John Locke On Religion

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Following in a tradition of unconventional works started by Machiavelli and carried to fruition by Hobbes, Locke was aware of the consequences of diverging from the church’s teachings in. Locke’s liberalism was unique from classical political philosophy because it focused on humans in the state of nature and their inclination to fall from the state of nature into the state of war. He dealt with this issue by perpetually reconciling his philosophical ideologies with those of Christianity. Locke’s exact motivation for his constant reconciliation is unclear: he could have been a devout believer of Christianity who thought God to be a highly logical being or he could have recalled the persecution of Hobbes and endeavored to avoid the same fate. …show more content…

For instance, if a person takes a sip of water or eats some grapes, that person has removed that sip of water and those grapes from the common. Since all materials necessary to life belong to all men in common, survival dictates that there must be “a means to appropriate” and thus a means of establishing private property (Locke 19). Locke goes on to weaken all arguments that the tools of survival are not private property by asserting that “the fruit or venison, which nourishes the wild Indian… must be his, and so his, i.e. a part of him” (Locke 19). This statement demonstrates the necessity of private property because survival requires the Indian to eat, and to eat, he must remove his food source from the common. Once he removes the venison and uses it for nourishment, it becomes a part of him and nobody else can ever use it. After Locke establishes that private property is a necessity of life, he begins to draw on Christian principles to justify inequality in …show more content…

He accomplishes this by establishing that “every man has a property in his own person” which is to say that every man owns himself (Locke 19). However, Locke makes it clear that even though man owns himself, as a creation of God, he has no right to take his own life which further reconciles Locke’s philosophy with the precepts of Christianity. Additionally, when Locke states that “the labour of his body [man’s] and the work of his hands … are properly his,” he identifies labor as the distinguishing factor in the creation and accumulation of private property (Locke 19). Locke goes on to assert that “labour… added something… more than nature,” thus through labor man can transform common into private (Locke 19). Then Locke appeals once again to the Christian ideals of frugality and moderation by asserting that “nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy” thus establishing “a bounds, set by reason” to limit the acquisition of private property and hinder greed (Locke

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