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John Locke Questions Essay

1. John Locke describes the “state of nature” as a sort of equality between men. No man has any rights over the other, and they can be free in doing what they want. All being able to use the same faculties. Locke also explains that although they are free it does not give them the right to hurt one another because the “natural law” still exists even through the “state of nature”. Locke defines the state of nature as political power. This “state of nature” is basically where humans can exist without a government or social contract.

And that people would follow this “law of nature” and would protect it against anyone who did not follow it. “The execution of the law of Nature is in that state put into every man’s hands, whereby everyone has a right to punish the transgressors of that law to such a degree as may hinder its violation. ” Locke also mentions that eventually people would try to form a government to try to protect their rights further. The “state of nature” is more of a thought rather than something that actually happened in history. 2. John Locke explains that the reason why people leave this “state of nature” is because this “paradise” is uncertain and insecure.

There is no guarantee that people will always go along with the “laws of nature” and everyone will think of others as equals. So it makes it harder for individuals to enjoy this “paradise” because they fear something might go wrong so they want to quit and become part of a political society where someone can tell them what to do with there freedom. This feeling is because of the “mutual preservation” of their lives, estates, liberties and a big part, property. Men want to join a government to protect their properties; it says that they would want a known law that is a standard for right and wrong.

Also another issue with the “laws of nature” is the judging system it would cause a lot of anarchy within the people because if everything was so “equal” then wouldn’t you be equal with the judge and not have to abide by their rules and regulations? In addition Locke also states “ there often wants power to back and support the sentence when right, and to give it due execution. ” With this being said, if something were to go wrong they would not know what the consequence would be. Overall the “state of nature” system has a lot of flaws and would cause many conflicts. 3.

The social contract that is laid out by john Locke is a contract between the legislature and the people. The people’s side of the contract Is that they follow the rules and regulations that the legislature creates. In addition the legislatures part of the contract is separated into four different promises. One of the promises they make is to make the laws apply to every class, rich and poor. Another promise that they made was not to raise taxes without having the consent of the people. The people must be fully aware of the tax changes.

Thirdly all the laws have to be beneficial to everyone, not just one class or group of people. Lastly the legislature promises that only they can create laws for the good of the people. They decided this because if everyone was allowed to voice there own opinion about what the laws would be nothing would actually get established and there would be nothing but chaos among the people. Above all the contract is just to be for the good of everyone. 4. The government can be dissolved if the social contract is breached in certain scenarios. The basis of the society is the constitution. The constitutions purpose is to protect the ones within the society.

When a member of the legislature goes against any of the four agreements that were made the people have a right to protest, peacefully that is. And if its serious enough fight against the legislative, thus “dissolving” the government. So basically the people have a right to “cancel ties” and create a new legislative that they feel will be more beneficial for the people, since the legislative before were not doing things that were fair or went out of their rights of being in the legislature.

Since the people were the ones who were in control and ultimately chose them to be in power, they have the right to dissolve the government if there choices aren’t for the good of the people. 5. Locke’s philosophy is remarkably similar to the Declaration of Independence. Both articles have the same ideas of everything being for the people, and things being equal. It states “of the people, for the people, and by the people. ” I believe that Thomas Jefferson made what he put in the Declaration with similar viewpoints that’s in “The Second Treatise of Civil Government. ” Both talk about government and the society in the same way.

The government was made to “secure natural rights”. If the government goes against their rights the people have a right to rebel in a certain way. And express how they feel about the matter at hand, to make a difference and change it. You can tell that Locke’s ideas influenced Thomas Jefferson, and that both go hand in hand when the Declaration of Independence was created. One similarity between the two is when Locke’s main ideas were “life, liberty, and property. ” But Jefferson states “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. These statements are almost identical, with a minor change.


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