hobbes concluded that humanity without an omnipotent ruler would be chaotic and unsatisfactory.
2. From ideas based upon other philosophers and scientists, such a Galileo, Hobbes concluded that by scientific laws, everything could be predicted exactly. Hobbes concluded that no God, no immortal human soul existed-only matter. Hobbes was additionally influenced by the social upheaval in England, as well Descartes’ philosophies of which he strongly disagreed with. Hobbes advocated a strong central government, of which he believed could unify the people under common rules to maintain harmony and protect citizens from their own selfishness.
3. Hobbes believed in a strong, central government that had a substantial amount of power over men. The government must provide an amount of security. Only a constitutional civil power has the strength and force to control men and offer them security in exchange for some liberties. If this liberty is exchanged for security and taken into the hands of a strong government, there with be peace and men will live better lives.
4. Hobbes proposed a strong government that must be sovereign, absolute, and not subject to any laws or obligations by the citizens what so ever. As long as the sovereign does its job in protecting the rights of the citizens, the citizens are expected to be obedient. If a sovereign is unsatisfactory and a rebellion occurs, that sovereign can be replaced. Hobbes proposed that three forms of government could maintain this contract between the people and the government, and that was aristocracy, monarchy and democracy.
5. Hobbes provided the founding fathers with the philosophy that if a government is not doing its job, it is the right of the citizens to over throw it. From Hobbes also originated the idea that the governments purpose it to protect its citizens and provide them with the rights they deserved, which are their inalienable rights.
6. The constitution provides its citizens with inalienable rights. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

B. John Locke
1. Locke believed that every individual had certain rights and duties that could not be taken away from him. He also believed that humans were good by nature, kept their promises and honored their obligations, social able human beings, who could make good decisions. He believed that human beings are able to and can live in peace with one another as long as they respect each other’s rights and property.
2. Of these rights were the rights of life, liberty, and property. In saying liberty was a right of man, Locke meant political equality. It was the government’s job to protect human rights at an extent that they