John Locke’s Natural Rights in The Second Treatise of Government.

John Locke’s Natural Rights in The Second Treatise of Government. Essay example
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The rights encompass one’s rights to one’s body/person, right of survival or preservation, the right to property, the right to labour, the right to freedom, the right to punishment, the right to society and the right to self-defence in war.


“Locke developed central devices for political theory …a theory of natural law” (Bailey 2008, p. 252). The state of nature, to which Locke refers, describes two things: the condition of mankind before the establishment of civil government and the condition of mankind before the introduction of formal legislation to ensure societal order. Locke deduces that since laws governs nature, and God ordains laws where man is subject to the Divine then the laws govern mankind. It must be noted that since these rights exist outside of the body politic or civil society; they are natural or inherent to man’s being. These rights are inalienable and are equally applied. Forming the basis of the penal system, the justice system, the welfare system, the military system, the economy and the government as a whole, these rights comprise the foundation for both individual and society at large. In the natural state, the rights of man are equal and evenly distributed to all humanity’s members. Sovereignty cannot be invested in a singular individual where all are made equal. In his treatise, Locke insists on “equality of men by nature…as so evident in itself, and beyond all question” (Locke 1980). Locke declares his stand for the equality of the rights of all men, and their sameness before the law and before God. ...
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