John Locke And The State Of Nature

1206 Words Dec 11th, 2016 5 Pages
When the forefathers of the United States drafted the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, they made sure to mention that all men are equal and are born with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These well acknowledged rights originated from the writings of philosopher, John Locke. John Locke lived during the Enlightenment, a period where people explored to establish their natural rights in revolutionary acts. The Second Treatise of Government is one of John Locke’s most renowned pieces in which many of his thoughts of human rights, government and property inspired many revolutionary activists to use them as a foundation for their own newly found government. In the first few chapters of this notable work, Locke discusses many ideas such as the state of nature, the state of war and slavery. According to John Locke, the state of nature “has a law of nature to to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions…” (Locke, 9) During the state of nature, the lack of authority leads to destruction and punishment. It’s a state that should be avoided at all costs. “The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him…
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