John Locke

John Locke was a late 17th Century philosopher. He was a great influence on liberalism especially in his treatise “Letters concerning Toleration”. He wrote this as William and Mary were stabilising England. His main thrust was that government and church should be separate. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was absolutely wedded to the concept of toleration of different strands of faith. That Government should not impinge on religious worship, in so far as it remains within the law of the land, and that Church should not impinge on Government by forcing its beliefs onto the statute books.

He said that it was every person’s right to decide for themselves what to believe in. That the idea that one belief structure was right and all the others wrong was completely absurd and ultimately would be driven by accident of where you were born. That the faith imbued in a person came from a decision based on belief and not on what was handed down from your parents.

He also wrote a treatise on liberalism 10 years earlier that was not published as it was treasonable. He stated the natural state on a person is that they should be free to exercise their freewill as they pleased. That as an equal amongst equals all humans were to be regarded as of equal value and that any form of slavery was false. But that as humans live in society it would be necessary that a system of rules be instituted for people to live together in harmony and commonality.

Conway-Laird (2017)  

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