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Final Paper for PHL 232*
Professor Jason D Hill
Paper Topics for PHL 232
Winter, 2024
In 7 double-spaced pages, answer one of the following questions of your choice in a well-thought out and organized manner. Please consult the grading ru
ic. If you use external sources for your paper remember to utilize proper citation. Avoid taking the chance of using Chat Gpt to write your paper. There is a single software that can be used to detect any paper written by an AI bot. Papers that are the products of Chat Gpt or any other plagiarized forum will result in automatic failure of the paper. Your paper is due to me by email on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 no later than 5pm CST. Indicate on your paper which question you are responding to. All papers must be turned in by the deadline. I’m posting grades by March, 22, 2024.
1) In A Letter Concerning Toleration, philosopher John Locke defends freedom of religious worship by means of several arguments. Select the first 5 arguments taken from the text, and which we closely read and analyzed in class on Tuesday, March 5,2024, and reconstruct each of them in a detailed and exegetically rigorous manner. Against the backdrop of his defense is an antecedent defense of freedom of conscience. This makes sense: one would need to have a right to one’s conscience in order to be able to enjoy the freedom to worship in the name of one’s religion. But why is freedom of conscience—apart from its—relationship to freedom of religious worship, an important attribute in the first place? In other words, what in Locke’s world view would life be like if we did not have the freedom to utilize our conscience in a manner that guides our choices and actions? If our autonomy and sovereignty are usurped by the state and the state still provides for us, why is this still an untenable state of affairs for Locke.
2) Locke writes: “Things different in their own nature, once
ought into the church and worship of God, are removed out of the reach of the magistrates’ jurisdiction, because when used in a religious context, they have no connection at all with civil affairs. The only business of the church is salvation of souls, and it in no way concerns the commonwealth or any member of it whether this ceremony or that one is used.” (p67) Locke began his essay with a long argument about why the magistrate is ill-suited to regulate matters concerning religious discernments of the heart, salvation of the soul and regulation and management of matters religious. First, reconstruct Locke’s initial arguments for why magistrates cannot perform such tasks, and then his subsequent arguments following the quote. We mentioned in class, that although England has no formal separation of Church and State and, despite the constitutional regulations placed on the head of state (the King is the head of state and head of the Church of England and the country has a national religion to this day), Locke was concerned that a theocracy not be established in England. This would result in the a
ogation of the rights of people in the pursuit of their religion. After examining all of Locke’s arguments against judicial (the magistrate’s) interference in religious life in your paper, do you believe a principle against theocracy and one for ecclesiastic liberty has been secured by Locke based on his arguments? Give reasoned viewpoints for all your answers along with textual evidence.
Answered Same Day Mar 21, 2024


Dipali answered on Mar 22 2024
6 Votes
Table of contents
Question Choice: Question 1    3
Introduction    3
Reconstruction of Locke's Arguments    4
Conclusion    8
References    10
Prepared for: Professor Jason D Hill
Course: PHL 232
Date: March 20, 2024
Question Choice
Question 1
    In A Letter Concerning Toleration, philosopher John Locke makes multiple reasons in favour of religious freedom. Choose the first five points made in the text, which we carefully examined and discussed in class on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, and rebuild each one in a way that is both meticulous and exegetically sound. An earlier defence of the right to freedom of conscience is set against the backdrop of his defence. This makes sense: in order to enjoy the freedom to worship in the name of one's religion, one would need to have a right to one's conscience. However, why is freedom of conscience, aside from its connection to freedom of religion, a crucial quality in the first place? Put differently, how would life look in Locke's perspective if we were unable to use our conscience to influence our decisions and behaviours? Why does Locke still find this to be an impossible situation if the state usurps our sovereignty and autonomy while yet providing for us?
    "A Letter Concerning Toleration" by John Locke is regarded as a foundational work in the discussion of personal liberty and religious freedom. Locke carefully lays out the reasoning for his defence of the right to practise one's religion and conscience in this treatise. This paper aims to rebuild Locke's initial five arguments in favour of religious liberty by closely examining his writings. Moreover, it delves into the importance of conscience freedom within Locke's philosophical framework, clarifying its crucial function in directing moral judgements and upholding human dignity. Locke's analysis of the boundaries of state power and the perils of religious compulsion emphasises how important it is to protect personal liberty from outside intervention. This paper explores Locke's ideas in an effort to highlight the principles' ongoing significance for maintaining social harmony and the inherent worth of human freedom (Tate, 2020).
Reconstruction of Locke's Arguments
Natural Right to Religious Liberty: According to Locke, people have an innate right to religious freedom that is based on the untouchable sanctity of conscience. He argues that religious sentiments and beliefs exist outside the purview of outside power and pressure, in the innermost sanctuary of human awareness. According to Locke, the right to practise one's religion as one pleases is an inherent part of human existence and is not subject to legal or governmental restrictions. This fundamental dignity and autonomy of the individual gives rise to this natural right to religious liberty, which exists independently of all society structures and governmental institutions. Locke's claim emphasises the intrinsic value of every individual's spiritual beliefs and the necessity of valuing and preserving religious diversity in society. Moreover, Locke offers a strong moral basis for opposing state intervention in matters of conscience by establishing religious liberty within the framework of an individual's inherent rights (Witte Jr, 2021). Locke's support of the natural right to religious liberty ultimately shows his dedication to creating a society in which people are free to follow their spiritual practices and beliefs without fear of retaliation or force.
Limits of Civil Authority: Locke contends that civil authorities have a na
ow scope of authority and ought to abstain from interfering with religious beliefs and practices. He argues that the domain of governmental authority does not reach into the sphere of personal...

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