John Locke: Resistance, Religion and Responsibility by John Marshall

By John Marshall

This publication offers an enormous new old account of the improvement of the political, non secular, social and ethical considered the political theorist and thinker John Locke. It bargains reinterpretations of a number of of his most crucial works, really the 2 Treatises, and comprises wide analyses of his unpublished manuscripts. Professor Marshall's arguments problem many different students' interpretations of the nature and impacts of Locke's ethical, social and non secular idea and supply an alternate account.

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He spoke briefly of man's 'frail nature or improved corruption' and then continued with the declaration that 'ever since man first threw himself into the pollution of sin, he sullies whatever he takes into his hand, and he that at first could make the best and perfectest nature degenerate cannot fail now to make other things so too'. This probably indicates a belief in a strong inherited disposition to sin, particularly because this was so widely accepted that Locke did not need to spell it out more precisely, and because this was once again the view supported strongly in the works that he had by then read.

10 Crucially, Locke explicitly identified religious contentions as the major 10 For Locke, see Tracts, 51-2; 119; 245; Correspondence, I, 30, 43, 54, 59, 82, 91. It is not possible to do more here than point to a few works as starting-points of enquiry into the complex relationships between liberty and authority in 'puritan' demands for liberty of conscience. It is important to stress, however, that the following historians' accounts have shown that Locke had very considerable ground in the structure and purpose of Civil-War and Interregnum religious thought for his understanding of the self-serving and restrictive character of demands for liberty of conscience and for his persistent suspicion that 'puritan' desires for intolerance and authority were generally cloaked under demands for liberty: B.

Most men were guided by belief, 'by the example of others, or by traditional customs and the fashion of the country, or finally by the 46 Correspondence, I, 81; cf D. Wootton, John Locke: Political Writings, Harmondsworth, Middlesex (1993), 26ff. Against the 'tyranny of a religious rage' 29 authority of those whom they consider good and wise' instead of being guided by reasoning for themselves. Most of the precepts of the law of nature were transmitted to children by their parents and teachers; unfortunately, this was as true of evil opinions as it was of good.

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