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Political Science Questions

Political Science Questions


Every class member needs to add two paragraph-length (about 5 sentences) responses to my topics plus two paragraph-length responses to peers’ posts. That’s four paragraphs with citations of the readings. Cite format: (Locke, 1985, p. 27).

Here are the questions:

1. Explain Locke’s account of the “state of nature”. How does is express liberal assumptions?

2. Explain Locke’s social contract that founds government/ civil society. How does it express liberal assumptions? Are these left-liberal or right-liberal? Make sure you touch on the limits of governmental authority. What does the government do?

3. What is Locke’s political theology? Where is God in his political theory? Is this theory based in a natural law (physis) concept or is it based on a Gnostic concept?

Here are peers’ Posts that you need to respond to:

1. Locke’s take on the state of nature is what it would look like without laws or government. The people would be using reason to make their decisions rather than having a leader tell them what to do. Everyone’s rights would be at risk since there is no one to protect them. Also, everybody would be free to live in chaos which could lead to violence. This is why people decide together to form some sort of government. (Locke, 1985, pp. 26-28).

I would say that this expresses liberal assumptions by saying that the population has to work together to form what the law is. There is also the fact that we all want rights which is something everyone can agree on that benefits us all. Plus, this represents the process of a liberal government that we have today. Meaning the people are making the laws and somewhat working together to solve issues in our country.

2. Locke’s idea of a social contract involves individuals agreeing to join a community primarily based on their shared goals. Since the main incentive presented is “preserving property,” Locke’s stance comes across as a fairly right-liberal viewpoint (Locke, 1985, p. 33). The entering of the social contract in this case is not for the progression of the group that is created because of it, but (usually) as a means of protecting what a participating individual owns. Everyone who freely chooses to become a member of a community does so because they believe that it is a rational way of having a “secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any that are not of [the community],” (Locke, 1985, p. 31).

The authority of the government that is created based on these conditions is limited by the will of the majority that make it up: according to Locke, “every man […] puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority […] or else this original compact […] would signify nothing” (Locke, 1985, p. 32). There are more specific stipulations for legislative powers given “by the society and the law of God and Nature,” but most make a point to reiterate that the government may only choose to do what the people allow it to (Locke, 1985, p. 36). A later quote then explains that the goal of government is “the preservation of all as much may be,” which includes the “lives, liberties, and estates,” that Locke has defined as being property (Locke, 1985, pp. 36, 33). To achieve this goal, individuals must give up “the equality, liberty, and executive power” they would have outside of a community so that the government may establish legislative power and “act according to discretion for the public good” (Locke, 1985, pp. 33, 36).

3. Locke’s political theory is, “Men being, as has been said, by nature all free, equal, and independent” (Locke, 1985, p. 31). He believed that the people should choose representatives in government and possess the power to remove them if needed. If said representatives failed to protect their fundamental natural rights, then the people had justification for overthrowing these representatives. When the question arose about these violations, “Locke’s answer was that in the absence of a ‘Judicature on earth to decide . . . God in heaven is judge’—presumably Lockean euphemism for force.” (Locke, 1985, p. 24-25). This demonstrates that in Locke’s political theory God plays the role of ultimate judge as he is seen as the higher power.

The most central idea in Locke’s political philosophy is his theory on natural law and natural rights. According to Locke, “The rules that they make for other men’s actions must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of Nature— i.e., to the will of God” (Locke, 1985, p. 35). This again shows not only the emphasis on God but comes back to reinforce the importance of natural law. A later quote states, “The law of God and Nature have set the legislative power of every commonwealth” (Locke, 1985, p. 36). This indicates that both, God and natural law, should be the basis of laws created and lived by.

So overall answer the three questions and respond to the Peers’ posts.

For the citations get the text from the files I attached and do in-text citations

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