Short Paper on Locke
Locke maintained that each of us has the power to decide
which religious community to join, if any.
He also maintained that no religious community has doctrinal
jurisdiction over any other, and maintained that those communities and their
members should tolerate the existence of diverse communities with diverse
doctrines. Finally, he believed that no
individual should be subject to civil prejudice or penalty due to his or her
religious convictions and that religious authorities should have no special
civil powers or authorities.
Locke also believed that governments do not have -- and
cannot be given by the consent of the people -- the right to force its members
to hold specific religious beliefs or to engage in specific religious behaviors.
Please discuss Locke's conception of religious toleration
and the separation of church and state in an essay that answers the following
1.Do you find Locke's expansive
vision of toleration useful and ethical?
Why or why not?
2.Do you believe that there are
ever cases where it is acceptable for a society to decide not to tolerate
religious communities whose beliefs or practices seem 'too extreme' to be
tolerated. If so, what considerations or
principles can help one to determine exactly which religious communities should
be treated as intolerable?
3.Do you believe that it is ever
acceptable for individuals' religious beliefs to affect the administration of
law? Why or why not?
Please ensure that your essay addresses each component of
the assigned questions and that your answer is well organized, uses excellent,
college-level prose, and makes judicious use of textual evidence. Your essay should be 600-900 words long.