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Contrast to hobbes who posited the state of nature as

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contrast to Hobbes, who posited the state of nature as a hypothetical possibility, Locke is at great pains to show that such a state did indeed exist. Indeed, it exists wherever there is no legitimate government. Whereas Hobbes speaks of the misery of the State of Nature more directly, Locke waits until Chapter IX to describe the state of nature as one that 'however free, is full of continual dangers.' While no individual in this state may tell another what to do or authoritatively pronounce justice in a given case, men are not free to do whatever they please. "The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it" (2 nd Tr., §6). The specifics of this law are unwritten, however, and so each is likely to misapply it in his own case. Lacking any commonly recognized, impartial judge, there is no way to correct these misapplications. Even were such a judge available, the just are vastly outnumbered by the unjust and indifferent, so his pronouncements would lack effect. This section, S6, also presumes theism. In other words, rather than arguing for the presence of men by natural ideas, Locke assumes that all men are born by God. The law of nature is therefore ill enforced in the state of nature. IF man in the state of nature be so free, as has been said; if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to no body, why will he part with his freedom? Why will he give up this empire, and subject himself to the dominion and control of any other power? To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very unsecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property. (2 nd Tr., §123)
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What should be a state of peace very quickly begins to look like the state of war that Hobbes described (though the ill enforcement of the law of nature does not release individuals from their obligation to it, as it does in Hobbes). It is to avoid the state of war that often occurs in the state of nature and to protect their private property that men enter into civil or political society, ie. state of society. It is also the state to which men return upon the dissolution of government, i.e., under tyranny.
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