FINAL HOBBES ON THE LAW OF NATURE

We noted above an important difference between Hobbes and Locke on their interpretation of Liberity and Equality, V12, that Locke gave these concepts a moral meaning, backed up by the idea of Law of Nature. This may form an objection to Hobbs, V12, that he has noplace for moralityvin the State of Nature.

In one sense, this is true. It declares that there are no rights (apary from the natural right to do whatever one chooses as a means to Self-preservation) and no justice, since both depends upon laws. However, he alsp has a theory of the Laws of Nature. He differs from Locke in presenting the Laws of Nature as purely rational, rather than moral — what people should do, rationally speaking in pursuit of Self-preservation.

Because the main threat to our Self-preservation is violence, the fundamental Law of Nature is:

That everyman, ough to endea-vour peace, as farre as he has hope of obtaining it and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek, and use, all helps, and advantages of warre (Leviathan Ch14).

However, this is not enough to lead peace. For example if we agree with someone not to attack each other, the question arises whether we can trust them. If they are prepared to break the agreement, then it is not safor for us, not to guard aganaist them. So it is possible to follow the Law of Nature, but still be violent or be prepared to be violent.

Furthermore we can trust people to be rational and seek peace in the first place. Some people, Hobbes thought, will be irration-ally moved by their desires and emotions taking more than they need, taking pleasure in their power. Feedings of honor or pride or revenge may motivate them. Other people may simply be short-sighted, and not see the long-term benefits of keeping an agreement when it involves short-term cost. Look at how suspicious we are of other people when we do live in the state — we hide our valuables, we lock our houses, we take precautions aganaist being attacked. If we can feel this way when there is law and order think how much worse our fear and suspicion be when there is no law.

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