John Locke State Of Nature Analysis

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Can man live in the state of nature in a society? In John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, he explains that the Law of Nature governs the state of nature and teaches mankind. Locke also states that in order to be a part of society man must own property, namely land. Without the land he cannot be a part of a society. However, a society is not a government. A government protects the rights and property of the society through laws. Man cannot exist solely in the state of nature; in order to fulfill the law of nature, one must constantly exist in a state of equality, a state of liberty, and a state of war. However it is not possible to exist in all three simultaneously as all states simultaneously. In a state of nature all people are in …show more content…
Locke states that all men have the right to life, liberty and property. These are the core possessions that man owns; and he can do whatever he wishes with these things except destroy them. In chapter three section sixteen Locke states that every man “should have a right to destroy that which threatens me (him) with destruction” (page 14). While it makes sense for a man to kill anyone who actually threatens to destroy him, it does not make sense to destroy someone because one suspects a person will eventually take his property or liberty. In the state of nature one man can have all three roles of judge, jury and executioner. However, in society the government is supposed to protect everyone’s core values. The rationality behind the concept of destroying someone else’s life because they may eventually take your property does not work with government. The government will intervene after the crime is committed not because one suspects it will eventually happen. If all people in a society, abiding by the natural law can destroy any threat they see to themselves, then a cycle will begin and never end. Each man will continue to destroy someone who they suspect is a threat until the entire society is destroyed except for one man. Unfortunately in a society of man “it is hard to imagine anything but a state of war” (Chapter 3 Section 20 page 16). The cycle begins because it is in human nature to want to be better than others, some people will steal property from others. The cycle begins with the desire of one man to be better than another, which not only begins the state of war, but also is in direct contradiction to the state of

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