Why John Locke Is The Greatest Philosopher Of All Time

1615 words - 7 pages

Why John Locke is the Greatest Philosopher of all Time
John Locke was a British philosopher and physician who lived from 29th August 1632 to 28th October 1704. He is one of the most outstanding of enlightenment thinkers, who explained many of the ideas that affect human life in today’s society. He is widely known as the father of classical liberalism, because of his emphases on liberty of persons by, restricting the authority of the government Jenkins and John (18). He is also regarded as one the first imperialist in Britain because his pioneer work on imperialism theory, a theory in epistemology that asserts that knowledge comes only from sensory experience. He is equally important when ...view middle of the document...

According to internet encyclopedia of philosophy Locke falls among the greatest philosophers but he is not the greatest because it would be illogical to make such claim, for there are other great philosophers, and philosophy is such a wide field that no one philosopher can explain all the general and fundamental problems raised by philosophy like realism, being, knowledge, ideals, reason, mind and language. Furthermore, some of his theories have been criticized other philosophers.
Theories of religious tolerance
Locke’s reasoning on religious tolerance was classic, from his reasoning three major essential arguments were formulated; one of the arguments is concern with the earthly judges, it states that; the states and human beings cannot dependably evaluate the truth claims of competing religious stand points. In the second argument Locke reasoned that even if the state and humans beings could dependably evaluate the truth claims of competing religious stand point, enforcing a single true religion would fail to have the desired effect, because believe cannot be compelled by violence Locke (37). The last argument for religious tolerance was that coercing religious equality would result to more social disarray than allowing diversity.
Lock viewed a church as a free and voluntary society with the purpose of worshiping God, the values of worship depends solely on the faith that inspires it. True religion’s life and power is in the inward fully persuaded mind and should not be interfered with, it is individualist. Religious matters are entirely outside the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate. Locke questioned state interference on religion. Even though he viewed religion to be free and voluntary he had some exceptions. Papist and atheists are denied the toleration enjoyed by all others, this brings some inconsistency in Locke’s reasoning, but he makes it clear that according to him Catholic Church was dangerous to the public peace, therefore, did not deserve the freedoms. Locke reasoned that for a state to exist it must depend upon a contract, and the obligation of the contract, the contract must depend upon the divine will, since atheists do not believe in the divine will, they do not deserve the freedoms. His view on exempting papists and atheist from religion freedom has been severely criticized (Jenkins and John 35).
Theory of value and property
According to Locke the word property can be viewed from two perspectives; narrow and broad. Property is broad in the sense that it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations, while on a narrow perspective property refers to material goods. From his argument property ought to be viewed as a natural right derived from labor. Locke further argues that property should be used to produce goods that are beneficial to human society and that ownership of goods and property should be based on the labor used in producing the goods. Locke believes that nature produces goods of little value; therefore,...

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