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Thoughts… Locke and the Letter of Toleration… Promotes Toleration as a means of eliminating the destructive nature of Religious wars Each person is responsible.

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Presentation on theme: "Thoughts… Locke and the Letter of Toleration… Promotes Toleration as a means of eliminating the destructive nature of Religious wars Each person is responsible."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thoughts… Locke and the Letter of Toleration… Promotes Toleration as a means of eliminating the destructive nature of Religious wars Each person is responsible for the mechanism, for the purpose, of resolving their own salvation… Hence, people might be compelled to investigate other religious groups, to shop around, as kit were…

2 Thoughts… Governments role was simply to preserve property, they were not meant to intercede or make religious decisions for the populace Hence governments that sought to make religious decisions for the populace were in fact misunderstanding their essential purpose. As a connective point, any attempt to impose religious uniformity, and we have seen a lot of this in this course, was unacceptable.

3 Thoughts… Lock’s point about the mistaken course of imposed religious uniformity was that religious truth must be garnered through a personal journey, the conscience of the individual. This certainly fits in to the basic ideal of Locke concerning the tabula rasa, and the importance of the experiential as a means of development.

4 Thoughts… Once could argue that the hypocrisy of Locke would center on the fact that he remained vehemently opposed to Roman Catholicism, so that might be where the tolerance stops. But, if we consider the role that Roman Catholicism ha played in statecraft, in the control of the individual, then it seems to fit in with Locke’s previous contentions.

5 Thoughts… Locke’ central problem for Roman Catholics in en gland was their allegiance to a foreign Prince, namely the Pope. He was equally as opposed to non- Christians and atheists who he felt were not trustworthy. This is a clear

6 Thoughts… So, in answer to your question, is this a hypocritical argument. Contextually, Locke considers acceptable religion as Protestantism. While he encourages a manner of self discovery, it seem clear that Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, (you get the picture) are not too be included in this process. It is reflective of his larger philosophical goal, which seek a greater degree of Toleration, liberty and the separation of church and state.

7 Thoughts… And, as far as classifying Locke as a liberal or conservative, he would have to be considered too be a liberal, even though there were no wide spread uses of these terms at this time. He was clearly against absolutism, and fall on the liberal side when he advocates for the protection of individual rights, which he deems are essentially genetic. Hence in the second treatise on Government, Locke's central ideas of a government that must be attuned to the peoples needs and rights, an protect them accordingly, reflects a sense of liberalism

8 Thoughts… Locke’s man,, in state of nature, while competitive and in conflict, is not nearly the nasty and brutish being that Hobbes found to be prevalent, Thus, the governmental response must be equally measured. There is not need to a absolutist because Locke vies the ‘natural state of man” as that of goodness, and hence Governmental intervention will be far more scaled back. Hence, the contract that is entered into, King and man, must also reflect a more cooperative model.

9 Thoughts… Hence, governments do not have to dominate, they need to protect and ensure that rights are not endangered, from within or without… The governments job, then,is not to dominate but to protect liberty, and everything that is accomplished by it. The one connective point between Hobbes and Locke is that if a government fails in its duty to protect peoples property, one even attempt to enforce absolute rule on the people.. Then we would see a type of conflict like the one that Hobbes described in man’s natural state.

10 Thoughts… Rousseau… “Anti-Enlightenment” Enlightenment Thinker. Disagrees with standard Enlightenment thought concerning the material and Intellectual progress that is seemingly limitless for the enlightened person. Most other Philosophes agreed that life would simply get better is man utilized his ability to reason and produce more goods and wealth.

11 Thoughts… Social Contract – more obscure and less practical than other Enlightenment texts. It is not a book about reform, rather it suggests a solution t the eternal conundrum of Man being born free and everywhere he is in chains Most enlightenment thinker see society as a group of people pursuing, selfish goals. Hence, they see society as a way to liberate them from their natural state. It is the role of government to do so.

12 Thoughts… Rousseau picks the argument from the other side. It is not be the chains of government per se, but the fact that they need to be changed… Society if far more important that the individuals that reside inside of it. As, as individuals, man can achieve little on their own. It is only through the community that man can actually achieve any progress whatsoever It is only in a societal context that man can become moral creatures.

13 Thoughts… The Social Contract will answer that question: What is the Society that Rousseau proposes? Again, society cannot be a grouping of competing individuals… The general Will, which Rousseau proposes, is a hybrid of the pervious models of Hobbes and Locke Freedom is really obedience to the law. The General Will is that which is the aggregate of the will of the majority of the citizens. Think of it this way…

14 Thoughts… All enter into a contract that every man gives up a piece of their autonomy. The collective weight” of this divested autonomy creates a power that both binds society together, and ensures that all have agreed to enter into a collective contract. The General Will demands total participation, and any who violate it can be dispelled from the agreement. Collective action was the road to personal freedom You can literally force man to be free.

15 Thoughts… Hence, we see Rousseau attacking the “cult of the Individual” This goes against Locke, and certainly against Adam Smith Rousseau will prefer man to be good over man being prosperous. Hence, man is not just an individual, but a creature that is linked in a social network… Loyalty to the community must be encouraged.

16 Thoughts… There is a deistic tinge to this, in that a society religion, deistic rational approach would be the glue that would stick society together. This is not a book that had any real practical applications. What he was asking of mankind was probably impossible. Yet, it would remain philosophically influential in the French Revolution, specifically for a thinker like Robespierre.


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