State of nature and social contract

In a world that freedom is guaranteed, you are able to do as you please. This place is great to be if there was a way to insure that everything you own will be safe and that people who destroy what’s yours will be penalized and justified. Life without rules is a place that can be chaotic when there is no one to help you protect your property. For a better world to be formed, people will have to give up most of their freedom to be secured and safe. As time goes on one world must end, but as one ends another begins. A life that is organized with rules and freedom that are equally shared between the people is the world that we live in now.

The government is the reason why we can somewhat live in peace with each other. They pass laws in order to protect us, while trying to let people keep some of their freedom. As society progresses on, the more the government tries to take peoples freedom, the more they try to contain people like animals in a cage. The social contract and state of nature are two concepts that show how the government was created and how they make their rules in order for their people to be safe while still having freedom to do as they desire.

A world that has not been introduced to civilization is a world that is in a wild primitive state. This world is a state of equality, where all powers of a human being is the same and no one has more than another. Although people get to live entirely free, this freedom is not a state of complete license. It is limited to the bounds of the law of nature, which keeps it from ever having a natural hierarchy among humans. Every kind of specie was the same rank and same advantages of nature. This is what people call the state of nature because of the unstructured ways that people live.

This state has no type of government or procedures for rules for people to follow, which allows human being to wrongfully hurt other by doing criminal act to each other for their own best interest. This means that people can get away with things that they never could in the time people live in now. In this state, people can live as free as they want without any rules or laws to stop them from doing so, but by living this way the people’s safety is not secured. Some people like to take advantage of the power of freedom to hurt others or kill them to take their personal things and food.

This problem is faced by all humans that live in the state of nature. They face this problem because this state lacks the authority to keep people in line and to guide them from right and wrong. One thing that separates the civilized state and the state of nature is knowing what is right from wrong. If humans in the wild grow up knowing to kill, they will think that nothing is wrong with it, while civilized people would be horrified from it because they know it’s wrong. Thomas Hobbes believed that humans in a Hobbesian state of nature “are motivated, among other things, competition and by a desire for reputation.

They want their companions to value them and they seek, therefore, to overcome all signs of contempt or undervaluing. In pursuing their goals, they do indeed use violence to make themselves masters of other men’s persons, wives, children, and cattle,” (Steinberger 596). He clearly thinks that humans will do anything to try to become the leader and obtain everything they want even if he was to be violent and use force. Hobbes suggested that the life of the state of nature “may well be solitary and poor. It may be a life of fear, insecurity, and barbarism. But it is not a life lived in utter isolation.

It seems, then that in describing a state of nature Hobbes is seeking to describe a circumstance that is not at all presocial but, rather, prepolitical” (597). Another philosopher that studied the state of nature was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who embraced the state of nature as a basic structure of living life the simplest way a person can. Rousseau suggested that “Hobbes utterly misunderstands the state of nature, hence utterly misunderstands the circumstances out of which the social contract emerges, circumstances that compose in turn, the foundations of political society” (Steinberger 596).

In other words, Rousseau said that Hobbes concept of the state of nature was not fully correct and therefore his concept of the social contract was also not fully correct because of his knowledge toward the state of nature. According to Rousseau, “It is not good that the person who makes the laws should execute them, nor that the body of the people should turn its attention from the general considerations toward particular matters” (Carver 2). The only thing that Rousseau and Hobbes agreed on was that the state of nature was meant to be the basic building block of a political structure of society.

In this case it was the first start of building a government and society. The main actualization of this theory is that this state can only contain freedom and not security. To obtain security, you will need to give up some of your freedom to insure some kind of safety. The more freedom you are willing to give up the securer your belongings will be from others. By doing so you would be leaving the state of nature and entering a civilized state. This would mean that you have entered to a social contract which guarantees you safety. A social contract is an unquestioning agreement among the people of a society to agree for social benefits.

The social contract is not a written contract that every single person has to sign; it is an imaginary contract that everybody at the time agreed of following. It was invented by a random person had in order to control the people from hurting each other. This contract basically allows someone to be in charge and make the rules. It is what proves that the state is civilized and is able to sustain a balance of good and bad between the members of society. If a person decides to do something wrong, the contract will allow that person to be punished by the leader in charge.

This is where the government starts to become bigger and stronger as they get more people to represent them. Once, the society is advance and organized the people will want a say in what the rules are and what kind of benefits they will receive. That is when they will vote on the person in charge and the rules they make. This is doctrine called popular sovereignty. Even though the members of society have to live by rules, they can still have some freedom. This doctrine allows the people to have some freedom and security at the same time. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are both philosophers that believed in the same idea of the social contract.

They “assume that men at first lived in a state of anarchy which there was no society, no government, and no organized coercion of the individual by the group” (Byerly 6). They knew that in the time of the state of nature all the people were on their own and had to protect themselves from others at any cost. Some people would gather in groups in order to survive day by day. The philosopher Thomas Hobbes believed that “by the social contract, men had surrendered their natural liberties in order to enjoy the order and safety of the organized state” (Byerly 6).

He knew that people wanted security and needed it, which is why they gave up a part of their freedom. At this time the people thought it was a great and equal trade. The more freedom they gave up the more security they had gotten. As time progressed on Locke leaned towards the side of the people and describe the social contract as a way to give the people some power against the government. Locke “used the social contract as the basis of his advocacy of popular sovereignty to champion the idea that the monarchy or government must reflect the will of the people” (Byerly 6).

Another philosopher that agreed with Locke’s idea was Rousseau but, he had slightly changed his idea to make his own that he believed in. He wants the people to have power but, also responsibilities for their actions. Rousseau “described the general will as a means of establishment reciprocal rights and duties, privileges, and responsibilities, thus serving as a basis of the state. In general, the position has held that the preservation of certain natural rights was an essential part of the social contract, and that consent of the governed was fundamental to any exercise of government power” (Byerly 6).