Monthly Archives: November 2014

Moral Ambiguity

I can only summarize my experience of Leviathan in one way, however coarse it may be: A pain in the a**. I apologize for the crudeness, but books concerning certain theories are not my cup of tea. It was difficult for me to go through due to the archaic language, and I attribute this partly to English being my second language. It does not motivate me to read further.

However, from what I could understand, there are certain parts of the book that I can agree to. The idea of achieving the greatest good is simply not possible by the state for the people because of the fact that the greatest good of individuals varies. This would simply lead to civil war due to disagreements regarding achieving the greatest good. A state cannot simply decide on one “good” for everyone because in this regards, no one is going to be equal. But when he goes on to talk about the laws of nature, that is where he lost me. “The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place.” (p. 78, [13]) This is very morally ambigious in my opinion, especially as it relates to men in “solitude”. While this goes back to the idea of no one is going to be equal, the open ended-ness of the assumptions on “men” could possibly end in chaos. Hobbes talk about the passions that incline men to peace: the fear of death, desire for commodious living and to be accepted into their industry. This is very broad in the sense that the extent of the passions for each man would not be equal. How would the men come to agreement in regards to peace when if nothing is just or unjust, the passions is morally ambigious?