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Vampiric Embrace Essay

1706 words - 7 pages

Vampiric Embrace

Hobbesian ideology seems to only approve of religion if it can sustain said ideology, while John Locke advocates the separation of church and state and thus creating a secular society by default. However there doesn’t seem to be any room for separation in Hobbesian political theory, as the Leviathan must encompass all; this would include both secular and religious domains. Locke, again on the other hand, seeks to have religious freedom as a necessary part of civil society. While Locke sees religion as something of a path to salvation, Hobbes sees religion as a way for the Leviathan to keep social order.
In Locke’s A Letter Concerning Toleration, he disregards the tenets of Christianity and, more or less, says that to be a true Christian is to just not be a douche-bag. This is perhaps why he seemed to upset a few members of the clergy, most notably Jonas Proast. Hobbes seems to give little credit to God and instead feels that men are responsible for the way that things are. He essentially feels that religion was born of man and that it is but a tool for the Leviathan to better control the peasantry. This only serves to reinforce the Hobbesian ideal of putting everything into a scientific perspective, and thus doing away with the need for a deity altogether; which some might argue the Leviathan is tantamount to a deity. I hate to put it in these terms but, it seems as though for Hobbes, God is the Beta version of the Leviathan.
Hobbes does not believe that God should continue to be King, because that is the place of the Leviathan alone. However, instead of doing away with religion, the Leviathan should embrace religion, so long as it serves his ends. In a very Machiavellian way, the Leviathan should use the existing clergy to transition away from “God’s Law” in favor of his own law and have the public view them as one in the same. The Church would serve as a cache of superstition, I believe so that logic could drive man in his day to day activities. The problem for the Leviathan is that, no matter how well organized the church may be, there will always be people that disobey both; this would most certainly harm the civic peace. Such disobedience could even send society back into a state of warre.
I suppose in a way Hobbes could have thought that by using the Church as a fixture of State control, the Leviathan could pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them. I say this because if Tommy isn’t going to church on Sunday then there is a reason to suspect he may be up to some unsavory things and thinking outside the established norm. This normative logic would otherwise keep man in line, but without the dual reinforcement offered by the decrees of the Church and the State a man may fall prey to his own devices. If that were to happen then he may become an enemy of the state, and attempt to rebel. If this happened, then the Leviathan need simply bare his teeth for a moment and snuff out the problem. I...

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