There are many different views on human nature. Some believe that it human nature is rational, while others, like Hobbes, believe that human nature is passionate, competitive, and violent. I think human nature can be broken down into those three characteristics; however, I also think that on top of human nature being passionate, competitive, and violent, it is also combined with rationalism. To begin, all men are created equal; equal in the sense of everyone being human. No one has super natural powers or more of a right to happiness than the next person in line. So if everyone is equal, then why do some stand out Everyone has a natural instinct of passion, competition, and violence.
As Hobbes says, ???Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of the body and mind, as that, through there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind that another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can there upon claim himself to benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he??? (Hobbes, p78.) Hobbes believes that all men are created equal. This sense of equality causes some to try to stand out, whether it is by intellectual qualities, physical qualities, or perhaps reputation. And to achieve this high level of whatever, humans tend to do whatever necessary to achieve their goals. Because of this ubiquitous equality, some are driven to stand out; to prove they are superior, which is another natural characteristic of human nature, which can circle back to the thought that humans are naturally passionate, competitive, and violent. First, human nature is passionate.
Passion drives people by creating a sense of desire and yearning. Some are passionate about life; others are passionate about money; some are passionate about art, sports, or any other specific, or even general wants. When one is passionate about something, for example soccer, one will dedicate part of their life to it and put a lot of time and energy into it. They can spend hours and hours and days into becoming a better soccer player. Passion leads to different actions because of the drive that it causes. Hobbes says of human that ???they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves, for they see their own wit at a hand and other men??™s at a distance.??? (Pg 78) This means that humans will always tend to think that they are superior to another, whether they are equal to another or not.
I think this is partly true because humans do tend to be arrogant and think that they are better than others, whether it is true or not due to their passion for a particular thing; however, some people use rationality and do admit that they are not as good as others. Regarding the soccer example, there are different positions, and it is unlikely that a person playing on the forward line will believe that they could play better than the mid-line, defense and goalie. It is more likely they will believe that they are superior to the other forward line players because of the fact that other excel at certain things and not in others. This is where I think rationality is also evident. However, this passion and drive to achieve maximum potential produces confidence, whether it is faulty or not, which will lead to competitiveness to prove that they are superior to another.Secondly, human nature is competitive. If one??™s passion is strong enough, and there are limited resources (like there are only a certain number of spots to be filled), which is typical, then one will compete.
Hobbes says, ???If any two men desire the same thing which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies???(pg 78). This is evident today, just as it is throughout history. Another example of this is competing for grades. If only one person can be the valedictorian, two people competing, will secretly hope that the other will fail, and prove that one is better than the other. Competition is omnipresent.
Everyone is always competing whether it is for the starter position on the soccer team, or for a promotion, or even in a Presidential election. Competition comes naturally, and I think that it is actually a very good quality for human to have. If there was no competition, there would be no incentive to improve or exceed. Where would technology be without the desire and passion to be the first to invent something new Because there are rewards for coming in first, whether it is monetary, for a title, or even for pride and reputation, there is a drive to compete, especially based on Hobbes belief that all humans are equal. Where I think the human nature of rationalism comes in with competition, is there are boundaries that a normal person would not cross.
There are rules and regulations that are followed, and good judgment is used.Thirdly, human nature is naturally violent. I believe that human nature does tend to be violent, considering our historical records and just a basis of life with all the crime and violence that does occur.
In history class, main topics revolve around war and violence; the crusades, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the attack on the World Trade Center. Humans use violence to prove a point or to fight for something they want or believe in. Because human nature tends to be violent, people must be able to protect themselves and be prepared.
Hobbes says, ???let him therefore consider with himself, when taking a journey, he arms himself and seeks to go well accompanied; when going to sleep, he locks his doors; when even in his house, he locks he chests; and this when he knows there be laws and public officers armed to revenge all injuries shall be done him.??? (pg 79) This just shows the precautions people take because it is unknown when someone will steal, hurt, or even kill. I mean just about everyone locks their doors to their house or their car when they are not around. I was in my car the other day, and I purposely put my GPS system in my glove box, and I thought of how human nature is greedy and violent. Even because human nature tends to be violent, I think rationalism also applies here.
Back to the soccer example, it is very unlikely that the two people competing for the starting position will break into the other??™s home and kill them because that would just be unnecessary and ridiculous. However I think that the reason that this does not happen, besides rationalism, is the establishment on laws and consequences.An establishment of government and a common power helps subdue the extremes of human nature. According to Hobbes, ???during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man.??? (pg 79). Having a source of power and enforcing consequences allows human nature to be in check, instead of complete violence.
If there were no consequences other than kill or be killed, chaos would occur. An establishment of laws and rules allow the world to operate in a reasonable manner; otherwise, if someone wanted something, for example, a new car, there would be nothing to stop someone from killing the owner of the desired object and just driving away in their new Mercedes-Benz. Because of a common power and established laws and consequences, this situation is less likely to happen. Maybe if human nature was the opposite of Hobbes and my beliefs, there would be no government and no laws. The world could be a utopia; however, it is not, and therefore, laws and power is conventional.All in all, Thomas Hobbes creates a substantial outline for defining human nature. I do believe that human nature is passionate, competitive, and violent, but also rational in respect to those characteristics.
Humans are able to use their best judgment, even though sometimes they do not, but they are used to and familiar with those characteristics and that is why the world is the way it is with laws and government. Without it, there would be total and complete chaos.