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Essay example - Critically assess Stanely Fish's critique of John Locke's concept of toleration.
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Through this letter he brings forth a number of arguments that are intended to ascertain the proper spheres of religion and politics. His basic argument is that government…
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He also often cites his concerns on the level of hypocrisy, he points out that those persons who are so quick to persecute are themselves ignorant of the most grievous sins that happen around them. These transgressions represent a much greater threat eternally than do the sins that they seek to persecute. In the letter, Locke cites many more but similar religious arguments; he further proceeds to provide three reasons which he believes should provide enough grounds for preventing the state to coerce people into adopting specified religious beliefs.
First, he identifies that the concern for human soul has not been bequeathed to the magistrate by either God or humans. This argument borders on the view presented in the Two Treatises to confound the natural freedom and sameness of humans. There is no authority within the Bible that requires the magistrate to commit people to the actual faith and that persons should not agree to such an idea for the state as it is impossible for human, at will, to accept as true what the magistrate identifies as true .Their faith is founded on that they consider as true and not really what they wish. Locke’s second argument holds that as the government’s power is yielded in its force, and religion is primarily about free choice founded on inward persuasion of the mind, then it follows that force cannot be used to compel people to follow religion. The third and last argument identifies that even though human’s state of mind could be altered through force, a state where all joined the magistrate’s religion would not bring additional people to the true religion. This is due to the fact that most magistrates ascribe to false religions.
Locke’s view on religion and the state has been respected for a favorable period of time, it is not also uncommon to see modern person relating with the very elements of his ...
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