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Natural Law and Thomas Hobbes

QUESTION: Natural Law and Thomas Hobbes


The natural law reflects how rational human beings, seeking to survive and prosper, would act. Thomas Hobbes (1588—1679) argues that the only way natural law can prevail is if mankind submits to the commands of the sovereign. Since the ultimate source of law is the sovereign, the sovereign’s decisions need not be grounded in universal morality (this is, “legal positivism”).

Natural Law and The Social Contract Theory
From Hobbes’ Leviathan, we get the Social Contract Theory of Law. Society is a population beneath an authority, to whom all individuals in that society covenant just enough of their natural rights to the authority to be able to ensure internal peace and common defense.

Positive Law in a theory of jurisprudence focusing on man-made laws. Law is established by governmental authority, especially that which has been codified into a written form (statutory law) -- Those in power make and enforce the laws, separate and apart from strict moral/ethical considerations.

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