This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Governments And States Of Locke, Aquinas, And St. Augustine

1357 words - 5 pages

In John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, he identifies a government that is of the peoples consent with his essential raison d΄être being the preservation and protection of personal property. This type of government is extremely comparable with the type of government that St. Augustine describes in his work City of God, while at the same time contrasts the views of Aquinas in the ways a state should operate. The end goal of how each of these philosophers’ states purposes presents the greatest split between each of their philosophies. To understand how each of these philosophers’ states are similar and different from each other, a deeper analysis is necessary.
The first and possibly most striking similarity between the states that both Locke and St. Augustine propose lies in the fact that both see the state as a necessary evil. Locke describes the perfect life as one in the “state of nature”, where there are limitless boundaries to freedom. Within these limitless boundaries to do whatever you want lays the ability for others to do harm to you and your property, because they have complete freedom as well. In order to overcome this lack of security, Locke describes the state as a necessary evil which one must give up certain freedoms in order to be protected under the rule of law. This is similar to St. Augustine in the respect that within the world there are evil men who will do harm to others. Augustine argues that laws are necessary to make sure that people can live with the peace of mind that they are protected from the sins of others.
One of the contrasting points the states of Aquinas and Locke possess is rooted in how each state should set up and decide their laws. Aquinas argues that we should set up our laws based on high morals, which all men could agree on, and on the high ideals of natural law. Locke disagrees with this in the respect that all men are Tabula Rasa, which begin life as blank slates and develop their views and ideas based on the experiences they are exposed to. According to Locke the men in the state of Aquinas would all have different experiences and place importance on different morals and ideals. Therefore, Locke argues that in order to have a legitimate set of laws, they must be based on very solid foundations which cannot be subject to argument. Such foundations would be the protection of property, as well as the preservation of an individual’s personal rights and freedoms.
The role of the government in the eyes of Locke is very simple. It is to protect the “peace, safety, security, and public good of the people”. Locke arrives at this conclusion from the reasoning behind leaving the “state of nature” and entering civil society. We leave the “state of nature” (perfect freedom and perfect equality) in order to be free from being infringed upon by others. Although we must give up some of our freedoms for protection, they are small compared to the benefits of protection that we receive from civil...

Find Another Essay On The Governments and States of Locke, Aquinas, and St. Augustine

Well-Governed Societies of Plato and St. Thomas Aquinas

1563 words - 6 pages Ideas of existence and the acquisition of knowledge ultimately distinguish Plato and St. Thomas Aquinas, leading to dissimilar views on the right way to govern a society. The metaphysics of Plato focused on Forms, concepts and abstractions of actual objects that are detached from these items. To Aquinas, in and of themselves objects exist, and each entity has actuality; everything has its own existence. Knowledge originates from objects of

The Contributions of St. Augustine and Brigid of Kildare to Christianity

1328 words - 5 pages The Contributions of St. Augustine and Brigid of Kildare to Christianity St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare were two very influential people in the church during the fourth and fifth centuries. St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare were most famous for the monasteries that they founded. Both St. Augustine and Bridgid were devout Christians who contributed greatly to the growth of Christianity. Both of these people encouraged the spread

Political Life and Man’s Ultimate End: Reading the De Regno of St. Thomas Aquinas

1476 words - 6 pages St. Thomas’ purpose in writing the De Regno is to provide practical guidance for a Christian king on how it is that he ought to conduct his proper authority. The king, imitating God, is to lead those subject to him to their proper end, and this will be nothing other than communal virtue. This instantiation of the practice of citizen-wide virtue is the intrinsic finality belonging to political society, and for St. Thomas, it is the genuine

St. Augustine: Thoughts on Good and Evil

1056 words - 4 pages men. Through recalling and confessing, Augustine began to see how God’s hand was upon him. Evangelist, Josh McDowell, states, “No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary. No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or the pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good” (BrainyQuote). “He sees

My study notes for final. Brief overview of Epictetus, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas

685 words - 3 pages is the universe, the universe is god - everything is a part of god. God took care of everything, we're his plan. What looks bad to us is good at its end (situation - god's plan - rational - good), there is no evil. Under our control: opinion, judgment and our will. 4. Augustine Characteristics of God: omniscient (all knowing); omnipotent (all powerful); omnibenevolent (all loving). World is made up of 2 powers that compete all the time: good

The De Regno of St. Thomas Aquinas

2397 words - 10 pages of St. Augustine. Edited by Whitney J. Oates. 2 vols. New York, 1948. Crofts, Richard A. “The Common Good in the Political Theory of Thomas Aquinas.” The Thomist 37 (1973): 155-173. Dewan, Lawrence. “St. Thomas, John Finnis, and the Political Good.” The Thomist 64 (2000): 337-74. Elshtain, Jean Bethke. Augustine and the Limits of Politics. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995. — Public Man, Private: Women in Social and

The Life of St. Augustine of Hippo

1037 words - 5 pages St. Augustine of Hippo is revered as one of the primary leaders of the Western church. His name conjures up images of great wisdom, unparalleled resilience in faith, and superb eloquence of words. Some of the greatest quotes to be found addressing nature, the journey of life, and the Christian path are credited to St. Augustine. Climbing from humble beginnings, St. Augustine became, and remains to this day, a primary figurehead in the world of

It compares Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau in regards to social contract, the state of nature and each of their ideal governments

1843 words - 7 pages value and the person who grew the corn therefore more wealth. Locke claims that eventually, man agreed to allow a certain metal or jewel common to all, that was not perishable, serve as money to appropriate goods, Locke states "and as different degrees of industry were apt to give men possessions in different proportions, so this invention of money gave them the opportunity to continue and enlarge them."Locke's argument would be valid if there was

Truth and Goodness in Immanuel Kant and St. Thomas Aquinas

3328 words - 13 pages Immanuel Kant and St. Thomas Aquinas account for the existence of truth in sharply contrasting ways. Kant locates all truth inside the mind, as a pure product of reason, operating by means of rational categories. Although Kant acknowledges that all knowledge originates in the intuition of the senses, the intelligibility of sense experience he attributes to innate forms of apperception and to categories inherent to the mind. The innate

The Theodicies of Augustine and Boethius

915 words - 4 pages sin. Boethius states that "the ability to do evil is not a form of power", solidifying his assumption that the ability to do evil is a weakness. Like Augustine, Boethius believes that doing evil is a lack of the goodness of God and that only men have the ability and weakness to sin (Consolation of Philosophy 92). Boethius, in his solution to the problem of evil, argues that the ability to sin and therefore the human idea of evil must be possible

Augustine and the Locus of Collective Memory

3915 words - 16 pages tradition is already potent in the texts of its initiator, St. Augustine, but Ricoeur sees the tradition to really gain its force with Locke, Kant and Husserl. Whereas Augustine was not able to distinguish between identity, self and memory, and also lacked the conceptual tools for a transcendental definition of the word “subject”, the modern sense of “inwardness” is brought up with these later thinkers. Indeed, it is the (phenomenological) mind that

Similar Essays

The Problem With Religion And Morals. Speaks Of St.Anselm, Thomas Aquinas And St. Augustine

832 words - 3 pages - -The Problem with Religion and MoralsThe likes of many philosophers including St. Anselm, Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine have written that organized religion is the only source of human beings leading a moral life. One of the defenses of organized religion is that it is the basis of society's morals and therefore it is necessary to prevent social barbarism. This statement is utterly untrue, for there are many open-minded families, throughout

Locke, Aristotle And Aquinas Essay

2246 words - 9 pages , according to Locke, one day the truth of the matter will become manifest.   Bibliography Lord, Carnes [trans.].  Aristotle, The Politics.  The University of Chicago Press, Chicago; 1984 Tully, James H.[ed].  Locke, John.  A Letter Concerning Toleration. Hackett Publishing Company, United States of America;  1983 Baumgarth, William P and Richard J Regan [eds].  Aquinas, Saint Thomas.  On Law, Morality, and Politics.  Hackett

St. Augustine Of Hippo, Bishop And Theologian

2103 words - 8 pages St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, was one of the greatest theologians of his time. He is still regarded in the highest manner. He was raised in a divided home, but through time he found the truth. He was always a superb student. He fully mastered Latin; however, he never grasped Greek. He was also very crafty in speech - a black-belt of rhetoric if you will. After his teenage flings and rebellions, he found a heretical sect in which

Aquinas' View Of Kingship And The Aristotelian Response. Quotes Are From "St. Thomas Aquinas On Law And Ethics," Ed. Sigmund

705 words - 3 pages St. Thomas Aquinas takes many of Aristotle's ideas from The Politics in order to create his idea of the best regime. He revisits the good and bad forms of each type of government Aristotle introduced, and then makes his decision that the best regime is a type of monarchy that he calls kingship. This decision stems from his definition of a king as "one who rules over the people of a city or province for the common good" (17).Kingship is