Hobbes Essay, Research Paper
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two philosophers with completely different ideas.
One tended to be more conservative and prejudice, whilst the other was free of spirit and
open-minded. However, they were both working towards the same goal: an ideal way to live life.
Thomas Hobbes first and foremost believed that all people all self-serving, prudent, and
unjust, and that people and nations fought only for their own good. He also felt that people are
naturally wicked. If left alone, they would act on their evil intentions. This is why Hobbes
thought the best form of government for the people is an absolute monarchy. Since the monarch
would, in fact, be one of the ?evil people? Hobbes based his theory upon, there would be a
governing body to keep the king in check. Another point of Hobbes? was that people are
constantly at war at each other, and only for their own interests. On this, he had more theories:
he stated the three reasons war is begun are competition for limited space, distrust, and
preservation of a powerful reputation, and the three reasons war would end would be fear of
death, desire for adequate living, and hope to attain this better life through labor, and not wars.
His last major theory is based primarily upon ?treat others as you wish to be treated?. Hobbes
believed that all humans begin life as equals, then they are shaped by society, becoming products
of their environment, which teaches them to fight for dominance. He claims that the best way to
live life is to avoid signs of hatred, and avoid pride.
John Locke had a different philosophy. He said all ideas come from experience, and that
there are two kinds of experience, sensation or introspection. Sensation is your physical
experience, while introspection is the knowledge you gain from exploring your mental capabilities.
His view was that there is a limit on your knowledge, that the only things you can be positive on
are the existence of God, your morality, and mathematics. Much of today?s political system stems
from the concepts of Locke. He preached democracy, that people had a natural ability to govern
themselves, and they should tolerate the ideas of others. He invented the ideas of three branches
of government, and the right to life, freedom, and property.
I don?t agree with just one philosopher. I think their opinions have their strengths, and
weakness, in distinct places. For instance, if Thomas Hobbes felt all people are inherently evil,
and needed a king to rule over them, but that king would also be evil, and needed a governing
body to rule over him, wouldn?t all members of the governing body be evil, thus rendering the
whole system of government worthless? I do believe in people?s ability to govern themselves, but
agree with Hobbes? system of one ruler for the sole fact that I?m lazy and an absolute monarchy
would take far less work than if I tried to set my own laws, alliances, monetary systems, etc. I
just say, let?s switch government systems daily, and then we?ll make everyone happy. (you can
really tell how just how much I care about the government…)