John Locke And The State Of Nature Essay

1480 Words Nov 30th, 2016 6 Pages
John Locke is one of the most influential political philosophers to this day. Among many other topics, Locke continuously wrote about governmental responsibilities to their people. He wrote that people create governments to ensure the stability of order in their lives that would ultimately generate a government that protected what belonged to the people. The government has the responsibility of protecting the people’s rights, and working to preserve the will of the majority.
Before a government type is selected, according to Locke, people live in a state of nature. In the state of nature people are given certain innate rights, like the right to their life, their property, and to the prosperity in their life. In the state of nature every person is equivalent in their status, because every person has an equal opportunity to have a prosperous lifestyle, even if it is just by chance. No one man can have more power over another man in the state of nature, and every man is born into the same circumstances as others in the state of nature. Locke assumed that the people living in the state of nature would be rational beings capable of deciding on just punishments if someone abused their rights. They issue their own punishments, or decide to bring in a judge or a third person to help decide on a just punishment, and the punishment has to be equivalent to the crime committed. In the state of nature people enjoy the freedom of doing absolutely anything they please, so long as they do…

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