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The Role of Property and Religion in the Political Writings of John Locke - Essay Example

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The paper "The Role of Property and Religion in the Political Writings of John Locke" states that the role of government ceases to protect rights and instead begins to infringe upon them, Locke, and the founding fathers, felt it was the responsibility of the people to revolt a new social order…
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The Role of Property and Religion in the Political Writings of John Locke
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Download file to see previous pages Descartes and Hobbes, unhappy with his education in the style of Aristotle and tutored under the natural principles of Wilkins, Locke developed a decidedly anti-authoritarian philosophy in his writings, indicating that government should remove itself from the natural pursuit of knowledge undertaken by an individual.2 “For the individual, Locke wants each of us to use reason to search after truth rather than simply accept the opinion of authorities or be subject to superstition.”3 While much of his writing in The Limits of Human Understanding focused on the nature of knowledge and how one should best pursue the truth, it was here that Locke developed his ideas of empiricism, which differed fundamentally from the three main philosophical camps of the period – namely the idealists, the materialists and the dualists – as well as illustrated his idea of the tabula rasa, the blank slate, condition into which he claimed all mankind is born.4 His other major works, the Two Treatises of Government, particularly the Second Treatise, progressed from this point to enumerate the role of government as fundamentally a power to protect property provided by the popular consent of those governed.5 Several of these ideas propounded by Locke in his description of the general character of the natural man and his relationship to God as well as the description of the perfect government as a protector of property were reiterated in the development of the American Declaration of Independence as a justification on the part of the colonists for the revolutionary actions they were undertaking.
In The Limits of Human Understanding, Locke works to illuminate his thoughts regarding the nature of knowledge, how one might undergo an honest search for the truth and, from there, to a discussion of the nature of God and the course of true religion. In describing knowledge, Locke says it is comprised of internal and external experience which is synthesized in our minds creating the end result of knowledge. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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