Human Nature and the Declaration of Independence

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke Pages: 5 (1655 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Human Nature and the Declaration of Independence

by Jake Repp

I would like to show that the view of human nature that is shown in The Declaration of Independence is taken more from the Bible and that that view is in disagreement with two of the three esays given in class. The Biblical perspective of man is that he was created by a divine Creator with a specific plan in mind and made in the image of his Creator. Men are entitled to the pursuit of happiness but also required by the Laws of Nature and Nature's God to be the just attendants of the land and of the governed. The Nature of man is sinful so that they must be governed but those who govern must be accountable to God just as the founding fathers were. God is Sovereign over men as the final Judge.

The Declaration of Independence is a document co-written by the founding fathers in order to declare their independence of the Crown of Britain. They believed
this to be within their rights indowed upon them by their Creator. Believing that they were under religious persecution and certain forms of "absolute tyranny" from Britain
the founding fathers felt it was necessary to
break the bonds that connected them to the monarchy. Not only did they feel they had the God given right to do that but they also based their arguments on the workings of governments of the time and contemporary theories of government of writers and political-social thinkers of their time.

The three essays that were given to us in class, Politics by Aristotle, Of Commonwealth by Thomas Hobbes, and Of the Limits of Government by John Locke are all very intersting essays on how government is supposed to funtion. Although the founding fathers probably read all three of these essays and simialar philosphical thought went into the writing of The Declaration of Independence I think that the only essay of the really used by the founding fathers was Of the Limits of Government by John Locke. Unfortunately the version of this essay given to us in class was truncated and consisted actually of two different essays written by John Locke. . Thomas Hobbes [1588-1679] is the founder of the theories of Hobbism which calls on absolute monarchy in order to deal with what he calls inherently selfish, aggrandizing nature of humanity.

Aristotle[384-322 B.C.] was a Greek philosopher who studied under Plato. Aristotlelian logic (Aristotle's deductive means of reasoning) especially sylogism_ dealt with relationship between proposistions in terms of their form instead of their content. By using this kind of deductive reasoning with a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion; for example, All human beings are mortal, the major premis, I am a human being, the minor premise, therefore, I am mortal, the conclusion Aristotle found all of his truth. I can't connect Aristotle's view of human nature with that of the Founding Fathers and since an omnipotent deity was not feasible for Aristotle (since he couldn't see it and therefor couldn't believe

in it) he comes to a different conclusion that doesn't
agree what the founding fathers said. Aristotle's begins by analyzing the political structure starting at what he see's as the most basic of human unions (man and woman). Aristotle writes,

"In the first place there must be a union of those who can not exist without each other; namely of male and female, that the race may continue (and this union which is formed not of deliberate purpose, but because, in common with other animals and with plants, mankind have a natural desire to leave behind an image of themselves)..."

The first difference between The Declaration of Independence and Politics is seen when you compare this quote with one from The Declaration of Independence ,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."

The founding father's saw the deliberate purpose of a...
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