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Hobbes social darwinism

  1. Apr 8, 2006 #1
    Man's life in a state of nature, said Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan, is a "war of all against all:"

    And in that state of nature, no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

    In the Hobbesian view, there can ultimately be no cure for violence; it is in our wiring; in fact, it is in the bones of the universe in which we live. You can counteract or punish it--you can shoot the shooters--but it will always be with you. The state or civilization, according to Hobbes, is the way we organize ourselves to repress violence.

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2006 #2
    From the specatacle.org article:

    That might hold true from the American technological perspective, but it doesn't explain suicide bombers. And "animal pity" is an assumption that I don't think holds up. It doens't account for male grizzly bears killing young grizzlies just so they can get laid sooner. Even cute little female ground squirrels have been known to kill the youngsters of other females, presumably to give their own offspring a better chance. Or baby birds that push weaker siblings out of the nest, or...

    I can't agree completely with Hobbes, either. Competition of all against all, maybe, but that doesn't have to lead to war. Alliances can be formed by trading, intermarrying, etc. Generally, people spend the vast majority of their time in peace, punctuated only briefly, though memorably, by war.
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