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John Locke

I studied John Locke in college, and still had his

    Second Treatise of Government

. It’s rained a week straight so I skimmed thru it. Here are a few significant and relevant details I remember, that I haven’t seen discussed on this site. They are a bit unorganized and out of order.

1. He was a proponent for limited government. Individuals should control their own destiny free from interference from others.
2. He stressed private land ownership and rights. He believed a person could use any means necessary to protect his property. He suggests a landowner has the right even to kill someone if it is the only way to ensure he and his property remains safe.
3. Locke said no man has ‘intrinsic’ authority over any other man; only the authority he bestows willingly.
4. As far as government, because there is no intrinsic authority other then that which is given, the people can take it back and overthrow the government if it fails to keep the people safe from arbitrary actions. [He even goes as far as suggesting the government can be overhthrown if 51% believe it is necessary!] Also, its powers are limited since it only has that authority specifically bestowed by the people. Its job is only to enforce the authority given it by man.
5. It is presumed that the Creator made all men naturally equal and no one has more power than another. Thus, man can dispose of property and belongs as he sees fit and can act as he pleases, so long as it is within the framework that: all are equal, one cannot harm others and for the preservation of oneself and mankind.
6. Morals are not innate. They were developed by Religion and Government to prevent men from acting according to their nautre.
7. Human nature is motivated by man’s pursuit of happiness and desire to not experience pain and misery. (Appetites and Aversions)
8. The Moral Code was created to ensure man treats others equally and respects rights, which is enforced via a system of rewards and punishments. There is also the need for a collective to punish because there are some men who, despite the consequences, will always take what they want. This is why we need an all-powerful government to enforce laws and morals.
9. The job of a government is convenience so one is not always a judge, magistrate and policeman.

In different sections he states men are rational, and in others he says they’re irrational. It seems he uses it for his own convenience to help prove his point. I also interpret his explanation of government inconsistent as well, because he says it is ‘all-powerful’ and also states it has limited powers, does jobs indivuduals should not be expected to do and can be overthrown at any given time. There are only a few examples of this. All in all he has a pretty straight-forward line of thinking and explains it well.

How do you think this applies to our John Locke? I look forward to your thoughts

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Written by

willis

28 yrs-old, attorney, father of 2

12 thoughts on “John Locke

  1. I agree he seems to contradict himself some, as #2 and #5 seem to be at odds. In that way, he sounds like Jack Shepard 🙂 . But I can definatly see a likeness between real Locke and Lost Locke.

    I also found a piece of info that I thought interesting. I got it from a book, so please realize this is not my own words, I’m simply posting what the book says:

    “Another influential philosophy of the seventeenth century was empiricism. Empiricism- the idea that all knowledge comes through experience- was the philosophy of John Locke. Locke rejected the idea that God has implanted certain truths within each person from birth. Instead he believed that the mind of a young baby is like a ‘blank tablet’ on which the experiences of life are written. Locke argued that given the right experiences and education, a child would grow into the right kind of person. Locke rejected the idea of original sin, choosing to believe that man was basically good. Divine revelation is vital, said Locke, but it can never contradict man’s reason.”

    I left out a few words here and there, but you get the picture. (I do not intend to impose on a copywright). Is it just me, or does this seem completly opposite of our Lost John Locke (for the most part)?

  2. Awesome analysis of Locke, another interesting parallel between the two Lockes exists in that the real Locke emphasized stream of consciousness to address the question “when am I?”. Something John Locke on lost is directly quoted as asking.

  3. It appears Locke wants everyone to share in the leadership, and advocates ‘limited government.’ He offered to take everyone to see Jacob. Seems he wants to oust the former leaders, too.
    He also advocates protecting property at any cost. He even tried to kill Naomi to protect the island. This is a far cry from his hippy days at the commune!
    Locke is checking the former leadership, too. Seems he thinks they exerted more authority then was bestowed upon them.
    Locke believes all people are naturally equal. He treats everyone with respect unless they are not respectable.
    Locke believes there is a lot to learn from misery, and understands actions are dictated by seeking peace and avoiding pain. He could have saved himself a lot of pain, but said he needed to experience that pain.
    These are a few paralells I found

  4. D D. Locke discusses man in the absence of society and government and referrs to it as the ‘State of Nature.’
    He says we are not bourne with any innate nature, only the principals of appetite and aversion. Goes on to say that through these actions we develop an additonal moral code that we should not harm another in our pursuit of appetites/aversions, which is reinforced by other men. If appetites/aversions are not checked by others they will override our moral code.
    In addition, men are ‘rational.’ Meaning we can make decisions based on logic and past experiences.
    good stuff!

  5. Take the scene in the orchid when ben killed keamy.locke would have got slaughtered if it was’nt for ben.it’s all well and good locke being philosophical but that aint gonna stop anyone from killing him.Time after time john locke makes mistake after mistake.he gave his kidney to mr cooper and then because of what his mother said to him he instantly decided he’d just had his kidney stolen,if he had ignored his mum he would have gone round to see cooper and all would have been fine.He appears to be quite gullible with everything he hears.What i don’t understand about john is why he thought he could go on a walkabout in the first place,seeing as he could’nt walk,and his surprise when he was told he could’nt go.I really don’t think that names are relavent in this story.Some of the things he’s done since he’s been on that island are unexplainable.like killing naomi.if locke did’nt kill her then the freighte people would’nt be on the war path to start with.keamy would still be after ben but nothing else would have mattered.when ben said everyone would have been killed simply was’nt true,he just wanted some human sheilds.locke is a product of his own experiences which have made him bitter and twisted.as far as john is concerned he’s on his walk about tour.he’s got his ability to walk back and now he’s like an excited little kid.John locke has acheived absolutely nothing since he’s been on that island.How can anyone say that they actually know what there doing, just because they are relying on fate.I’m going to go out on a limb and say that before this story is through these main characters namely ben,locke,sawyer and kate will meet there end.They’ve all relied on someone else to stay alive at least once.left to their own devices they would’nt last a second.they just aint got what it takes.

  6. willis, what a great amount of research and detail, you placed into your theory!

    John Locke shares many ideals with the philosopher who bears his namesake. Having said that, we cannot forget about Jeremy Bentham and his ideals, and how John may have incorporated some of those ideals, into how he may want to rule!

    If you haven’t read up on Bentham already, give him a read. I think you will enjoy it!

    Nice work!

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