Our knowledge of objective true answers on such

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Our knowledge of objective, true answers on such questions is so feeble, so slight and imperfect as to be mostly worthless in resolving practical disputes. In a state of nature people cannot know what is theirs and what is someone else’s. Property exists solely by the will of the state, thus in a state of nature men are condemned to endless violent conflict. In practice morality is for the most part merely a command by some person or group or God, and law merely the momentary will of the ruler. Epistemology The gap between our ideas and words about the world, and the world itself, is large and difficult, but still, if one man calls something good, while another man calls it evil, the deed or man referred to still has real qualities of good or evil, the categories exist in the world regardless of our names for them, and if one man’s word does not correspond to another mans word, this a problem of communication, not fundamental arbitrariness in reality. It is the naming, that makes it so. Sometimes Hobbes comes close to the Stalinist position that truth itself is merely the will of the ruler. Conflict Peace is the norm, and should be the norm. We can and should live together in peace by refraining from molest each other’s property and persons, and for the most part we do. Men cannot know good and evil, and in consequence can only live in peace together by subjection to the absolute power of a common master, and therefore there can be no peace between kings.
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Peace between states is merely war by other means. Conclusions Issue Locke Hobbes The Social Contract We give up our right to ourselves exact retribution for crimes in return for impartial justice backed by overwhelming force. We retain the right to life and liberty, and gain the right to just, impartial protection of our property If you shut up and do as you are told, you have the right not to be killed, and you do not even have the right not to be killed, for no matter what the Sovereign does, it does not constitute violation of the contract. Violation of the social contract If a ruler seeks absolute power , if he acts both as judge and participant in disputes, he puts himself in a state of war with his subjects and we have the right and the duty to kill such rulers and their servants. No right to rebel. “there can happen no breach of covenant on the part of the sovereign; and consequently none of his subjects, by any pretence of forfeiture, can be freed from his subjection.” The ruler’s will defines good and evil for his subjects. The King can do no
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