Thomas Hobbes: Good And Evil

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The topic of Good and Evil are a fundamental element in the philosophy of both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. In the Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes and Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, the reader is introduced to each author’s concept of good and evil. It is only in understanding their relativistic concepts of good and evil that one can then comprehend the rest of each work and ultimately their philosophies as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to first come to an understanding of each author 's definition of good and evil, to compare and contrast these two enlightenment thinkers, and finally, in concluding, to consider the dire ramifications which flow from an acceptance of their philosophies.
To begin, in his dedication letter to Francis Godolphin, Thomas Hobbes states that his work, The Leviathan, was written as an “endeavor to advance the Civill Power.” In as much as this work contains political philosophy it is of the utmost importance that the author’s position on good and evil are diligently studied so as to judge this
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Thomas Hobbes is very much aware of the importance attached to the Summum Bonum in the works of the ancient philosophers, however, he insists that the “end we are to consider, that the Felicity of this life, consisteth not in the repose of a mind satisfied. For there is no such Finis ultimus, nor Summum Bonum, as is spoken of in the Books of the old Morall Philosophers. Nor can a man live, whose desires are at an end...Felicity is a continual progresses of the desire.” So for Hobbes, there is no greatest good worth striving for, nor is there hope of attaining joy. Rather, the “desire of all mankind, [is] a perpetuall and restlesse desire of Power after power, that ceaseth onely in Death.” Taking this into consideration, it may be said that in Hobbes’s philosophy there is no room for an ultimate end in life, rather, life is a constant state of acquiring more in which there is no hope for a felicity in life or repose of the
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