When you read the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes you can't help but notice how well it fits with the mindset of some people today. There are Hobbesians among us.
In previous posts I have summarised the philosophy of Hobbes, as set out by Michael Allen Gillespie in his book The Theological Origins of Modernity. Here are some choice quotes from the book outlining Hobbes's ideas:
We are all only individual beings, determined by our idiosyncratic passions. Good and evil for each of us is thus measured not by our progress toward a rational, natural, or supernatural end but by the vector of our desire. No direction is naturally better than any other. Good is what pleases us, evil what displeases us, good what reinforces our motion, evil what hinders it.
For Hobbes reason means something different than what it did for his predecessors. It is not a separate power that can discern the appropriate ends of life and guide us in a proper direction. It is thus not teleological but instrumental, the spy and scout of the passions. It thus helps us to maximise the satisfaction of our desires but not to train, direct or control them.
And finally this:
Thus, while we all desire to exist, what any one of us wants to exist for or wants out of existence can only be specified by the individual. The happiness of each individual thus depends upon his getting what he wants, and this is related to his power...Such power is the basis for what Hobbes believes is rightly called freedom.
You can see here the logic of nominalism (that there are only individual instances of things) and a certain type of materialism (that we are just matter in motion) in undermining a "teleology" - a view that there are proper ends to human life that are discernible through reason.
What you have instead is a belief that it is the freedom to pursue my own idiosyncratic wants that matters. It does not matter so much what these wants are - one direction is neither better nor worse than another. The important thing is that I have the power to follow my desires without external interference.
The implications of all this become clearer when you see these ideas expressed in debate. For instance, I recently saw the following posted on social media: