Hobbes' Views On Humanity. Is This Conception Of Humanity Accurate, That Is, Is Man A Self Preserving And Anti Social Machine? Are Humans Ultimately Selfish And Perpetually In A State Of Conflict?

2561 words - 10 pages

The conception of humanity has and probably will never be accurately conceived, but few philosophers come quite close to swaying the crowd. Thomas Hobbes leads to say that human beings are ultimately selfish and always in a state of conflict. While it may sound a bit preposterous, it is quite logical and relevant, especially in today's society. Is every good or concerned act, thought or feeling only in that person's self -interest? Are there exceptions to this, or is it all of mankind?So then, can be accurately say that every single action, thought or feeling, whether conscious or unconscious was pure selfishness and in our own self-interest? If it was not so, it would not even be conceivable. Man is by nature selfish and seeks of his own self-interest in every possible way. Man is born to be defensive; to protect one's self. Thomas Hobbes gives two (2) reasons why man is selfish. The first is the desire for power and the second is the fear of others. There is also agreement to these reasons as they are relevant and effective to being selfish. Everyone wants to have power, to rule, to be the leader. One cannot accomplish these things is they do not seek success in their own self-interest. As any successful person would know man must be aggressive when pursuing any goal in life. So, then we are once again being selfish, not caring or considering what the other person wants or even needs. All we know is that we want power and some people achieve this by any means necessary. The other reason speaks of fear of others. It means that if you are not aggressive and confident in one's self it is because of fear. Man fears others so therefore; they will be mean, selfish. For example, in school a bully was always seen as selfish and mean, while later in reality the bully was just fearful of others, whether it be of what they thought or said.By now, one begins to wonder about volunteers and organ donors. Is one left to believe that they too have some selfish thought? Hobbes' states two (2) things about man, that they are selfish, which means wanting only their own good and care nothing about others, and that they are an anti-social machine. Hobbes' definition of selfishness might be a bit extreme when comparing it to people like Mother Theresa or Gandhi. These two people were absolutely extraordinary and peacemakers. One may not consider these two people as being selfish, mainly because they are afraid to do so. How dare someone criticize Mother Theresa when she was helpful and giving until the day of her death. All she did was help the needy because she knew their situation, she was still of that situation, poor. So, would Hobbes' say that she was on a crusade for herself rather that God and of mankind? After all, she did gain power, great acknowledgement and recognition throughout the world. But Hobbes also says that if one also wants other people to be happy and act on that desire then they are not selfish. So then one can accurately say that while the...

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