Politics, by its very nature, cannot infer natural and moral rights upon men. These rights exist inherently in men both inside and outside of politics. Humans alone possess logos, rationality which allows them to craft moral judgements about the world. Logos facilitates the formation and practice of politics, but it exists independently outside of politics. Logos gives birth to rationality, upon which natural and sacred rights hinge, for “reason, which is that law [of natural rights] teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions”.
Although Jefferson does not want a big government, he recognizes that the people in the colonies are petitioning for liberty and understands with the declaration of independence liberty will ultimately be achieved. “Liberty is the greatest blessing that men enjoy, and slavery the heaviest curse that human nature is capable of. This being so makes it a matter of the utmost importance to men which of the two shall be their portion. Absolute liberty is, perhaps, incompatible with any kind of government” (Hyneman.) Here in a sense Jefferson comprehends that the utmost thing for a man is liberty.
He even claims that "rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual” (Wills 268). This supports his claim to promote natural rights in the sense that it is what the people are born with and will have what should be given under any circumstances. While Jefferson seems to be the leader in all of this, he is heavily influenced by the ideas and believes that already exist from John Locke, who is also an advocate for the belief in natural rights. He believes that society benefits most when it is in control of their freedom.
Locke’s ideas of enlightenment were influential in the creation of the document. Like Locke’s phrase from Two Treatises on Government, “life, liberty, and property,” Jefferson, however, changed this phrase to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This phrase is slightly altered by Jefferson and exemplifies Locke’s belief in natural rights implying an individual’s own rights. Locke also believed that when a government were to become destructive, the people have the right to rebel and abolish it. A government that does not protect these rights becomes a tyranny and is determined to be overthrown. Montesquieu’s and Rousseau’s ideas of enlightenment were also incorporated in the document.
He believed that individual right’s included life, liberty and property. Locke insisted, “that government was originally formed for the purpose of protecting man 's individual rights against the incursions of other individuals” (Sigler, 1998, para.1). Locke’s ideas on revolution supported the American Revolutionary war and his views of man’s natural rights shape our democratic government which are still relevant today. John Locke’s famous writing Two Treaties of Government claimed that all men have certain natural rights. Men have the right to be free and equal which went against the early rule of the monarchy.
Locke wants people to stand up for the rights that they deserved. Jefferson wanted to create a government contract for the people, which would allow for them to become an independent nation. Locke’s declaration creates revolts and made the American people start thinking about what they wanted for themselves. His declaration caused damage to the great nation until Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence which united the people. The social contract in John Locke’s declaration is the State of Nature.
Nurture" type argument and both men were some of the best in their field. Locke argued that monarchy conflicted with the rights and privileges of the law of nature. Where as Bossuet argued that to go against the right of the king was to go against God. To avoid the sin of blasphemy everyone must acknowledge the king and without question obey his laws. And again, this was exactly what Locke was afraid of because who was to say what a King may demand the people to do.
This is to say that Locke believed it was wrong for a nation to be ruled by one man based on his bloodline or privilege of class. Both of these arguments are basically over the idea of being born into privilege or into service. While one puts heavy emphasis on one man being inherently “good”, the other emphasizes our ability to have free will. Although Bossuet and Locke have their differences in what ruling a monarchy should look like, they still have some ideas that are represented in both of their theories. First, we must understand that while these two philosophers were on opposing spectrums of the political debate of the time, they both still had the nation's best interests at heart.
To begin Rousseau starts the reading by saying that there cannot be a legitimate political authority because political authority puts restraints of freedoms that man was born with, Rousseau says that man was born with one natural form of authority, and that is the authority of a father over a child which exist only to keep the child alive all other authorities are rejected. The reasoning that some philosophers such as Hobbes assume that natural superiority of rulers over the ruled is the same as parental authority. However, Rousseau believes that this authority has no basis in nature because they use force to keep it. Rousseau says that the only answer to this problem is through some social contract made between members of society where people surrender their freedom
Over-all, “natural law decides what actions would be ethically right, and what wrong, in a community that had no government; and positive law ought to be, as far as possible, guided and inspired by natural law.” What Locke says is simply that natural law guarantees to all men complete liberty and equality, while at the same time it forbids anyone to infringe upon the rights of anyone else, be they the rights of life, liberty or possessions. Obviously, if one has the right to life, he must have a right to the necessities of life’s preservation, one of the most vital of which is land, especially in the agricultural society. Also, if one has the right to property in land, he has that right, under natural law, only so far as the land is needed by him, not to the point of claiming another’s rightful
From this it is safe to conclude that free speech would be a liberty of which society should protect. That being said, according to Locke free speech could very well be a liberty that one sacrifices upon entering a society. “But though men, when they enter into society, give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society, to be so far disposed of by the legislative, as the good of the society shall require; yet it being only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property (…) that made the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy.” [Locke, Sect. 131] The question regarding Locke’s argument then becomes “does one lose the right to free speech when he enters a society from a natural state?” This all relies on whether or not speech has the ability to make society unsafe or uneasy. Words have the power to create conflict so therefore that would be a liberty that is taken away in Locke’s
He writes that “though man in that state have an uncontrollable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions,yet he had not liberty to destroy himself…”, meaning that all men have the power to destroy his possessions but he cannot destroy himself. Later on in the work, Paine states that men don’t have the liberty to take away other rights, which is what the Constitution protects well as the Bill of Rights. This document helped people in the colonies realize that they have rights that were being exploited by their king,therefore aiding the start of the American Revolution. In result of this they wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, allowing the American government to state the rights of their citizens, and the Declaration of Independence stating that the American colonies want to be separate from the British Empire, in order to gain all of their inalienable rights. Civil Government outlines the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the American government.