Hobbes V State of Nature Essay

Words: 1320
Pages: 6

Thomas Hobbes claims that in a state of nature, people are constantly fighting against each other, and the only way to overcome this is to form a commonwealth. He does this by going over the conditions that describe a state of nature, certain rights that all people have in nature, and the method for transferring these rights, by way of a pledge to a sovereign, whether it to the one person, or a group of people in order to achieve a state of peace. While Hobbes makes a very clear argument, it does contain some faults when examined. Hobbes addresses these issues and tries to convince the reader that a commonwealth is the only way a society will experience lasting peace.
Firstly, Hobbes argues that when there is no government or civil
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14) When a commonwealth is created a group of people give up their natural right to anything they desire and self-protection, provided that everybody else in the group does as well, to a common sovereign. This sovereign can be either one person (a monarchy); a certain group of people (an aristocracy) or everybody in the commonwealth (a democracy). The sovereign introduces all laws to be obeyed. These laws must be for the good of those who are governed, because it is the people who created this sovereign in the first place. Whatever the sovereign decides to be fair or unfair becomes the fair or unfair because the sovereign becomes the voice of the desires of the people.
The easy part is that sovereign makes laws for the people to follow. The important part is that these laws must be enforced. In the state of nature, all covenants are void because there is no punishment for breaking them. In a commonwealth, however, it would be against the law to break a covenant, so the person would be punished. Therefore a person would not break the covenant to begin with out of fear of the punishment. Hobbes argues that if there isn’t a punishment that is worse than what would happen if the person went through with his end of the covenant, then in fact there really