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John Locke (1632-1704)

The state of nature, and the state of War, which however some Men have confounded, are as far distant as a State of Peace, Good Will, Mutual Assistance, and Preservation, and a State of Enmity, Malice, Violence, and Mutual Destruction are from one another (John Locke, Second Treaties of Civil Government, s. 19, p. 280)

Locke and Hobbes

Apakah Locke sedang membayangkan Hobbes ketika menulis alinea itu (terbit tahun 1689)? Karya-karya Hobbes dibaca oleh Locke. Locke berbeda pendapat dengan Hobbes dalam melihat state of nature. Hobbes mengidentifikasi state of nature sebagai state of war, Locke bersikeras menekankan bahwa pandangan ini salah

Locke menganggap bahwa ada kemungkinan untuk hidup dengan wajar bahkan ketika tidak ada pemerintahan. Bagaimana Locke sampai pada kesimpulan ini? atau Bagaimana, menurut Locke, Thomas Hobbes keliru dalam memahami state of nature?

Locke and State of Nature

The state of nature, says Locke, is First, a state of perfect freedom Second, a state of equality Third, bound by a law of nature Note: Ketiga hal itu terdengar mirip dengan pandangan Hobbes, tetapi Locke memberikan interpretasi yang sangat berbeda atas ketiga pengertian itu.

Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653)

accepted the feudal view of a natural hierarchy, headed by a sovereign, ruling by divine appointment a defender of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kingsthat the King ruled with authority granted by God. argued that God had appointed Adam first sovereigns, and contemporary sovereign can trace their title back to Gods initial grant.

Locke Against Filmer

For Locke it is self evident that no one has a right to rule, in the sense that no one has been appointed by God for this purpose.

Locke and Hobbes on equality

If Hobbess principle of equality was a claim about the mental and physical capabilities of all peoples, for Locke, the principle of equality is a moral claim about rights: no person has a natural right to subordinate any other Although Hobbes view of equality is different from that of Locke, he would accept Lockes position that no one has a right to rule in the state of nature

The nature and Content of the Law of Nature

For Hobbes, the fundamental Law of Nature was to seek peace, if other are doing so, but otherwise to use the advantages of war. This, and Hobbess other eighteen laws, were said to be theorems of reason. Locke, too, believes that the Law of Nature to be discoverable by reason, but Lockes Law has a theological aspect absent in Hobbess Laws. The law, says Locke, is that no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possession. Why this is so? it is because while we have no natural superiors on earth, we do have one in heaven: we are all creatures of God, his property put on earth as his servant, made to last during his, not one anothers pleasure

According to Locke.
every one is bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his station wilfully; so by the like reason when his own Preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankinds (Second treaties, s.6, p. 271) The law of nature, for Locke: is simply the idea that mankind is to be preserved as much as possible, and Locke argues that we have a clear duty not to harm others in the state of nature (except for limited purposes of self defense) and we even have a duty to help them if we can do so without damage to ourselves.

Natural Liberty
For Hobbes: natural liberty is entirely rational and beyond moral criticism, to do whatever appropriate to help secure our own survival, even if this means attacking the innocent.

For Locke: although the state of nature be a state of liberty yet it is not a state of licenseThe state of nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges everyone (Second Treaties,s.6., pp. 270-1); we are given liberty to do only what is morally permitted. E.g., although Lockes law of nature prevents me from invading the property of others, this is in no sense a limitation of my liberty.

A Natural Right
For the Law of Nature would, as all other Laws that concern Men in this World, be in vain, if there were no body that in the State of Nature, had a Power to Execute the Law and thereby preserve the innocent and restrain offenders (Second Treaties, s.7, p. 271).

So, the Law of Nature, like all laws, needs a lawenforcer. Without such an enforcer it would be empty.
So, there must be a natural right, held by each person, to punish those who offend against the Law of Nature. Each of us has the right to punish those who harm anothers life, liberty or property.

Lockes Argument for the Right to Private Property

Theological one?: God put us on earth, and it would be absurd to think that he put us here to starve. But we will starve unless we can rightfully consume objects such as apples and acorns; furthermore, we will do better still if individual can securely possess plots of land rightfully exclude others. For then we can cultivate the land, and be secure in our enjoyment of its product

Natural Reason?
For example: he thinks it absurd, and against natural reason, to suppose that human being may not make use of the earth without the permission of all others, for if this were the case we should starve.

Hobbes and Lockes Central Difference (1)

Locke: even in the state of nature, there is an enforceable and effective moral law, backed by the natural right of punishment Hobbes: the only way of subduing any power is through the exercise of a greater power.

Hobbes and Lockes Central Difference (2)

Hobbes: the key factors that brought people into conflict was a scarcity of goods. Two people will often desire the same thing, and this will make them enemies. Locke: there is a natural abundance of land, and plenty of room for everyone, particularly, in the first Ages of the World, when Men were more in danger to be lost, by wandering from their Company, in the then vast Wilderness of the Earth, than to be straitned for want of room to plant in (Second Treaties, s.36, p. 293) How plausible is this?

The primary inconvenience of the State of Nature; the primary fault, Locke sees, is with the administration of justice. It is not so much that we will squabble over goods, but that we will squabble over what justice requires. We will, in other words, disagree about the interpretation of the Law of Nature.

Greed and the Invention of Money: scarcity does not introduces the Hobbesian State of War, but once land is in short supply and under dispute the inconvenience of the state of nature multiply and multiply. It becomes imperative to establish civil government. So although it is initially peaceful, the state of nature become almost unbearable