Hobbes on Submission to God

In Marcus P. Adams (ed.), A Companion to Hobbes. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley. pp. 287-302 (2021)
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In Leviathan chapter 31 Hobbes refers to atheists and deists as "God's enemies." The contrast class is God's subjects in what he calls the Kingdom of God by Nature. This chapter offers an account of how one submits to God to become God's natural subject. The explanation reinforces the distinction between a primary and secondary state of nature. Submission to God obligates natural subjects to obey the laws of nature because the precepts of those laws acquire thereby the normative force of law. The view further explains why submission to God differs from submission to a civil sovereign, despite the fact that both are voluntary.

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Michael Byron
Kent State University


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