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Locke vs Hobbes Essay

Locke believed that, “human behavior came from thought which was learned and subject to the influence of reason and observation.” Locke’s main ideas were positive to the human race. He also states that humans know right from wrong, and they are intelligent enough to solve the problems in front of them and realizing what is lawful and unlawful. Locke believed, “God created man and we were, in effect, God’s property.” John Locke believes that a government should be some form of a social contract, were the people who were being ruled, had some say in the laws.

According to him, men are born with the three freedoms of life, liberty, and property. A government is there to protect those rights and improve the state of nature for each individual. An illegitimate government is one who fails to protect these rights, is ruled by a supreme ruler, and does not listen to what the people who are actually being governed have to say. To make a government equal and sufficient for the human race, ideas need to be taken from all kinds of people and applied to the rights each person enjoys every day. Locke believes that an absolute ruler can be over-thrown by the people if the choices they are making neglect the many things people enjoy.

Many monarch powers were arising through Europe during this time period, and John Locke was creating the ideas and reasons to downplay the power of these rulers. On the other hand, Thomas Hobbes believed that humans were naturally evil. He thought the only way to control these naturally wicked people were to hold them under a strong government. Hobbes believed in Leviathans that are powerful sea monsters, which can equally resemble the amount of power a ruler, had during this time. Thomas Hobbes fully agreed with the idea of this ruler-centered government. By giving their rights to a supreme power, individuals were believed to gain law and order.

This law and order will protect the individuals’ security and benefit their empire or region as a whole. The best government was one “which could impose order and demand obedience.” So in Thomas Hobbes view, to be a successful individual you need to hand your rights to that supreme ruler of your region and be granted with the simple laws which will govern you through your life.


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