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In order to illustrate the state of nature and the necessity of monarchy, in Hobbes’ masterpiece Leviathan, he brings in the controversial concept of how naturally men have been conditioned to be equal. In his argument, Hobbes says that this equality is brought about biologically through the body and mind and that also through nature. When he claims about how men are equal in body, he goes ahead to argue that even though some people might be stronger than others, they still equal in their vulnerability. For example, a child can be able to kill a muscular boxer during the time of the boxer sleep. Thereby, given the right circumstances, everyman can equally kill anyone. The other concept of equality according to Hobbes is that of the mind whereby he claims that the mind even brings the concept of equality far much better than the body since everyman thinks of himself to be much better than the other. Take myself as an example, I do accept that some students have better painting skill than me or some students are more eloquent than me while it is hard for me admit that they are truly cleverer than me. This is because we always see others’ brilliance at a distance. Finally, he argues that all human has the desire to obtain their goal. Through this equality brought about the body and mind, men tend to be selfish in nature, desiring what other people have for themselves which later leads to the rise of wars.

Other than Thomas Hobbes, another philosopher that tries to explain the concept of human equality is John Locke. Both of them agree on that human are basically equal while the ways they define equality are different. For John Locke, he mentions that all men are created equal and it does not mean that mankind should remain the same as how god has created them. It is up to the individual to pursue what is it that he wants in life if he is willing to work for it, and what he wants in life cannot be taken away from him. Specifically, this means all human actions are totally free. They have the right to control their possession and nothing we have depends on the willingness of other.

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Both Hobbes and Locke hold it that all men are in nature equal. For Hobbes, however, it is this equality that makes man dangerous, which makes his view of equality is essentially negative. On the contrary, Locke takes an more optimistic stance and all he see is the potential benefits of individuals coming together, moral conduct, and natural rights.

Xin Zhao

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