Good Essay On Locke: Then And Now
Many philosophers provided wisdom that appeared essential only to their time. They were transcendent to the minds of the common person, offering ideas and concepts that allowed society to evolve past what it might have been without the advanced opinions. John Locke, having lived 1632 and 1704 provided these types of thoughts, primarily concerning the liberty of the people, as well as the way in which we are born. His ideas were integral to America’s Constitution, making them revolutionary for their time. However, the words he declared are still relevant today, as well.
Among his many contributions to the philosophical word, Locke was an advocate for tolerance. He cited that while he was concerned about certain religious groups and the uprising they may cause, he did not believe in the persecution of such groups. He also believed deeply in an inherent morality for all, of which he established through his Two Treatises on Government. Therein, Locke stated governments could not act forcefully and all-powerfully, legitimately doing whatever they wanted, because there was a universal moral code that applied to all people; the government and rulers were not exempt. Within this, he established a right to private property, and even advocated the people war against the government, should the government ever take these integral rights away. One of Locke’s primary philosophies, and perhaps what he is best known for, is tabula rasa, or the theory that we are born with the mind as a blank slate. Theoretically, this would mean all discrimination, racism, misunderstanding, classism, and all other sociological structures involving class or status were put upon us by society. We are programmed to hate or think less of others, essentially.
These themes relate to contemporary life in several ways. For example, Locke’s principles conflict with the basic ways we live, and how we are taught to view one another. Persecution of many different groups, religious or otherwise, has been taking place for centuries. The government in most countries acts as they see fit, with no regard for the universal morality of others. Populations that threaten war against the government are struck down swiftly, though revolution is sometimes successful. Tabula rasa, or the blank slate theory, is a concept that escapes most, as we are immediately conditioned to accept our stations in life at birth, as well as view others based on their stations. We judge others based on race, education, income, and other variables because, sociologically, these variables put them at certain advantages or disadvantages to live a good or bad life. Locke would have disliked this the most, as it does not allow every individual born into the world a fair chance at the same outcome. If Locke were able to comment on these differences between his ideal philosophies and what happens, there would be much to say. He would likely advise the people of many countries to strike down their leaders, while telling different religious groups to settle their differences and disagree, but avoid persecution. It would be likely he was state that we are being used as tools in the sociological cycle operated by the weak, poor, uneducated, and unhealthy. We judge people by certain variables because we are told to, believing these judgements give us an advantage; Locke would remind us they do not, and if we ceased to judge, this hierarchy would crumble, allowing everybody the true fair chance they deserve.
In sum, John Locke was inspirational with many of his philosophies. From his views on government and persecution to the human mind, he attempted to advance society with his ideas. Many of his philosophies were so pivotal they provided the cornerstone for America’s Constitution. Unfortunately, the U.S. and many other countries fail to live up to Locke’s ideals. He would have many comments to make about contemporary society and the changes that could be made.