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Outline of John Locke "A Letter Concerning Toleration"

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on 2 March 2014

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Transcript of Outline of John Locke "A Letter Concerning Toleration"

A Letter Concerning Toleration
John Locke
Religious Tolerance
One of the most influential philosophical thinkers of enlightenment.
His work had a great impact.
As the theory of empiricism goes, what we see and experiment reflects on what we do and how we view the world.
John Locke was born into trying times
especially as a protestant.
Main Points of the Letter

1. Toleration prevents civil disobedience.
2. Civil troubles results from not tolerating
3. Church and government must be considered
to be separate institutions.
1. Church can not force others to believe.

2. Church searches for true salvation and it does not come from
someone being forced to believe.

3. Every church is orthodox.
The Church according to Locke
1. Responsible for liberty, health, money and land.

2. Cannot have power over the salvation of souls.

3. Can only enact laws that helps all of the commonwealth.
Discussion Questions
Do you think that Locke's religious tolerance of others
results in less violence?

Persuasion and Violence Government salvation of souls

Locke supports this in 2 main points:

(1) individuals cannot surrender control over their souls to secular forces, as God does not appoint the government

2) force cannot create the change necessary for salvation, because while it can persuade obedience, it cannot change one's beliefs.

Conclusion from "A letter of Toleration"

There was an uproar of responses from the High Church Anglican clergy. One in particular was published by Thomas Long and Jonas Proast. Long believed the letter was written by someone of the Roman Catholic church to cause a conflict between christians. Proast attacked the Letter and defended the view that the government has the right to use force to cause dissenters to reflect on the "merits the True Religion". Locke's reply to Proast was extremely controversial.

In 1690 Proast advocated for the moderate use of force in matters of religion. He argued that the magistrate had power to restrain false religion

Proast's main point was that coercion may not lead directly to changed understanding of religion; but uses of force must be used to make the mind receptive to the religion. This argument aimed at undermining the premise of Locke's main argument on the ineffectiveness of intolerant behavior and penal laws.
Responses to the Letter
The Government according to Locke
Carlos Garcia
In regards to religion and state do you see the church interfering with the laws of government to this day and what kinds of effects does it have on society?

Have you seen what Locke believed about religious tolerance today?

Would it be appropriate to try to convert other religious views into our own Christian faith? Why or Why not?
How does the Bible talk about Tolerance?
Discussion Questions
Discussion Questions
Discussion Questions
Discussion Questions
- Born in August 1632 in England
- From a Puritan family
- Mom dies at giving birth
- Dad was an attorney
- Locke dies in 0ctober 28th 1704
Full transcript