MAN THE ANIMAL IS INHERENTLY FLAWED BY NATURE; HE NEEDS SOCIETY AND LAWS
FOR OWN GOOD
"Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely
straight can be built."
For the laws of nature (as justice, equity,
modesty, mercy, and, in sum, doing to others as we would be done to)
of themselves, without the terror of some power, to cause them to be
observed, are contrary to our natural passions; that carry us to partiality,
pride, revenge and the like.
During the time men live without a
common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions
called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man....[with]
no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual
fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
STATE OF WAR:
Civilians murdered in a Lebanon without law or government
and descended into utter anarchy and a war of all against all.
"With men, the state of nature is not a state of peace,
"I have long been settled in my own opinion,
that neither Philosophy, nor Religion, nor Morality, nor Wisdom,
nor interest, will ever govern nations or Parties, against their
Vanity, their Pride, their Resentment or Revenge, or their Avarice
or Ambition. Nothing but Force and Power and Strength can restrain
John Adams to Thomas Jefferson Oct 9, 1787
THE OPTIMISTS: MAN IS GOOD BY NATURE
BUT CORRUPTED BY SOCIETY
"Man is born free, yet everywhere he is chains!"
Jean Jacques Rousseau
The Social Contract
Man is naturally a kind, benevolent
animal, but he is dropt into such a damn'd needy situation here in
this vexatious world, and has such a whoreson, hungry, growling,
multiplying Pack of Necessities, Appetites, Pasions & Desires about
him, ready to devour him, for want of other food; that in fact he
must lay aside his cares for others that he may look properly to
June 30, 1788
some famous Thomas Hobbes quotes
Check it out!
Thomas Hobbes was born in London in 1588. He received
his college education at Oxford University in England, where he studied
classics. Hobbes traveled to other European countries several times
to meet with scientists and to study different forms of government.
During his time outside of England, Hobbes became interested in why
people allowed themselves to be ruled and what would be the best form
of government for England. In 1651, Hobbes wrote his most famous work,
entitled Leviathan. In it, he argued that people were naturally
wicked and could not be trusted to govern. Therefore, Hobbes believed
that an absolute monarchy - a government that gave all power to a king
or queen - was best.
Hobbes believed that humans were
basically selfish creatures who would do anything to better
their position. Left to themselves, he thought, people would
act on their evil impulses. According to Hobbes, people therefore
should not be trusted to make decisions on their own. In addition,
Hobbes felt that nations, like people, were selfishly motivated.
To Hobbes, each country was in a constant battle for power
and wealth. To prove his point, Hobbes wrote, "If men are
naturally in a state of war, why do they always carry arms
and why do they have keys to lock their doors?"
Governments were created, according
to Hobbes, to protect people from their own selfishness and
evil. The best government was one that had the great power
of a leviathan, or sea monster. Hobbes believed in the rule
of a king because he felt a country needed an authority figure
to provide direction and leadership. Because the people were
only interested in promoting their own self-interests, Hobbes
believed democracy - allowing citizens to vote for government
leaders - would never work. Hobbes wrote, "All mankind [is
in] a perpetual and restless desire for power... that [stops]
only in death." Consequently, giving power to the individual
would create a dangerous situation that would start a "war
of every man against every man" and make life "solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
Despite his distrust of democracy,
Hobbes believed that a diverse group of representatives presenting
the problems of the common person would, hopefully, prevent
a king from being cruel and unfair. During Hobbes' lifetime,
business began to have a big influence on government. Those
who could contribute money to the government were given great
status, and business interests were very powerful. In order
to offset the growing power of business, Hobbes believed that
an individual could be heard in government by authorizing a
representative to speak on their behalf. In fact, Hobbes came
up with the phrase "voice of the people," which meant that
one person could be chosen to represent a group with similar
views. However, this "voice" was merely heard and not necessarily
listened to - final decisions lay with the king.