Thomas Hobbes > By Individual Philosopher > Philosophy
1. THOMAS HOBBES V JOHN LOCKE - Jim
In advocating a kind of education that made people who think forthemselves, Locke was preparing people to effectively make decisionsin their own lives—to engage in individual self-government—and to participate in the government of their country. TheConduct reveals the connections Locke sees between reason, freedom andmorality. Reason is required for good self-government because reasoninsofar as it is free from partiality, intolerance and passion andable to question authority leads to fair judgment and action. We thushave a responsibility to cultivate reason in order to avoid the moralfailings of passion, partiality and so forth (Grant and Tarcov 1996,xii). This is, in Tarcov’s phrase, Locke’s education forliberty.
BRIA 20 2 c Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau …
In addition to these and similar religious arguments, Locke givesthree reasons that are more philosophical in nature for barringgovernments from using force to encourage people to adopt religiousbeliefs (Works 6:10–12). First, he argues that the careof men's souls has not been committed to the magistrate by either Godor the consent of men. This argument resonates with the structure ofargument used so often in the Two Treatises to establish thenatural freedom and equality of mankind. There is no command in theBible telling magistrates to bring people to the true faith and peoplecould not consent to such a goal for government because it is notpossible for people, at will, to believe what the magistrate tellsthem to believe. Their beliefs are a function of what they think istrue, not what they will. Locke's second argument is that since thepower of the government is only force, while true religion consists ofgenuine inward persuasion of the mind, force is incapable of bringingpeople to the true religion. Locke's third argument is that even ifthe magistrate could change people's minds, a situation where everyoneaccepted the magistrate's religion would not bring more people to thetrue religion. Many of the magistrates of the world believe religionsthat are false.