Philosophy 100 discussion


Question 1

Ethics: The Question of Mercy. According to John Locke, Natural Law is the foundation of the civil laws of man. Consider the concept of Mercy (compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone it is within one’s power to punish or harm) and explore the conflict between civil law and natural law by asking yourself an ethical question:

Answer the question: With regards to the act of Mercy, is it more important for me to follow Natural Law or the Laws of the State? (In other words, if I was ordered by law to punish someone deserving of death or harm, would I? Why or why not?)

Use Locke’s Second Treatise on Government as well as your own experience and ethical reasoning in your argument.

Question 2

Political Theory: Religious Tolerance? John Locke believed in Religious Tolerance (except for Catholics) and also that legislative and executive power of the government should be exercised for the good of society. Explore this topic by asking yourself a political question:

Answer the question: Is it proper for government to legislate religious tolerance? (In other words, is it right to make religious intolerance a crime?)

Use Locke’s Second Treatise on Government as well as your own experience and reasoning in your argument.

Question 3

Political Theory: The Limits of Freedom. Locke promoted the rights of the individual over the power of the state, but recognized the power of the state to limit freedom in some cases. Explore this conflict by asking yourself a political question:

Answer the question: Do citizens have the right to break the law as they see fit, even if it harms others directly?

Use Locke’s Second Treatise on Government as well as your own experience and reasoning in your argument.

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