Lockes the second treatise of civil government the significance of reason

If we will attentively consider new born children, we shall have little reason to think that they bring many ideas into the world with them and that "by degrees afterward, ideas come into their minds.

Lockes the second treatise of civil government the significance of reason

They proclaimed it by their deeds, they propagated it in their writings. In almost every country of Europe, amid tempests of wrath, stirred up by their faith, and their manly adherence to truth, they were the indefatigable, consistent primal apostles of liberty in this latter age.

This paper will examine the similarities between Locke and Baptists regarding the area of ecclesiology and liberty, as well as examine whether there exists any direct or indirect influence between the two. With this premise of relation established, Locke then asserts that man has a divine purpose hinted in the creation: As such, in the state of nature, man lives pursuing this survivability.

When another crosses the boundaries of this law, and threatens his natural rights, which so threaten his survivability, the state between these men changes to a state of war, whereas innocent life may be protected from the trespasser.

In this state, the various individuals are responsible as both judge and executioner. However, sometimes men are apt to judge harshly, and punish unjustly, and as such it is in the interest of men to join into a social contract.

It was a contract made among equals to create a society, and then between the society created and the ruler. The social contract, Locke argues, requires the unanimous consent of every party to the contract. First is that God is Creator over man, and as such claims property over his creation.

Second is that man exists first in a state of nature, whose law is reason, and whose reason is fixed on the natural rights of man as they pertain to his survivability. Third is that man may be drawn into a contract with one another, whereas he submits certain liberties to preserve the whole.

Fifth is that this consent produces a government which accepts the given acts of execution and legislation in trade for security. Locke treats other subjects in his works, such as justification for rebellion, the issue of slavery, and the importance of property.

Chapter 5: Of Property

However, for the moment these highlighted themes will suffice. To examine these potential parallels, two categories will be explored. The first of these categories will be Locke and Baptists on Ecclesiology.

The first of these potential parallels to be explored relates to how both Locke and Baptists define a church. For both Locke and Baptists, becoming a member echoed the requirements associated with becoming a church: However what further details may be drawn towards this voluntary congregationalism?

Perhaps best known and earlier emphasized in Lockean political thought is the idea that society forms as the product of a social contract.

Having desired to procure the safety of their natural rights, individuals move from the self-governance and insecurities of the State of Nature to a social contract consisting of the voluntary contracting.

These individuals give up various rights such as executing and judging crimes committed against the Laws of Nature, in favor of a government who will act as a trustee of various powers.

Early years

The answer is found echoed in his thesis of what makes a society and government? For Locke, a society is created the moment individual give up their liberties by contracting amongst themselves for the given purpose of promoting and preserving their individual liberties.

This is familiar to the Baptist notion of members covenanting, whereas a church is born when members gather and pledge a covenant between themselves and God. As society is born once individuals contract themselves, so is a church born the moment believers perform a spiritual equivalence in the form of social covenanting.

Furthermore, the two share the similarity of giving up rights to preserve and promote others. For Locke, these include the inalienable natural rights of life, liberty, and property.

In addition, constituted individuals give up their right to be governed and disciplined by the contracted government. This is commonly detailed, as in the American experiment, in a form of a written Constitution, whereas both the boundaries and duties of various governmental branches are set. All this seems additionally similar to Baptist polity.

When believers come together and covenant amongst themselves and God, a church is formed. Common to the practice of this social covenanting, members will most always proceed to the drafting of a church Constitution and Bylaws.

Lockes the second treatise of civil government the significance of reason

Within this drafted ecclesiological document is set the various powers and jurisdictions of ministries and processes. The political constitution sets boundaries and powers as the byproduct of social contracting, and the Baptist covenantal constitution serve a paralleled ecclesiological function.

Both involve in their primary step a covenanting and contracting, and both seem to codify the purpose and limits of the covenanted and constituted products. For Locke, individuals give up their legislative and executive rights found in the State of Nature and place them in the trustee of the government.


As a product, they give legitimacy to be disciplined and directed by the constituted government in the interest of preserving the essential natural liberties.

Baptist believers also voluntarily give up certain rights. Although Baptists are adamantly democratic in their polity, covenanted individuals give up their rights to self-discipline and direction as well.This essay scrutinizes political obligation in the Second Treatise by analyzing the “natural liberty” Locke attributes to children, savages, some foreigners, and other tacit consenters.

Both natural liberty and the voluntarism of consent require certain conditions to be actualized, one of the. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews is an electronic, Feminist Interpretations of John Locke, Pennsylvania State University Press, , pp., $ (pbk), ISBN (Second Treatise of Government para.

52) -- thus opening a crack for feminists to enter. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government. Although a variety of editions of this classic work are available, the most highly recommended is the one edited by Peter Laslett, which provides useful.

Second Treatise Of Government Second Treatise Of Government Lockes The Second Treatise of Civil Government: The Significance of Reason The significance of reason is discussed both in John Lockes, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, and in Jean-Jacques Rousseaus, Emile.

However, the definitions that both authors give to the word reason vary. Locke's The Second Treatise of Civil Government: The Significance of Reason The significance of reason is discussed both in John Locke's, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, and in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's, Emile.

However, the definitions that both authors give to the word "reason" vary significantly. About The Second Treatise on Civil Government. As one of the early Enlightenment philosophers in England, John Locke sought to bring reason and critical intelligence to the discussion of the origins of civil society.

HIS Locke and the Baptists |