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The other central contribution of the Second Treatise is its assertion that government should merely protect property, which exists both prior to and independent of the state.In Locke’s terms, “property” refers not merely to material things or to land, but also to the ownership of the self — as such, all slavery and domination are not justifiable as outlined in the Second Treatise.
Below are resources for students and curious adults: Written by George M.
Stephens, “John Locke: His American and Carolinian Legacy” provides a basic but thorough grounding in the origins of Locke’s ideas in the context of the events of his biography.
A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) Originally intended as a personal letter to a friend, the publication of this essay made quite a splash.
Locke was a firm believer in the separation of church and state as he felt that the government should have no say in the business of the soul.
Locke counters by saying that, if this were true, there could only ever be one heir to Adam at any one time, and that all but one king currently claiming Divine Right must be an imposter.
In His Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke Claimed That Penalty Crime Rates Essay
He also maintains that jure divino is not a sustainable political philosophy, and indeed, it has been all but eliminated.
Locke’s response was that government coercion would actually tend to increase civil unrest, and that the government should be tolerant of any religion which itself practiced toleration.
Interestingly, Locke felt that both Catholics and atheists were too disruptive to be allowed.
Locke sets out to demonstrate that human beings are not born with innate ideas or beliefs, but rather that they come into the world as a blank sheet (the Latin phrase tabula rasa is often used to represent this idea).
All human thoughts and ideas must therefore be derived from direct sensory perception or through internal contemplation.