Hobbes State Of Nature Case Study

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Q1. Hobbes’ state of nature is a dreadful place with no way to enforce social rules. It is an unpleasant place revealing that everybody essentially needs the same basic resources to survive (equality of need) and that these basic resources are scarce and difficult to produce (fundamental scarcity). Hence we will have to compete for them (equality of power). And since human beings are naturally selfish and egoistic, nobody will look after the needs of others (limited altruism) (Rachels, 2011, p. 83). Together, these characteristics make the state of nature a miserable place to be in. The underlying assumption is that human beings are naturally selfish, meaning that they want to maximize self-benefit; and are rational in nature, implying that people know what is in their best interests and understand the effective way to attain that which maximizes their benefits. This selfishness and rationality then unveils the disbenefits of the state of nature and hence create a desire for humans to escape from the state of nature. According to Hobbes, in order to escape the intolerable state of nature and to gain mutual benefit, selfish rational people would choose to cooperate with each other, also proven by the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Rachels, 2011, pp. 87-88). This requires people to make…show more content…
One common attack against Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory is that some groups of individuals cannot possibly benefit us. Thus, we rational, selfish beings should not enter into a contract with them as the point of a contract is self-interest and benefit. Since we do not need to enter into any social contract with them, there are no rules of morality that we need to respect for them. Hence, no contract suggests no rules and no rules means no morality. This implies that we have no moral obligations towards these non-benefiting groups and can treat these individuals in any way whatsoever. These vulnerable groups include human infants, animals and future generations (Rachels, 2011, p.
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