Locke or Hobbes?

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sylvacoer

sylvacoer

The Narrator

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Sylvacoer is bored and sometimes that results in some very strange things - such as the topic of this thread. How many out there think Locke, with his theory that Man in the State of Nature was a pure being with a good heart that was corrupted by Society, had it right over Hobbes, who thought that Man was basically evil, life was "nasty, brutish, and short," and that government needed to control every aspect of Society to protect Man from himself?
Whoo... long-winded question I know, but it's been bugging me for some time.
Essentially, Locke's school of thought inspired the Founding Fathers who in turn created the first modern democracy (coming up on 230 years!), while Hobbes advocated the "Leviathan" or "police state." My personal thoughts regarding human nature aside, the past two centuries seem to support Locke's supposition: democracy has continued, while many police states have imploded (or exploded, as the case may be).
Sooooo, long story short, who do you think had it right, Locke or Hobbes?

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Wow, I actually studied this last semester!

I agree with Hobbes views on human nature, especially his ideas on liberty and natural rights, but I disagree with the conclusions he draws from it. I like Locke's idea that the primary purpose of gov't is to protect our property, but I don't think that's the sole purpose. But what do I know?

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Hey you two, come join Order-of-Reason. It was formed specifically to talk about these kinds of questions.

--Mike

  • Jan 20, 2005

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