Nobody downloaded yet

Locke on the state - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Carefully explain and evaluate Locke's account of the origins and purpose of political governance, together with how submission to common legislative, judicial and executive bodies can be consistent with the preservation of one's natural rights to life, liberty, equality and private property.
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.5% of users find it useful
Locke on the state
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Locke on the state"

Download file to see previous pages In order to understand a normative account of government, it is useful to understand the descriptive. By examining theories regarding the human state of nature, it is possible to set forth standards and norms by which people ought to live, including those relating to who should rule. This essay will analyze Locke's account of the origins and purpose of governance, with the aim of understanding how supporting the conflicting ideals of autonomy and authority might be remedied.
Locke's state of nature comprises three elements; a state of perfect freedom, a state of equality and a state of natural law, which commands "no-one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions" (9). Accepting these elements is of fundamental importance in understanding the origins and role of government, but there are problems to be overcome. The natural law immediately limits the scope of the first, in that we do not have a perfect freedom to jeopardize another person's safety or invade their property. Secondly, if every person is equal, there is no natural claim to authority, which seems to conflict with the notion of obeying the law as set down by a government. The inclusion of the moral law in Locke's state of nature helps us to understand the motivations behind an argument for setting up a political governing body. We may all be equal on Earth, but the existence of a natural law which states we are duty bound not to harm others implies the existence of an objective morality as created by some other superior being, i.e. God.
This theological aspect of Locke's account is important. It means that every individual is at liberty to behave in a way which fits within the parameters of a natural moral duty. Furthermore, as the law is created by a superior being, there must be some reason to accept that the law should be upheld. Although it might seem absurd, in this day and age to accept an appeal to God as a reason to accept an argument, Locke also appeals to an idea of natural reason which is inherent in all of us. Co-operation with the natural law ensures our survival, and so it is unreasonable to think anyone would object to it. Hence, each person is not only equally bound to abide by the natural law, but each person is also equally bound to ensure that others abide by it. "In transgressing the law of nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule other than that of reason" (Locke 10), and so offers himself up to be punished by those who have not. The equality of every man within a state of nature also means that each individual who has not broken the natural law has the right to punish the offender. The severity of that punishment should be adequate not only to ensure the perpetrator does not commit the same act again, but also act as a deterrent for other would-be criminals to do something similar. From this reasoning, it is believed that mankind will be preserved and live in a state of relative security.
By Locke's own admission, this right to punish, may seem like "a very strange doctrine" (10), but without it, the law of the land would only apply to those who are naturally resident within it. Foreigners who have not consented to domestic legal policy would be free to act under their own standards and so the freedoms and safety of native habitants would be in doubt. It must then be a natural law that governs all mankind, regardless of cultural ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Locke on the state Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/people/1503765-locke-on-the-state
(Locke on the State Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
https://studentshare.org/people/1503765-locke-on-the-state.
“Locke on the State Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/people/1503765-locke-on-the-state.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Locke on the state

Hobbes and Locke views on the State of Nature

...?Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke argue that prior to formed societies, the meaning of the of nature was important to grasp. Hobbes argues that the state of nature is a 'war of all against all'. He maintains therefore, that societies are formed in order to protect themselves against each other because in a state of nature, all is chaos. Locke argues that in a state of nature, all individuals have a natural right to whatever it is they obtain, so long as they labour upon it. In a state of nature, all individuals have equal rights against eachother. The following will examine the state of nature in both philosophers, and...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Business Computing Term Paper

6 Pages(1500 words)Term Paper

Kant and Locke

...and as a result, they must obey them. To Kant, freedom is a subjective state of the mind, a concept of reason, which may be difficult to comprehend in reality. Thus to Kant, human freedom is embedded in the term enlightenment which to him is a process through which people free themselves from immaturity state of which they themselves take the responsibility. Locke believed that every person has the ability to govern himself and that each individual is equal to every other person. He refers to this as state of nature where he says every man has total liberty to act as he wills, free from interference by any other person. To Locke, in the...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Locke

...Locke John Locke was A British philosopher who was best known for his personal identity theory and an anti itarian state theory. John Locke contended that owning property privately was everyone’s natural right since it is the only manner through which man can be self-sustaining in physical comfort. Despite the fact that resources on earth are by nature without prior claim by an individual and in common ownership, Locke argues that, labor is required in order to utilize the resources (Locke 34). Labor, in this sense, can be defined as application of lawful and natural effort by an individual to own what was previously common property...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

John Locke

...for that property or land constitutes the equality to own property. In contrast to this, those who are unable to produce their own labor through a fault that is not their own, have to rely on others, so as to access resources for them and maintain their natural rights (Feallsanach, 320). Locke divulges that to acquire land, an individual has to possess the means of accomplishing this task. To this light, Locke contends that that whatever a man removes out of the state of nature and mingles it with his labor and joined with his property makes the object his. Every individual possesses his own body and the labor that his own body performs should be concomitant to the property which is...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Locke

...1. Locke's A Letter, etc is the foundation for the modern separation of church and (and the first amendment for the US constitution). What two authorities does Locke invoke in stating his case What is the purpose of politics for Locke Of Religion Compare his approach with that of St. Augustine and of William of Okhan (nationalism) Locke had written A Letter Concerning on Toleration as early as 1666, but it never saw the light during his lifetime. In 1685, when events in France turned his thoughts to the question of toleration, Locke wrote a letter to a Dutch minister, Limborch. He was then urged to publish this letter on toleration; it...
7 Pages(1750 words)Book Report/Review

John Locke

...of Society gives way to the foundation of the Contract of Government, under which all political power is a trust for the benefit of the people, and the people themselves are at once the creators and beneficiaries of that trust. The State rests on a complementary contract between the ruler and the subjects. The subjects provide power to the state in order to increase their own social welfare. Briefly, the state bartered its power to the property protection of its subjects. Moreover, as long, the state is able to keep the contract; it would continue to enjoy the subject's loyalty. In The Second Treatise of Government, Locke wrote: "Every man has a...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Philosophy of Locke

...mathematical knowledge. Hi states, that the absence of a true moral science is replaced by moral teachings which are given toto us by Lord through his son - Jesus. God gave to his son a great power to make miracles exactly because He wished to notice these moral teachings. AbstractLocke considers miracles to be critical in establishing the trust and reasonableness of Christian revelation and faith. He argues that the performance of miracles has a great significance in establishing the "credit of the proposer" who makes any assertion to giving a divine revelation. Locke links reason a main role in distinguishing false from sincere claims to divine revelation, including miracles. By this philosopher,...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Summarize: 'of the state of nature' in chapter II by John Locke

...Second Treatise of Government and a Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke: A Summary of Chapters III and IV Second Treatise of Government Second Treatise of Government and a Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke: A Summary of Chapters III and IV Chapter III: State of War In this chapter, Locke (2002) indicates that self preservation is significant in the day-to-day activities. He argues that threats should not be used against each other because they create a state of war. Those who feel threatened have the power to destroy those who may be doing so to them. According to Locke, people who take control of others can easily make...
1 Pages(250 words)Book Report/Review

John Locke

...Critical Analysis of John Locke Outline I. Introduction The section contains some background information on John Locke. It points the most important beliefs that John Locke is known to have believed. It ends with the introduction of the thesis statement. Thesis Statement: Locke uses philosophy, religion and politics to emphasize the importance of human freedom. II. Analysis of Literary Works In this section, the paper analyzes the two most notable literary works of John Locke. A Concern for Human Understanding and Treatises of the Government are discussed in details. The discussion includes analysis of the motivating principles and the styles adopted...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Locke on the state for FREE!

Contact Us