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Free «Natural Law» Essay Sample

According to Aaron, Locke and Hobbes were theorists who dealt with social contracts. They were also theorists of natural law. Their view of natural law was based on Saint Aquinas’ ideology as opposed to Newton’s ideology. This is the point where their resemblance ends. It was believed by all other theorists of natural law that in essence man was a social animal. Hobbes’ model adopted a different perspective thereby making his work different from other theories of the law. Hobbes is also discredited for producing unconventional results in his work on physics and mathematics. The mathematician’s reaction was triggered by the unconventional ways that Hobbes had used in his work. For one to compare and contrast exhaustively the work of these two individuals, step by step analysis has to be done.

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According to Preston, their first perspective is based on Premises. According to Hobbes, man is not a social animal by nature. This is reinforced by the fact that the society would cease to exist if there was no state. On the contrary, Locke held the idea that man was a social animal and with or without the presence of the state they would still possess these features. On the second topic which relates to nature’s state, Locke put forward numerous ideas as opposed to Hobbes. First, he stated that in nature’s state men had a tendency of keeping promises and honoring their pledges by observing their specific obligations. This was done in a peaceful and pleasant way. The American frontier and soldania are quoted as the best examples to illustrate this idea. In these regions, property rights had become part of the society. Locke also stated that princes are in constant state of nature in relation to themselves (Armitage).

The example of Rome and Venice has also been considered by Locke. Locke claims that the towns of Rome and Venice belonged to the same state before they were founded. Locke also explains that in places where punishments for wrong doing are socially acceptable, like the case of American frontier, people are in state of nature. Though there might be cases of insecurity, the conflict is always put to an end by forceful restoration of peace. In this statement, peace is regarded as normal. Hobbe had a very different view on the same topic. He stated that no society with continuation of fear and the subsequent danger of violence where the life of man is disregarded would fail to exist.

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As Arneil said, the other point of departure between these two individual’s views was the knowledge of natural law. According to Locke, humans are conversant with what is regarded as wrong and right. This enables them to know what is unlawful and what is required by the law. Locke also describes humans as individuals who are able to solve conflict in a lawful manner without infringing on other peoples rights. In particular, Locke emphasizes the ability of man to differentiate between what is rightfully theirs and what does not belong to them. The only regret that Locke expresses is that humans do not act according to the requirements of this knowledge.

On Hobbes’s part, he stated that our knowledge of answers to question is feeble and imperfect. He continues to state that it is worthless to try and resolve disputes. He also contradicts Locke by stating that, in state of nature, one cannot differentiate between what belongs to them. He also states that property exists on the government’s preference; this makes it impossible for man to live without endless violent conflicts. Hobbes also held a funny view that stated that morality was not a feature of a human but merely a set of commands from a specific group or the Supreme Being. He further degrades law by terming it a momentary will of the governor or ruler (Ashcraft).

 
 
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According to Butler, in relation to Epistemology the two theorists have contradicted in its application. Locke’s view on epistemology is that there exists a large gap between our ideas about the world. He further states that, if one man declares something to be good and another one declares the same ting to be evil, both men have qualities of good and evil. This is so because there are different categories that exist in the world today regardless of how we name them (Thornton). Locke establishes a common ground between the two conflicting ideologies of good and evil by stating that if one man does not agree with the other’s point of view, it is generally the problem of poor communication. This, he further states, cannot be taken as a fundamental arbitrary to reality.

            In Hobbes’ view, naming is what makes the situation the way it appears. This view is close to Stalin’s as he declared that truth was the will of a ruler. As to the matters related to conflict, Locke’s holds the view that peace is a norm and it should remain as such. He explains that people should live peacefully and stop destroying property. In contrast, Hobbes believes that men are unable to understand good and evil. This means that they can only live peacefully when they are subjected to a specific source of authority. Therefore, Hobbes believes peace between kings is nonexistent. He summarizes this argument by stating that peace between states is a state of war in disguise.

The two theorists have different varying points (Claudia), If to consider the social contact, Locke concludes that humans are able to give up their rights of retribution for crimes. In return, people demand impartial justice that is backed by overwhelming force. He states that humans have the ability to retain the right to live wherever they wish. This should occasion the ability to gain impartial protection of property. In Hobbes conclusion, he describes the social contact by stating that, if a person goes silent and follows orders, he/she deserves to be killed (Preston). The person does not reserve the right that will protect him from death. He states that this does not constitute the violation of this contract. In relation to violation of social context, Locke explains that the ruler will always seek absolute power. By acting as the judge and overseer, the ruler puts himself at war with the citizens. This gives the subjects the right to kill the ruler and his servants.

On the contrary Hobbes believes that breach of contract is a development that can never happen (Butler). It is referred to as the breach of the agreement of sovereignty. By this explanation, he states that their subjects can be freed from the ruler’s subjection. It is the ruler’s mandate to define what is good and what is bad for the subjects. The explanation defines that the ruler cannot be wrong and that it is impossible for the ruler to be unlawful. In relation to rights, Locke explains that it’s a man’s natural attribute to have rights. Hobbes disputed this by stating that an individual commits his/her rights to the overseeing state in exchange for life.

 

   

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