The Social Contract Theories of Thomas Hobbes and …

In Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration, he develops severallines of arguments that are intended to establish the proper spheresfor religion and politics. His central claims are that governmentshould not use force to try to bring people to the true religion andthat religious societies are voluntary organizations that have noright to use coercive power over their own members or those outsidetheir group. One recurring line of argument that Locke uses isexplicitly religious. Locke argues that neither the example of Jesusnor the teaching of the New Testament gives any indication that forceis a proper way to bring people to salvation. He also frequentlypoints out what he takes to be clear evidence of hypocrisy, namelythat those who are so quick to persecute others for small differencesin worship or doctrine are relatively unconcerned with much moreobvious moral sins that pose an even greater threat to their eternalstate.

Hobbes, Locke and the State of Nature ..

It also summarize the major differences of the social contract theories and ..

Social Contract Theories of Hobbes, Locke, and …

Natural law is also distinct from divine law in that the latter, inthe Christian tradition, normally referred to those laws that God haddirectly revealed through prophets and other inspired writers. Naturallaw can be discovered by reason alone and applies to all people, whiledivine law can be discovered only through God's special revelation andapplies only to those to whom it is revealed and who God specificallyindicates are to be bound. Thus some seventeenth-century commentators,Locke included, held that not all of the 10 commandments, much lessthe rest of the Old Testament law, were binding on all people. The 10commandments begin “Hear O Israel” and thus are onlybinding on the people to whom they were addressed (Works6:37). As we will see below, even though Locke thought natural lawcould be known apart from special revelation, he saw no contradictionin God playing a part in the argument, so long as the relevant aspectsof God's character could be discovered by reason alone. In Locke'stheory, divine law and natural law are consistent and can overlap incontent, but they are not coextensive. Thus there is no problem forLocke if the Bible commands a moral code that is stricter than the onethat can be derived from natural law, but there is a real problem ifthe Bible teaches what is contrary to natural law. In practice, Lockeavoided this problem because consistency with natural law was one ofthe criteria he used when deciding the proper interpretation ofBiblical passages.

Hobbes & Locke | HARPER APUSH BLOG 3rd

In the century before Locke, the language of natural rights alsogained prominence through the writings of such thinkers as Grotius,Hobbes, and Pufendorf. Whereas natural law emphasized duties, naturalrights normally emphasized privileges or claims to which an individualwas entitled. There is considerable disagreement as to how thesefactors are to be understood in relation to each other in Locke'stheory. Leo Strauss, and many of his followers, take rights to beparamount, going so far as to portray Locke's position as essentiallysimilar to that of Hobbes. They point out that Locke defended ahedonist theory of human motivation (Essay 2.20) and claimthat he must agree with Hobbes about the essentially self-interestednature of human beings. Locke, they claim, recognizes natural lawobligations only in those situations where our own preservation is notin conflict, further emphasizing that our right to preserve ourselvestrumps any duties we may have.

Comparing and Contrasting Thomas Hobbes and John …

There have been some attempts to find a compromise between thesepositions. Michael Zuckert’s version of the Straussian positionacknowledges more differences between Hobbes and Locke. Zuckert stillquestions the sincerity of Locke’s theism, but thinks that Lockedoes develop a position that grounds property rights in the fact thathuman beings own themselves, something Hobbes denied. Adam Seagravehas gone a step further. He argues that the contradiction betweenLocke’s claim that human beings are owned by God and that humanbeings own themselves is only apparent. Based on passages fromLocke’s other writings (especially the Essay Concnerning HumanUnderstanding) In the passages about divine ownership, Locke isspeaking about humanity as a whole, while in the passages aboutself-ownership he is taking about individual human beings with thecapacity for property ownership. God created human beings who arecapable of having property rights with respect to one another on thebasis of owning their labor. Both of them emphasize differencesbetween Locke's use of natural rights and the earlier tradition ofnatural law.

FREE Thomas Hobbes Vs. John Locke Essay - …

The teacher will wrap up class by introducing Hobbes and Locke as philosophers who inspired some of the rights the class had just been discussing.

Social Contract Theory of John Locke - Term Paper

Many scholars reject this position. Yolton, Colman, Ashcraft, Grant,Simmons, Tuckness and others all argue that there is nothing strictlyinconsistent in Locke's admission in The Reasonableness ofChristianity. That no one has deduced all of natural law fromfirst principles does not mean that none of it has been deduced. Thesupposedly contradictory passages in the Two Treatises arefar from decisive. While it is true that Locke does not provide adeduction in the Essay, it is not clear that he was tryingto. Section 4.10.1–19 of that work seems more concerned to showhow reasoning with moral terms is possible, not to actually provide afull account of natural law. Nonetheless, it must be admitted thatLocke did not treat the topic of natural law as systematically as onemight like. Attempts to work out his theory in more detail withrespect to its ground and its content must try to reconstruct it fromscattered passages in many different texts.