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Thomas Hobbes

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Ayesha Khanna

on 25 September 2014

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Transcript of Thomas Hobbes

• His father was a disgraced vicar and he disappeared because of a scandal. He abandoned his three children and they were placed under the care of his brother.

Who was Thomas Hobbes?
Hobbes' Strengths & Weaknesses
Hobbes on Doctor Assisted Suicide
Arguments for Doctor Assisted
Hobbes' Philosophy
•Three of Hobbes’ laws of nature show his outlook on justice:
•We should seek peace and then result to war.
•We need to form social contracts by laying down our rights of nature.
•Men carry out agreements
•The goverenement must hold the most power.
•Inequality only exists as a result of laws.
What role should the Legal system play in society?
• The legal system should maintain order by ensuring that the laws are followed.
Who should obey laws?
•Everyone should obey the laws that the government dictates
Natural or Positive?
•Positive law, he believed in government authority which would limit violence and fear.
Persons thinking to present day?
•The idea of The Social Contract which Hobbes introduced is still present today.

By: Ayesha, Natasha, Nadine & Alex
Thomas Hobbes
• Born: April 5th 1588 in Westport, England

• Died: December 4th 1679 (age 91) in Derbyshire, England
• From the ages of 4 to 8, Thomas attended school in Westport church. By that time he could read well and count to four figures.
• In 1628, William died and Hobbes was searching for work with another wealthy family. He ended up working with the Marquess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. While travelling with him in 1631, Hobbes’ philosophy began to take form and he wrote his Short Tract on First Principles.
• In 1640, Hobbes defended King Charles I’s interpretation of his own rights during the time and members of parliament used sections of his work in debates.
• In 1608, Thomas Hobbes left Oxford and became a private tutor for William Cavendish (the oldest son of Lord Cavendish of Hardwick.
• As a student, Thomas excelled in classical languages. At the age of 14, Hobbes went to Magdalen Hall in Oxford to study.
 Thomas Hobbes believed society needs authority and government to ensure everyone’s rights are protected.
 Still very true in today’s society and how we govern ourselves, as we have authority and government whose jobs are to ensure that the citizens’ rights are protected.
 However who rightfully determines what those rights are and who will enforce them? How can we equally divide power to ensure we are not governed by a dictatorship?
 Thomas Hobbes believed as humans it is in our nature to be needy and vulnerable and when we act we may do it selfishly, impulsively or in ignorance.
 However, Hobbes was correct in the sense that many of us do act impulsively.
 Not all humans have these characteristics. It is evident that Hobbes has no faith in humanity and an overall negative outlook on human characteristics.
 Thomas Hobbes believed the natural condition of mankind is a state of violence, insecurity and constant threat.

 But are humans naturally violent, insecure and constant threats? Once again, Hobbes has an overall negative view on humanity. However, Hobbes view is false.
 Hobbes is correct in the sense that as a result of the natural condition of mankind, without government, we would be in a situation that no one would wish for as a result chaos would occur.
 However not all of us are naturally violent and selfish, once again Hobbes is generalizing. Everyone is different and their actions strongly reflect their upbringing therefore we cannot classify everyone with the same attributes.

 Thomas Hobbes believed many people are prepared to use violence to attain their goals, especially if there is no authority to stop them.
 Hobbes is correct, in some situations many people do use violence or behave selfishly in order to attain their goals.
Hobbes' Strengths & Weaknesses
 In today’s society we often use contracts to handle legal and business circumstances. People are less likely to break these contacts because if the contract is broken the party at fault can be sued.
 However considering Hobbes view on human nature this concept of contracts would not work, because only the “weakest” will perform there part of the bargain and the concept of contracts rely on trust which we naturally do not have, according to Hobbes.
 Thomas Hobbes believed in agreements and contracts, this is essentially where one party performs his part of the deal later than the other.

 Thomas Hobbes believed under the condition that the government was non-existent and there was no outline of the law and punishment people wouldn’t have a reasonable sense of what is right and wrong. He believed this poses a danger to society because everyone has different judgments as to what is right and wrong.

 Although this may be giving too much power to the government, society should be able to have an equal say so once again how can we fairly divide the power between the government and people?
 In his viewpoint Hobbes was correct, no one person’s judgment is the same in all situations. This particular viewpoint by Hobbes proves how necessary it is to have authority to judge what is right and wrong.
 Thomas Hobbes believed outside of civil society we have the right to do whatever is required to ensure self-preservation and more importantly the right to judge what will ensure self-preservation, however once again everyone judges things differently.

 This theory presents very high stakes between life and death.
 However, in some cases, in order to survive we are required to take violent or selfish measures to ensure we are protected.
Hobbes on Civil Disobedience
Judging from Thomas Hobbes childhood and education why do you think he believed in Positive Law as supposed to Natural Law?
Do you agree with Hobbes in the sense that we must have government in order to maintain peace and order? Why or why not?
Taking into consideration Hobbes' strengths and weaknesses, what do you believe the world would look like today if Hobbes was in power?
Thomas Hobbs would have not supported the idea of civil disobedience.
Hobbes was a supporter of an absolute monarchy to be in power.
Hobbes feared that democratic government would result in Civil Disobedience.
Proposed the Social Contract as a way of handling and even avoiding civil disobedience.
Position of Thomas Hobbes
Doctors can end further pain and suffering of a terminally ill patient.

The “right-to-die” should be a fundamental freedom.

Terminally ill people should be able to choose to die with dignity.

Dangerous to give doctors this power, considering Doctors are easily affected by their humanly natural instinct.
Hobbes position on the "right-to-die" would very much reflect the opinion of the monarchy, whatever their opinion may be, he would support it.
People should not make a big decisions, such as choosing to end their life, because it is impossible for humans to make reasonable and rational judgements.
Judging from what you know about how Hobbes would feel regarding doctor assisted suicide how do you believe he'd feel towards abortion?
What is another example of why Hobbes would not support civil disobedience?
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