He contrasted between ‘right’ and ‘law’ and thought that each person in the state of nature has a right to everything and urged that law is necessary to make social order possible.
But Hobbes didn’t go further and failed to determine how the state is going to rule and what should guide the state as Stephen Collins argued “….
The ‘ought’ part was answered by the key criterion of judging – or as he put it, the ‘sacred truth’ -that the greatest happiness of the greatest number of number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
‘Enlightened self-interest’ provided the key to understanding ethics, so that a person who always acted with a view to his own maximum satisfaction in the long run would always act rightly.
Consequently, positivists seek to ascertain that two different issues should be asked separately a) ‘what is law?
-a descriptive issue without recourse to any normative theories of justice and morality and b) what ought the content of law to be-a normative one depended on a society’s moral view.
He rejected Blackstone’s naturalist theory that Human laws are of no validity if contrary to the laws of God (Divine law) by arguing “…to say that human laws which conflict with the divine law are not binding, that is to say are not laws, is to talk stark nonsense.” , besides this there was the actual accepted morality of a social group or ‘positive’ morality.
The most important factor that Austin elucidated in his lecture is that when a law is in conflict with positive morality or laws of God, people, in no sense, will be better off to disobey it.
Society is no longer a transcendentally articulated reflection of something predefined, external and beyond itself which orders existence hierarchically.” However Bentham and Austin thought that they had found the answer in utilitarianism.
But the issue of a state’s ruling guidelines was not easily solved and is a fertile ground for challenging with different views as law and morality overlaps especially in this respect.