The Resposibility Project

The Responsibility Project
Sharon Batts
February 24, 2014

The Responsibility Project
“The social contract theory holds that in the earliest history man lived in a State of Nature” (Answers, 2014). No government existed. Each man was only as secure as his own power and mental awareness could make him. By agreeing with one another to make a state by contract, men within a given area joined together, each surrendering personal freedom as necessary to promote the safety and well being of all. By this contract the members created a government. The social contract gives rights and responsibilities to both the citizenry and the government” (Answers, 2014).
There are three philosophers who each had their own theory about social contract. The first philosophers is Thomas Hobbes, he believed that before the social contract theory came about man lived in a state of nature and man’s life was lived by fear and selfishness. He believed that life in the State of Nature was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Elahi, 2014).   He believed that man had a natural desire for security and order. So, they can secure self-protection and self-preservation, and avoid misery and pain. This is why man entered into a contract. He believed this idea of self-protection and self-preservation are natural in man’s nature and to achieve this, they gave up their rights and freedoms freely to some authority by this contract who must command obedience. Thomas Hobbes believed that law should be dependent upon the sanction of the sovereign because it will preserve peace, life, and prosperity.
The next philosopher is John Locke and his theory about social contract differed from that of Thomas Hobbes. According to John Locke man lived in a State of Nature, but his perception of the State of Nature is not the same as contemplated by Hobbes theory. John Locke’s take on the state of nature is not as depressing as that of Hobbes. John Locke theory was basically good and...