Letter Concerning Toleration Essay

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John Locke was born in 1632. He grew to become one of the most influential philosophers and was seen as the father of the Enlightenment. Locked studied at the Christ Church of Oxford in 1658 (AR). At Oxford he studied medicine which impacted his beliefs a great deal. His most famous works include First Treatise of Government, Second Treatise of Government, and Letter Concerning Toleration (AR). In his treatises he proclaimed that absolute monarchy was not the proper way to govern. These beliefs about a monarchy started in him at a very young age. His Letter Concerning Toleration claims that governments do not have the right to interfere with citizen’s creeds unless they are a threat to the greater good. Locke’s ideas became…show more content…
The place one is born does not determine eternal happiness. Nevertheless, it can best be summed up by saying, “All the power of civil government relates only to men’s civil interests, is confined to the care of the things of this world, and hath nothing to do with the world to come,” (Locke 5). Perchance a church is idolatrous what, if any, jurisdiction does the magistrate have over this situation. Locke answers this question with his own question. “What power can be given to the magistrate for the suppression of an idolatrous Church, which may not in time and place be made use of to the ruin of an orthodox one?” (Locke 20). While idolatry may not be judged correct for a church to condone, it is not illegal. Churches are allowed to their own beliefs and practices as long as the greater good is not threatened or endangered by their beliefs. If the magistrate could act in this situation then he would have unwarranted authority over the church. If the church were to do something similar or something that the magistrate does not like, then he would have authority over the church to take action. It would come to the fact that the magistrate would be in control of the church. Locke uses different examples to convey this point such as,
“If, therefore, such a power be granted unto the civil magistrate in
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