Thomas Hobbes’ theory of the state of nature

Hobbes interpretation of the state of nature that he suggested in the leviathan was spoken of as a state of war, by taking away the existence of an upheld society he states that war would follow where ‘every man is an enemy of every man’(125). Hobbes’s view of human nature is formed by the truancy of a stable government; where it is every man for himself. This forms a society flooded with people who are living in persistent panic leading to never-ending war. In the first paragraph of this essay, we see the building blocks that show Hobbes’s proposal on the state of nature and if there is a way to break free from it.

Hobbes says that a person’s natural state is seen evidently as a narcissist, with no recognition of right from wrong each individual is propelled by a strong desire to obtain a much higher power. This natural urge cannot be held back due to the absence of a higher power in society. Meaning each individual is consistently trying to tear down one another in the race of reputation and survival. This leads to life being as Hobbes describes ‘nasty, brutish and short’. Hobbes believed that a persons insight of right from wrong could not exist in such circumstances and that judgment revolved around the right morals can’t exist until they are implied by a higher individual of power in the society. Individuals try to expand their power as a means of natural defense, along with the desire to get whatever they want, meaning to compete with each other for specific resources ends up in continuous competition between one another. Still, we need to know whether this competition in the state of nature would lead to war/conflict in the future.

Another theory Hobbes states are that all men are equal by nature, meaning that each individual has the power to take what they truly desire in life. Hobbes sees that there are very few resources that evidently leads to a competition which also results in men becoming enemies, this helps us understand Hobbes quote ‘every man is enemy to every man’. We would think that by Hobbes saying all men are equal he would understand the respect we should have for each other but Hobbes thinks of being equal as we should all have the same amount of specialties meaning we are all more than capable of killing one another. It is a suggestion in which ‘every man has right to everything; even to one another’s body’(126). Men are equal by the rights of similar wants and needs, Hobbes way of life is a constant war.

This nature is viewed as the supreme fight of men searching for survival, we can discuss that the nature of men identifies as a world of chaos and even fear between them. Even Locke’s idea on the state of nature as we discussed was as being absolutely flawless, this meaning they have the right grasp on what’s right from wrong and stops them from taking place in killing or harming one another. The disagreements can be easily settled. Locke also said that individuals not having the reason or motive to hurt one another, this helps pave a way as a sort of pleasant existence. Locke’s insight on the way of nature surely shows we can see that he and Hobbe’s don’t exactly see eye to eye on the rudimentary concept, Hobbes’s idea is truly barbarous while the other is truly good. The discussion is whether we can have a proper society without a higher figure of authority present in their disturbed society.

We can’t forget to look at the individual’s actions that comes with the collaboration of being “good”, the natural capacity of learning can cause the individual to have a moral outlook on their behavior. This meaning the more individuals can comprehend the one-track-minded side can be discussed as being cured by certain knowledge. Hobbes’ suggestion that not having an authority figure present that can cause a particular way of war has a kind of untrueness.

In conclusion, we see the lack of a higher authority figure really takes a strong yet negative impact on the individuals, there is no law in which they could follow and law where the power is evenly distributed. If we look at the specific power of individuals we can justify what Hobbe’s was suggesting about the state of nature. It is crucial we look at the state of war we see in today’s world. War will always exist and wherever there is war there will always be war, even today there will always be a certainly strong conflict between individuals even if the individual’s power remains on the same level, Hobbe’s theory on the state of nature ending in one of war is understood in some way because there will always be some sort of power gap between individuals. In fact, it doesn’t need to be as harsh as previously described by Hobbe’s.