An atheist, Hobbes long argued that religion is useful as a propaganda machine for the state, as it is the entity most capable of reminding the ignorant masses of their role and their duties. He was of the opinion that human life is by nature “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” and was pessimistic about the prospects for progress in a world short on ethics. Fearing, justly, that Leviathan might offend certain groups—especially Anglicans and French Catholics—Hobbes figured himself safest at home and returned to London, where he lived out his years privately.Commentators have praised Hobbes’s work for its logic and clarity but have disagreed over precisely what he meant. For instance, the rules Hobbes sets forth as to precisely when a citizen may transfer allegiance to a new sovereign are unclear. Basically, only
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Two Treatises, rules Hobbes sets, pessimistic Hobbes