Respond to this discussion question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Grant
While both Locke and Rousseau used the idea of humans existing in a certain state of nature, their understanding of what that state was dramatically differs. Rosseau articulated that the natural condition of man is “naturally free and equal” (Capaldi, Lloyd 2011). This understanding of man being naturally free but also equal left Rousseau with a problem. If humans are naturally free and equal, why is there so much suffering, inequality, and servitude present amongst the human condition. Rousseau explained this was a modern phenomena brought about by the modernization of the world and the abandonment of Ancient World values. Rousseau’s ideal society was Ancient Sparta because he saw it as, “the refuge of real men and provided long periods of peace, stability, and independence” (Capaldi, Lloyd 2011). This freedom and equality led Rousseau to believe the natural state of man was one of innocence that becomes corrupted by modernity. It is not that man is naturally fallen and prone to sin that explains suffering present in the modern world, rather the suffering of the modern world is the result of outside forces corrupting man and causing him to exploit his fellow man. Locke on the other hand believed that the natural state of man is not one innocence but rather reason. He acknowledged and agreed with Rousseau that “all men are born free” (Capaldi, Lloyd 2011), but Locke’s understanding of freedom. Locke’s version of freedom has drastically different ramifications than Rousseau’s as Locke argues that his “State of liberty” is expressly not a “State of License” (Strauss, 2012). While the natural state of man has liberty, this liberty is not, “not Liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any Creature in his Possession, but where some nobler use, than its bare Preservation calls for it” (Strauss 2012). Locke’s understanding of what we might deem today “ordered liberty” is much more compatible with the Christian faith. It allows man the opportunity to exercise his free will, while also taking into account his fallen status and depraved state. As Romans 3:23 cleary lays out, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Therefore any political system must take into account man’s brokenness while also allowing the maximum amount of freedom to do good.
Respond to this Disscusion question!!!!!!!!!! Luke Baker
WednesdayAug 31 at 11:58am
Locke and Rousseau both hit on the idea of a state of nature, however, they disagree as to what that means. Rousseau believed that the state of nature for man did should involve any form of political society. He thought that where there is government, there is commerce, which leads to inequity among social classes (Strauss, 2012). According to Rousseau, man was born free and should not be constrained by the people governing them. He wanted to improve upon Greek and Roman political societies so that they were so small, the people were truly in charge, leading to common interest of all.
Locke, on the other hand, believed that political societies were necessary to protecting the natural rights of people. He thought that “every man has a natural right to preserve himself and to act in accordance with this right,” (Strauss, 2012). Locke thought that government should uphold these rights of humans, albeit government takes control of these rights when it is created. This is why Locke was so adamant about consent of the governed. While he believed men are free, he knew they could not be free unless their freedom was protected.
These two agreed that there is a state of nature of man. I think they also firmly believed that men are born free and should remain free. Where they disagreed was how this freedom should be established. Locke wanted a formal government to protect the freedom of man. Rousseau believed in something called the social contract. Within this contract was the idea that people would give up all their rights and freedom towards the common good, while still maintaining their rights and freedom. Rousseau described it as “the total alienation of each associate, together with all his rights, to the whole community,” (Capaldi and Lloyd, 2011). He thought that in this social contract, all men would be truly equal and that no disparities would arise among them if the contract was followed.
In Rousseau’s social contract, God cannot exist. It emphasizes that none is greater than another, so therefore there cannot be an ultimate being. The contract itself is virtually a religion in that the common good is the ruler of all, so they relinquish their rights to that. With Locke’s belief, I would say just knowing his background that it was rooted in his belief in God. He believed that God was creator of the universe so his state of nature he recognizes that our freedom comes from God.