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John Locke Paper

By Manuflorida Mar 30, 2014 521 Words


John Locke’s influence in modern philosophy has been profound and, with his application of experimental analysis to ethics, politics, and religion, he remains one of the most important and controversial philosophers of all time. His ideas and writings lived way beyond his time, and have proven to be the reason the colonies broke away from their mother country and learned to expect certain rights from their government. In The Second Treatise of Government, Locke defines political power as the inalienable birthrights of man, and the need for the formation of a legitimate government. John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government defines a legitimate government in relation to the protection of inalienable rights. He views a valid government as one, which upholds his three main natural laws of life, liberty and property. Locke insists that it is proper to make laws for the regulating and preserving of property, and the execution of such laws, and in the defense of the common-wealth from foreign injury. This is needed for the public good. Locke’s political power is the ability to uphold a constitution. Locke’s reasoning for the creation of a government arises in the need to protect life, liberty and justice. Locke concludes that the reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property. The protection of life, liberty and justice then becomes the reason for a new legislative. The value Locke places on property is only furthered in his discussion of the will of the people. Locke discusses in his chapter, Of the Beginning of Political Societies the effect which the majority has on the growth of the community, for when any number of men have, by the consent of every individual, made a Community, the have thereby made that Community one Body, with a power to act as one Body, which is only by the will and determination of the majority. Locke’s discussion here displays that men are not only inclined to create states to protect their property, but also to better it through a combined effort of the majority. Communities form to accomplish more as a collective unit, rather than as an individual person who would be less effective in both property protection and advancement. John Locke was brave enough to attack the theory of diving rights of kings and the nature of the state as conceived by the English philosopher and political theorist Thomas Hobbes. He did not believe that a king should become king because God told him to be, but rather, because he was qualified for the position, and also because the people felt he should be there. Locke argued that sovereignty did not reside in the state, but with the people, and that the state is supreme, but only if it is bound by civil and what Locke referred to as natural law. Many of these thoughts were later embodied in the constitution. Some of these ideas, such as those relating to natural rights, property rights, the duty of the government to protect these rights and the rule of the majority are used in many places to this day.

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