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Hobbes Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

In the Leviathan, Hobbes declares that the primary urge of all individuals is greed and selfishness. The action / interaction of any individuals with another has only the sole desire of acquiring some logical profit or gain. Even in the matter of personal charity or any other altruistic acts, the ultimate gain would always be towards the individual?s sense of self-worth and well-being.For these individuals, the primary fears would be those influences that would disrupts or stem their ability to pursue any or all of their selfish needs and ends. Occurrences such as disease, violence, crime and ultimately war are considered the bane of humanity.Therefore, to maintain a certain amount of peace and stability for the maximum amount of time, individuals are willing observe a sense of legal obedience, forgoing some of their personal freedoms, towards the commonwealth state, on the good faith that the stare will return the favour by maintaining the security and prosperity of the state. However, there are some inadequacies in the precepts upon which Hobbes states the state should be administered under. But first, a cursory overview of the political structure and what are its core principles would enlighten in order to understand what the term ?legal obedience? fully signifies in the Leviathan.In commonwealth state, the sovereign is the sole authoritive figure who will wield veto power and any and all affairs of the state. Thus, logically, any and all laws of the state are created by the sovereign. The sovereign in itself is not subject to his own laws, a condition which helps support the perception of that position as the ultimate word in all state affairs. The only exception to this all-encompassing immunity would be action that would hurt the security of the state, effectively violating the initial basic contract between the citizens and the state. This would even include any acts that would divest some part of the sovereign?s power to anyone.??it is the office of the sovereign to maintain these rights entire, and consequently against his duty, first, to transfer to another or lay from himself any of them..? [Chapter XXX, Of the office of the sovereign representative, Leviathan] This however doesn?t rule out the delegation of duties though by which the duties delegated would still need the final approval of the sovereign.In order for the sovereign of the commonwealth maintain his figure of authority , the would need the direct and undivided loyalty of the people; to which end there would be no other contenders, barring even the possibility of influences of the spiritual kind. According to Hobbes, the sovereign figure should be publicly depicted as only accountable to the gods (in Hobbes case, a Judeo-Christian godhead) and thus the laws of the sovereign are implicitly the laws of God. The citizens are of course free to worship any spiritual figurehead, but within their private homes and not mention it in public lest it cause an influence upon other...

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