The Teachings Of Thomas Hobbes In His Book Leviathan

822 words - 3 pages

Thomas Hobbes Paper - What is the difference betweenobligations in foro interno and in foro externo, and when do wehave such obligations?According to Thomas Hobbes, there are certain laws of nature whichexist in the absence of an organized government. These laws are extremelycut throat, and place people in extremely dangerous situations where theirlives are in danger. Government is the answer to this dangerous situation,but it is here that the question of obligation comes into question. Doesone have an obligation to take a chance and follow the laws set forth forthem, or should they only think of themselves, and follow the laws ofnature? This is a vital question which I will explore.According to Hobbes, the overriding law of nature is kill or bekilled. Hobbes believed that, 'every man has a right to everything, even toanother man's body. And therefore, as long as this natural right of everyman to everything endureth, there can be no security to any man(how strongor wise soever he be) of living out the time which nature ordinarilyallowith men to live.'However he also believed, 'that a man be willing, when others areso too as far-forth as for peace and defense of himself that he shall thinkit necessary to lay down this right to all things, and be contented with somuch liberty against other men, as he would allow other men againsthimself.' The question now is, when do we have an obligation to strivetowards peace when it means giving up our natural rights?According to Hobbes, we always have an obligation to work towardspeace, and have an obligation in foro interno, but not always in foroexterno. The difference between there two are that in foro interno meansinside you, or you believing in something. In this case, it would mean thatinside you, you would want to strive for peace because it would mean an endto worrying about your life. No longer would you have to walk around in astate of nature where any one can come and take your life. Hobbes believedthat a person always has an obligation to strive towards peace in forointerno because every man wants one thing more than any other, and that isto live.However, Hobbes did not believe that you always had an obligationto work towards peace in foro externo. The reason for this, simply put, youcan not trust other men to do the same unless you can be sure that theywill...

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