Presentation on theme: "The natural condition of mankind is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one’s life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of."— Presentation transcript:
The natural condition of mankind is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one’s life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others.
The Law of Nature, which is on Locke’s view the basis of all morality and is given to us by God, commands that we not harm others with regards to their “life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
According to Locke, the fundamental law of nature is that as much as possible mankind is to be preserved. This is expressed as 1) a duty to preserve one's self; 2) a duty to preserve others when self-preservation does not conflict; 3) a duty not to take away the life of another; and 4) a duty not to act in a way that “tends to destroy” others.
Thus, governments were organized for the protection of all the citizens. Society was formed by the unanimous agreement of its members to live in one community for purposes of protection.
Locke favors freedom for what he calls “the natural interest of money.” Money “turns the wheels of trade” therefore its course should not be stopped. For him, riches consist in plenty of gold and silver, for these command all the conveniences of life.
Locke argued that no one religion is capable of demonstrating its exclusive claim to be the one and true religion. It is wrong therefore to impose any one religion upon the free consciences of people. People ought to live in complete tolerance of one another's faiths.
A church, for Locke, is “a free and voluntary society”; its purpose is the public worship of God. The value of worship depends on the faith that inspires it: “all the life and power of true religion consists in the inward and full persuasion of the mind.” These matters are entirely outside the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate.
Locke’s most important and influential political writings are contained in his Two Treatises on Government.
In the Second Treatise Locke states his theory of natural law and natural right, revealing a rational purpose to government. Locke felt that the public welfare made government necessary and was the test of good government, and he always defended the government as an institution.
Locke says that before a society is formed men live “free” in a state of nature.
Locke thought that in more primitive societies, there were no law officers and the people or community carried out its own brand of justice.
Locke assumed that the natural right to defend alone was not enough, so people established a civil society to resolve conflicts in a civil way through government in society.
Locke maintains that people transfer some of their rights to the government in order to better ensure stability and comfortable enjoyment of their lives, liberty, and property.
Social contract theory is the view that persons’ moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live.
Therefore, government functions only with the consent of the people. In other words, government only works if the people want to be governed.
Locke’s arguments thus imply the right of citizens to revolt against their king or government when these fail at their mandate.
Locke also advocated governmental separation of powers.
For Locke, both people and government are important in society: both have rights and duties. authority reside with the people and not with the government. But since government is created by the people, ultimate
Locke's theories as well as his philosophy of tabula rasa attacked then current powers of state established churches and monarchs who practiced absolutism.
Locke’s arguments for the social contract, and for the right of citizens to revolt against their king, were enormously influential on the democratic revolutions that followed his time, especially on Thomas Jefferson and the founders of the United States.