The State Of Nature — страница 2

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general ideas, or compare themselves to other people. That is why Rousseau does not believe that people can have virtue in the state of nature. Conversely, the innocent nature of people in the state of nature does not allow for the traits of jealousy, cruelty and deception. Using illness as an example, Rousseau claims that in a state of nature lacking the advances of modern medicine they majority of people were healthier than those in a modern unequal society. He adds that man by nature is healthy; different aspects of society make him/her sick. The inequalities of modern society contribute to the physical illnesses of people in terms of unequal food distribution, hygiene and different stress levels. In the state of nature, medical remedies were seldom needed. Before medical

breakthroughs, people were generally healthy and if people did get sick, they all had an equal chance. Even in medicine there were no inequalities. Rousseau is very critical of the views of his predecessor John Locke. Locke views the state of nature as a society that exists without formal government. Locke believes all people in his view of the state of nature are subject to a moral code and the laws of nature . Locke described natural law as laws that fulfill G-d s will. He adds that G-d s will is primarily for peace and the advancement of humankind. Locke s view of the state of nature is more complex and limited than that of Rousseau. While Locke s state of nature is based on equality and freedom it differs greatly from Rousseau s conception. In Locke s state of nature society

exists albeit it is bound by a universal moral code rather than a civil code. A person is part of the state of nature if that person is not governed by a type of political authority. This differs from Rousseau s view that people are solitary in the state of nature, with no significant ties to one another. In Locke s state of nature people are bound to a moral code which is an extension of G-d s will. To follow this principle as Locke says no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty or Possessions . In Locke s state of nature people have rights and duties. This is in contrast to Rousseau, whose conception of the state of nature is not based on rights and duties but people s behavior in the absence of a political society. Locke establishes that people have the natural

right to own property. Locke argues that in the state of nature, everyone has an equal right to own property. Locke believes that G-d gave the earth to people for them to make use of, but in order for people to use the earth they must first own it. Everything on earth is there for the use of the people. Nothing exists for its own sake. Locke adds that exclusive ownership of property is justified because it is a necessary aspect in fulfilling G-d s will (II 32). Locke believes that a person may claim property in the state of nature, when he/she labours over it. For example, when a person picks an apple from a tree, he/she is adding his/her labour to the apple (which is the property in question) and therefore that person may claim the apple as his/her property. In addition any

labour a person adds to an object adds value to that object so therefore it s only fair that the person who devotes his/her labour to increasing the value of an object should have a claim to it. There is also no limit to the amount of labour a person can accomplish in the state of nature. Everyone has the legal right and duty to work. Locke believes that there is no limit to the amount of property someone can possess, as long as that person has a positive use for the property and does not waste any of it. By wasting property, people are basically limiting the potential of others. Locke states that the extent of the political power of the state is directly linked to the degree of authority granted to it by the people. While people are granted specific rights in the state of

nature, they may choose to give up some of their individual rights in favour of giving more power to the political community in which they are a part of. The people therefore decide what rights they would choose to give up in order for the political community to have the power to perform certain functions that the people decide are necessary. The people only give up the rights the choose to give up for the good of the community and keep all other rights they would have been granted in the state of nature. For Locke, political society is based on property and how its distribution is regulated. Political society is in place to guarantee property to property owners. This applies to physical property such as land and resources as well as other forms of property such as life and