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How to Criticize Government

John Locke was an influential Enlightenment thinker whose work inspired many of the Founding Fathers. Locke was a philosopher and is commonly regarded as the Father of Liberalism. Since his work has come up in other discussions, like the one I had with Dr. Yenor. Plus, Locke was a focal point of my conversation with Brooke Medina from the John Locke Foundation. Because he’s top of mind, and because we’re ready to tear apart anything anyone tries to build in our society, I wanted to discuss Two Treatises on Government to learn how to criticize government.

“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.”

-John Locke
BAM! Books-A-Million

First Treatise: Criticize Government As It Is

In the first treatise, Locke responds to Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, a work in favor of the divine right of kings. During this time there was a lot of political turbulence in England, and a debate was bubbling up about the monarchy. Locke responded to Filmer because of his contention that all men are born slaves of the divinely ordained king. This idea repulsed Locke because he believed each person is capable of reason. Furthermore, each person is capable of understanding and following God’s Law.

Second Treatise: Offer a Viable Alternative

The second treatise is a long description of what could replace the British system. He juxtaposes the state of nature and the state of war, saying that people enter into society to avoid a state of war. Then, Locke discusses property rights, explaining why they are a right and how to defend them. After laying out these main principles and observations, he goes on to discuss a suitable form of government.

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236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary." Valid Concerns and Good Points At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know? Errors of Materialism Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit. Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world. Corrections There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world. In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  3. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  4. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  5. 232. Unity of Subject and Object

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