John Locke On Equality, Toleration, and the Atheist Exception

John Locke On Equality, Toleration, and the Atheist Exception

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Political philosopher and social psychologist, John Locke , was an outspoken supporter of equal rights within a governed society. He espoused the natural rights of man, namely the right to life, liberty and property, and he articulated that every government’s purpose is to secure these rights for its nationals. He was a social contract theorist, believing that the legitimacy of government relies on consent from its citizens which is given on the basis of equality. Locke’s view of equality was not limited to the political realm; he also promoted religious toleration, with atheism being the one notable exception. He supported general toleration of alternative religious beliefs but encouraged the ex-communication of non-believers. In order to understand both the progressive areas of Locke’s philosophy and the dogmatic ones, it is necessary to analyze his political and religious understanding of life, for these things inform his moral code and explain the seemingly contrary ideas of his philosophy. The analysis of Locke’s theory follows a kind of chronology, beginning with the presence of equality in the ‘state of nature’. This idea of natural equality transitions into the state as men leave the ‘state of nature’ and enter into society. Then once a government is established, the role of equality can be analyzed from a social perspective, which is when the idea of religious toleration comes into play. Before there is a government and a nation, man lives in a state of nature where he is guided by the laws of nature as God intended. Locke begins his Second Treatise of Government establishing truths of nature mainly that God is the creator and he did not
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/11/2012 for the course MBA 103 taught by Professor Wise during the Spring '12 term at Salem Intl..

Page1 / 2

John Locke On Equality, Toleration, and the Atheist Exception

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online