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Compare And Contrast The Views Of Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

737 words - 3 pages

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704) greatly disagreed on many key issues of their day; issues such as human nature, political authority, and the right of people to rebel. Hobbes studied before the Enlightenment, whereas that influenced John Locke's views immensely. Hobbes's ideas are also derived from his pessimistic view of human nature. He viewed people as selfish and greedy. To the contrary, Locke viewed people as good and intelligent.Hobbes often described people as selfish and, because of this; he believed that a strong state was necessary to keep them in line. Hobbes also stated that life is "every man, against every man". This meant that humans will always compete ...view middle of the document...

The safest way a state could hold authority is to split the state into branches; giving each branch only as much power as needed to achieve its purpose. This he stated would stop one person or group from gaining excessive power and possibly abusing that power to the harm of the people. Hobbes held quite different beliefs regarding political authority. He believed that people are inherently selfish and greedy, and thus must have rulers with absolute power. If the ruler of a state does not have supreme and absolute power, Hobbes believed that the state will fall apart and descend into civil war. Hobbes who was living through the English civil war believed that civil war was the absolute worst thing that could happen to a state. While Hobbes believed in an absolute political power, he also believed that, unless the people were harming each other, the monarch should not bother them and should keep to himself.A long disputed topic is whether in certain circumstances humans have a right to rebel against an unjust state. Hobbes believed that the only time rebellion is justified is if the state threatens the...

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