Greatest Contribution of John Locke

The political theorist and English philosopher John Locke created the foundational work for the Enlightenment. He made powerful contributions to the development of liberalism along with being one of the key advocates of the Scientific Revolution. Locke’s Political, Religious and Scientific theories shaped the world we live in today, that is why he is one of the most famous and renowned philosophers to once walk this earth.

In the fascinating video published by The School of Life, called Political Theory: John Locke, the first question locke grew fascinated by, was what to do with people who do not agree with your religious beliefs. During this time English Protestantism started a process of barbaric questioning of religion that could not be stopped. There were arguments for the government to take total control over religion but Locke became the prime advocate of the freedom of belief and wrote an essay written in 1667, called toleration. He then supported toleration on premise of three points.

Firstly, because Earthly judges, the state in particular, and human beings in general cannot dependably evaluate the truth-claims of competing religious standpoints. Secondly, even if they could, enforcing a single true religion’ would never work, because you can’t be compelled into beliefs through violence. Thirdly, coercing religious uniformity leads to far more social disorder than allowing diversity. These words that John Locke expressed to us in his essay influenced the idea of imprisoning people for their beliefs fell completely through the cracks. Other countries started to get jealous at England because of their religious rights and how you were not looked down upon for what you believe in.

    In one of John Locke’s essays, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book I: Innate Notions he states, My purpose, therefore, is to enquire into the origin, certainty, and extent of human knowledge, and also into the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion, and assent (Locke p. 1). Locke just wanted other people to train their minds and educate themselves because he stressed the value that the human mind has to think. This shows that he truly cared about the free right to beliefs and voicing your own opinion if educated. Maybe it would be different now with voicing your own opinion and freedom of speech if Locke did not put that into gear.

In Book I argues that, at birth, the human mind is a sort of blank slate on which experience writes. In Book II Locke claims that ideas are the materials of knowledge and all ideas come from experience. The term idea’, Locke tells us stands for whatsoever is the Object of the Understanding, when a man thinks (I.1.8, N: 47).  He then goes on to say that there are two kinds, sensation and reflection. This theory truly makes sense because when a baby is born they truly do not know anything but to breath. A baby’s brain is like a sponge, Locke believes that a human gains knowledge by realizing what is going on around you. Like a baby use your experiences to frame you and your ability to ultimately make your own educated and safe decisions.

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Greatest Contribution Of John Locke. (2019, Aug 08). Retrieved October 21, 2021 , from
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