Do you agree with your classmate’s view of whether the concept of state of nature is compatible with biblical Christianity? Be sure to add an original thought to advance the discussion.
Both Hobbes and Locke significantly try to expose the nature of man before the emergence of social existence. I believe that Locke’s view on the state of nature is more persuasive than that of Hobbes. Ideally, Hobbes has a negative concept of the state of nature as his opinion is a representation of a state of permanent war, and the threat to steer the existence of individuals. He argues that all human beings are equal; hence any of them can take dominance over others irrespective of whether they use cunning or strength, which he sees as the two most essential qualities of the state of nature. Locke, on the contrary, argues that the state of nature is characterized by equality because every person has similar powers as others, implying a state of non-subjection. Conclusively Locke outlines the laws of nature that demonstrate equality amongst human beings. In contrast to the arguments of Hobbes, Locke’s natural laws exist in the reality of the state of nature and are considered crucial characteristics of human nature since they are against individual freedom.
The state of nature is much founded on biblical concepts. From the biblical perspectives, some people (such as Moses and David) dominated others since God placed them in positions of power. Similar to the biblical teachings, people have evolved some having power or dominance over the rest due to the legal codes imposed on them. Throughout the history of humankind, people have believed that societies need to be governed by moral laws ascribed to them by their Creator. Accordingly, the state of nature is highly compatible with the biblical teachings as the humanity related governance has since time immemorial been based on what the people believed to the laws of their Creator. Similar to the people accorded authority over others in the Bible, the state of nature gives power to leaders who govern the societies.
Kirby, W. J. T., & Robert S. “From ‘Generall Meditations’ to ‘Particular Decisions’: The Augustinian Coherence of Richard Hooker’s Political Theology.” Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011, pp. 41-63.
Mouritz, T. “Comparing the social contracts of Hobbes and Locke.” The Western Australian Jurist 1(1), 2010: 123-127.
Rapaczynski, A. “Nature and politics: Liberalism in the philosophies of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.” Cornell University Press, 2019., pp. 1-296