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A Critical Analysis Of Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory

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Hobbes has been influenced by the state of nature. He is most known for being a modern philosopher as well as his book Leviathan. The social contract of Hobbes states that everyone agrees to create a government in which they are working towards one goal to achieve. If all people are trying to gain commonwealth then, it would be beneficial for everyone to work towards the same goal in life. Hobbes’ theory gives everyone freedom, but does not necessarily give them security. It may be thought that morality might be thrown out of the window when it comes to Hobbes, but that is when he creates the agreement between everyone called commonwealth which is formed through institution or agreement. If it is agreed amongst every citizen morality can change when people feel the same way about a certain rule. For example, if people thought stealing was okay and everyone had agreed then, this would be considered a change of agreement where it is okay for people to steal. Hobbes’ social contract theory is not something that our society should take on today.

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Hobbes’ social contract theory is not a good view because he does not offer rules or laws that are set in place. His theory relies on the majority of people to agree on one set of rules. If they would like to change their ways of thinking they would be allowed to do so. When comparing his social contract theory to our modern society he provides all of the freedom to people, but no security. A society that does not have security can ruin the morality of a society. He believes that having a commonwealth agreement will improve the relationship between the city and state, but because it can change very often it would not work within any society. He says that a man will do anything without the fear of punishment to get what he wants – power – and whatever it takes him he will do it because there is no such thing as punishment.

The next reason why his theory was not a good one is because he believes that all humans are atomistic. He believes that people are all self-interested, isolated, or an economic contractarian. Someone who is fully moral would be considered someone who has emotions, dependency on others, and then goes on to strengthen their understanding of morals. This theory does not include how to be a moral person nor does it include when and why. When morals are out of the picture a society can lead to chaos. Another reason why we should be moral is because it may be logical to think that God is the one who created morals. If there is a God he would want the people to grow and succeed if there really is a God.

To compare and contrast, Hobbes’ social contract theory is a good view. Hobbes’ intentions about civilization was to bring forth a community environment. If all citizens come together to achieve the same goal it will benefit everyone. Some benefits include people get to have their freedom without punishments. When they decide that a rule is not fair anymore they will be able to change it. When civilization does not have set rules, it is assumed that naturally there should not be any crimes committed. This would conclude that they are able to change and revise any laws or rules that have been made. Everyone is self-interested and will invest in themselves to flourish in society. Every man will be able to get what they want if they work hard enough to get it.

The last reason that Hobbes’ social contract theory is a good view is because Hobbes’ is against violence. In Hobbes’ life he lived through the english civil war which hindered his thinking about a society. When there is a leader to follow we avoid chaos and war. Contrastly, God was the one who had picked and chose out kings, but Hobbes’ did not quite agree with this. It was the people who should have chosen a ruler which everyone agreed upon. Men may have the ability to break rules or laws that would have been considered moral, but because of his social contract theory the only reason someone can be put up against the community is if he threatened to kill other people. If we relied on the state of nature for Hobbes’ would say that it would be solitary, brutish, nasty, and short. This is why Hobbes decided that a government should be made up of the people. It puts the people first and to decide what is best for each and everyone of them.

Overall, Hobbes’ social contract theory was in everyone’s best interest. This gave people the chance to gain power for themselves. This would allow for people to improve their own lives. Although, Hobbes’ social contract theory did not consider morals because of unwritten laws it was for a greater purpose meant to have everyone discover their best interest. This gave people a lot of freedom for their future. Hobbes’ says that living in the state of nature would be brutish, poor, solitary, and nasty which is the opposite of what he wanted. He wanted everyone to have the same goal to achieve and to achieve it in the best way possible for them no matter what it took. Hobbes’ social contract theory was the right one because at the time when the Leviathan was written there were people who would influence their people and it was controlled by one person. The way that his contract theory worked was that everyone had the same goal and had every means to reach it. 

10 Jun 2021

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