The his enforcement mechanism, by executing it when


The three enlightment philosophers in our readings are in
relative agreement that freedoms are unlimited in the State of Nature. This
state (or lack thereof) however has no security, order, or accountablity. For
this reason, despite the fact that he will have to comply with certain rules, they
prefer a social life which involves a social contract. A social contract is
almost a quid-pro-quo, if you will, where by the citizen gives up certain
freedoms in exchange for that security and order that is absent in a state of
nature.

In every social
contract, however, arises the prisoner’s dilemma. The prisoner’s dilemma is a
concept understood for ages, though was only coined as a term 1950 by three
game theorists in the RAND project.  It
basically poses situation: if I give up my violent ways – but you don’t, I will
not be safe; therefore there must have some assurance that you have in fact
given up your violent ways as well. So in all instances there is some sort of
enforcement mechanism.

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In Hobbes’ case, it
is the Leviathan. Hobbes holds a very According to Hobbes’ idea of human
nature, people are innately evil, selfish, and self-righteous – and are
therefore prone to war in a state absent of governemtn (a state of nature). Hobbes
attributes the tendency toward conflict to three reasons: competition,
diffidence, glory. Hobbes believed it was necessary to have one,
authority-holding power to maintain peace – though did not believe that a king
was given his power and authority through God (as many at the time did. Instead,
he said that the ruler (the Leviathan) gets his power from the freedoms which
the people give up. The Leviathan then uses that power as his enforcement
mechanism, by executing it when others act “unjustly” as Socrates would say. Hobbes sees people as innately greedy and self-interested,
and for that reason he believes that Leviathan is necessary to keep them tamed
and to avoid quarrels. The three factors that lead to quarrel are competition,
diffidence, glory. Hobbes believes the political society is needed to
counterbalance human nature.

In Locke’s theory of the social contract, his
proposed enforcement mechanism is the responsibility of the masses rise up in
response to violation of the contract. Locke believes that people
are not innately evil, but that the only way to quell that evil is for society
members to give up certain freedoms, in order to come together to fight those
who transgress. For example, if a government ignores, or violates the rights of
its people, it is the duty of that citizenry to revolt and create a new social
contract, which respects their life, health, liberty, and possessions. Locke
has a better view of human nature, and a less “war-like” idea of the state of
nature. He believes that we are all the work of God, and as such everyone should respect each other. These rules
are determined by natural law. In the case of nature, a person who is violated
is entitled to punish it. Everyone has the right to punish their attacker and
to enforce the ‘law of nature.’ However, in nature, the right to punish these
people can lead to an extreme situation due to the inability of people to be impartial
judges, as well as other human tendencies such as revenge. The end result:
confusion, irregularity, and irrationality. This is what leads people to establish
a political society – to protect human nature. 

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