Thomas Hobbes Essay

Submitted By matthew6612
Words: 307
Pages: 2

There are as many ways to define human nature as there are humans, and none could possibly be farther apart than the interpretations articulated by John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes may be pigeon-holed as a pessimist, while others just see him as a realist. He believed that people are not guided by reason, but instead are guided by our innate primal, animalistic instincts. According to Hobbes, without proper government men would be running rampantly through the streets, getting drunk and fighting everyone in sight. Locke on the other hand has more faith in the common people. He believes that people are generally good willed and will naturally work towards the greater good. Locke claims that while there were no civil societies yet formed hundreds of years ago, people basically were able to live in peace, because the natural laws that governed them were an innate quality in which everyone had.
Hobbes believed that the only way to ensure the stability and peace individuals must engage in what he referred to as a “social contract”. A social contract was a common understanding between anyone from two individuals to a sovereign government to ensure that many of their own rights are not encroached. Although by agreeing to this contract, people do give up some sort of rights for the sake of maintaining social order. The governing authority does not necessarily have to be a democracy; he thought it also to include an aristocracy or monarchy. Hobbes was a great believer that…