Locke essays on natural law

Short essay description
In the Second Treatise especially, it is generally recognized, Locke argues the case for individual natural rights, limited government depending on the consent of the governed, separation of powers within government, and most radically, the right of people within a society to depose rulers who fail to uphold their end of the social contract. While the history of the writing of the Treatises shows that it was first conceived and executed as a revolutionary tract, its importance has far exceeded the specific revolutionary machinations which occasioned it. Although the nature of its influence on subsequent ideas is debated among scholars, few question its powerful influence on French, American, and, to a lesser extent, Spanish revolutionaries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a work in political philosophy, its theoretical influence is no less acknowledged. Despite the familiarity which even casual students of the history of political theory have with this much discussed and quoted work, there is little about it that has not aroused controversy among Locke scholars.

Essay: Locke and The Declaration of Independence

John Locke and Natural Law - Natural Law Essays

Locks justification of private property can be summed by stating, the earth and all it possess is property to be used by people in common for their own benefit and existence. To Locke, property also justifies and gives authority in terms of wages, land, and labor. Also in order to be justified, and individual must not possess more property then can be used for his benefit. This comes about from his dislike of authoritarianism both on the individual, community, and religious levels. Locke dictates that we have a natural right as humans to everything common i. Everything within the earth is considered commons until labor converts it to private property.

Aquinas vs. Hobbes on Natural Law

The ideas Locke introduces and expounds on were revolutionary, not only influencing political ideas of his time but influencing politics of today as well. John Locke begins with the premise of the state of nature and the natural rights that are in it. Perhaps made popular by the theories of Thomas Hobbes, the state of nature, as described. This is often referred to as a balance between the two. This issue has been prevalent for as long as we have had society.
Locke believed that individuals were born with certain unalienable rights life, liberty, and the right to property. He also thought that people were more than capable of governing themselves. According to Locke, the only important role of the government was to ensure that justice is done.

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