Thomas Hobbes formulated a set of natural laws that served the purpose of establishing a societal equilibrium (in his opinion), foundation for a social contract.
The contract creates equality amongst all individuals. He argues that every man maintains against every other man in the state of nature. The question of justice and injustice is resolved to be inconsequential in the state of nature unless there is collective and consensual agreement on the governing law, which cannot come into force without agreement on the authority responsible for formulating this governing law. Therefore, it follows that, as matter of definition, justice has no place in the state of nature. Peter Kropotkin argued that human beings may be oppositional and violence, but a key factor in their tendencies is one of cooperation and mutual aid and that mutual aid is the chief criterion of evolutionary success. His view was that human beings are biological creatures like every other animal, and our biology, including our brains, are the result of evolution. Our capacity to understand morals and think about right and wrong is part of our human nature. Kropotkin pointed out that humans cooperate as much as they compete, and we look out for the whole group.
He was big on mutual aid which is in a sense “treating others the way you wish to be treated”. What I thought was interesting was how he briefly mentioned how law is a form of exploitation, that part of the reading stuck with me. For Nietzsche, life is the force to grow, or the force to develop. He argued that, behind every human act, there exists a “will to power”, which seeks to increase the individual’s strength. He explains that individuals must try to maximize growth, preservation, and overcoming the self.
Individuals must constantly strive to surpass themselves. Overall, for Nietzsche, the problem is about morality, whether it is a good or bad thing.The way Rawls thinks about justice is to ask what principles we would choose in an original position of equality, behind a veil of ignorance. Much like Rawls, I believe human nature is not always about self-interest. Rawls’s hopes to eliminate the influence that aspects of identities and lives have because it is his belief that these are all a matter of brute luck and that, as rational beings, we should not submit to social outcomes resulting from such “arbitrary” contingencies. My belief about justice falls under the category of believing all individuals should have equal opportunities, which ties into Rawls concept of moral arbitraries.
It is in my opinion that for a society to be able to exist on governing laws, there must be some kind of balance within society.