There were many philosophers throughout the Enlightenment period. Some of these

great thinkers shared similar views on related ideas, others differed completely. I

personally agreed most with John Locke’s philosophies. Locke was born in 1632 and

died in 1704. His works concerned human nature, how the structure of a society should

be set up, and other issues to that effect. Locke’s philosophies and books are all

applicable to our society today and some of our country’s political foundations are based

on his notable philosophies.

I agree with his reasoning on why an absolute monarchy is no form of a civil

government. I believe that the people who make the decisions for their country are their

country and that ‘the people’ should have equal power and all be on the same level

socially and politically. Like Locke, I believe that a superior to judge between right and

wrong and to punish those who do wrong is absolutely necessary, yet the power should be

in the hands of the people and not a monarch. Before the enlightenment, both secular

and religious worlds were in a power struggle and became extremely corrupt, proving

that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

Locke stated “...and have a common established law and judicature to appeal to,

with authority to decide controversies between them and punish offenders” (Civil

Society). I have no doubt that to have structure and a judicial system in a society is

essential and without it there would be complete and utter chaos. I also agree with Locke

on the subject of why a civil society is better and more productive then living in the state

of nature. Locke’s “state of nature” was a state of liberty, and all people were considered

equal, but there was no authority to enforce the law which I believe to be greatly

problematic. Without laws or government, a state or country is bound to be inextricable

and completely disorganized which are not good conditions. With such disagreeable

circumstances the people are bound to fight with one another and act bestial causing the

overall conditions of the state to worsen even more. Locke philosophized that a civil

state should be formed for three significant reasons; an established law was needed,

authority to judge right from wrong according to the established law, and a power to

“back and support the sentence when right and give it due execution” (Why Form a Civil

Society). I find these three reasons to be substantive in our society today and without

those factors our society would be in a disordered situation where nothing functions

correctly and all people are corrupt.

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