Slavery Is Unjust And There Is No Reasonable Explanation For Slavery

2404 Words Jun 21st, 2016 10 Pages
A majority of people would agree that slavery is unjust and there is no reasonable explanation for slavery to be justified. In John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration, he states that there is a situation when slavery would be justifiable. Slavery, according to Locke, is justified when a man has forfeited his life by having committed an act that deserves death to the person being wronged. To Locke, slavery is nothing more than a state of war between a conqueror with absolute power and the conquered. Once a contract has been formed where the conquered promises obedience, it is then that the state of war and slavery are over. If a person has committed a crime that is punishable by death, the person who was wronged can choose to delay the death and instead have them work for them. If the person finds hardship in living in slavery and finds that it outweighs his life, then he can opt for his death. Locke states that there are two types of slavery, legitimate and illegitimate slavery. Legitimate slavery is when there is a justifiable reason for using slavery as punishment instead of death. Illegitimate slavery is when an absolute and despotic ruler exercises complete control over a person without having any just cause. The difference between the two forms of slavery is that legitimate slavery has what is considered to be a just cause and illegitimate slavery does not have a just cause. Slavery can never occur without there being a contract in…

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