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Is Locke's defence of toleration persuasive - Essay Example

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A Letter Concerning Toleration written by John Locke, an English political philosopher, is widely regarded as the foundation of the modern liberal movement. Locke’s arguments about toleration were generally influential and prominent: his liberal defence of toleration was drawn…
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Is Lockes defence of toleration persuasive
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Download file to see previous pages Locke’s defence of toleration is persuasive and valuable not merely because he employs the principle of state of nature to justify toleration but also because he promotes a responsibility to tolerate others by encouraging a tradition of dialogue, cooperation, and liberality among members of the body politic. Basically, Locke defines toleration as “a right to care for one’s own civil and religious ends, free from the magistrate’s limited authority”. This essay thoroughly demonstrates that Locke’s defence of toleration is persuasive.
Definitely, Locke would have viewed his defence of toleration as a component of a continuous discourse within the 17th-century Protestant fellowship about the nature of true belief. Obviously, viewing Locke’s defence of toleration as too abstract or too general will fail to capture the very essence of his arguments, and they should be understood within the perspective in which they were developed. Locke’s central argument is that the state and church should be independent or separated because they influence and engage in different domains of public and private life and, thus, they should not interfere with each other’s businesses. Locke does not promote, apparently, the benevolent 21st-century Church of England, which is supported by the state and does not oblige participation, but the forceful 17th-century Church of England, wherein everybody was obliged to take part in. The argument against this kind of active and insistent state involvement in religious issues, Locke claims, can be justified: the state does not have a role in the salvation of souls; the attempts of the state to intervene in religious matters will be unsuccessful because it cannot oblige citizens to accept a faith truthfully; and, the state is incapable of assuring the deliverance of its members. It is the contention of this essay that these arguments are mostly persuasive.
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