Well, to say the least, this text was boring. Albeit, it had its moments of interesting-ness, but for the most part, it was the perfect lullaby.
With the exception of its dullness, I was rather intrigued by Hobbes’ argument for our perceptions of good and evil. To think of everything we crave, or consider good, to be mere appetite and everything else aversion slots perfectly into our way of being. Our want to do well on a test, for example, derives from a simple want to feel pride and be acknowledged for our hard work, and to avoid feelings of shame and disappointment. In truth, all of our actions are purely selfish, no matter how selfless they appear. We are always trying to stimulate the appetizing feelings, such as those we receive by helping others.
I really don’t agree with Hobbes’ perspective on religion. His statements that religion simply derides out of fear. and that only those who do not understand science and philosophy need it truly irked me. Science constantly tries to disprove the value of religion, deeming it as “opium for the masses,” as Karl Marx said. However, science itself cannot prove everything and anything, just as there are many unanswered questions in religion. To deem it as for the weak-minded truly demonstrates an ignorant viewpoint, like some Bible Belt Americans who cannot accept simple scientific truths, such as evolution.
The juxtaposition between nature ordering peace amongst humans and the natural desire for power was very intriguing as well, but proves indefinitely true. As Acton said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and not only possessing power, but the desire for it leads to mass chaos. Even when we examine the totalitarian reign of Gaddafi, his war against his people was completely out of a selfish want for power, even though he should have been trying to maintain the peace needed. This is why communism and Plato’s Kalipolis look so perfect on paper, but when put into effect, lead to horrendous results. Humans will simply never be able to displace this lust for power, ruling idealist societies impossible.