DEVRY ETHC 445 Week 3 DQ 2 Living in Our
State of Nature
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ETHC 445 Week 3 DQ 2 Living in Our State of Nature
Social Contract theorists say that morality consists of a set of rules governing how
people should treat one another that rational beings will agree to accept for their
mutual benefit, on the condition that others agree to follow these rules as well.
Hobbes runs the logic like this in the form of a logical syllogism:
1) We are all self-interested,
2) Each of us needs to have a peaceful and cooperative social order to pursue our
3) We need moral rules in order to establish and maintain a cooperative social
Therefore, self-interest motivates us to establish moral rules.
Thomas Hobbes looked to the past to observe a primitive “State of Nature” in which
there is no such thing as morality, and that this self-interested human nature was
"nasty, brutish, and short" -- a kind of perpetual state of warfare
John Locke disagreed, and set forth the view that the state exists to preserve the
natural rights of its citizens. When governments fail in that task, citizens have the
right—and sometimes the duty—to withdraw their support and even to rebel. Listen
to Locke's audio on the lecture tab and read his lecturette to be able to answer this
Locke addressed Hobbes's claim that the state of nature was the state of war, though
he attribute this claim to "some men" not to Hobbes. He refuted it by pointing to
existing and real historical examples of people in a state of nature. For this purpose
he regarded any people who are not subject to a common judge to resolve disputes,
people who may legitimately take action to themselves punish wrong doers, as in a
state of nature.
Which philosophy do you espouse?
In coming to grips with...