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John Locke's Critique On President Bush's Preservation Of Three Natural Rights: Life, Liberty, And Estate

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John Locke's Critique on President Bush's Preservation of Three Natural Rights: Life, Liberty, and Estate

"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power"

~Alexander Hamilton, 1775~

John Locke's Critique on President Bush's Preservation of Three Natural Rights: Life, Liberty, and Estate

We hold these truths to be selfÐ'-evident,

That all men are created equal,

That they are endowed by their Creator

with certain unalienable Rights,

That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Ð'-

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,

Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

~The Declaration of Independence~

John Locke was an influential philosopher of Western political thought. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1668 and was strongly influenced by his friends with in it. Locke admired the achievements that these scientists made in physics, chemistry and medicine. Locke strove to follow in stride by providing a theory of knowledge that broke ground in the area of philosophy. This breakthrough came with the publishing of his masterpiece work, The Second Treatise on Civil Government. Locke's intellectual curiosity and social activism led him to consider issues that concerned not only the elite but the general public. He is known for his argument against governmental restrictions to promote or restrict religion. He felt that there can be no justification for imposing ones own beliefs on others. Locke was a defender of toleration of diverse ideas, cultures, and views. Under John Locke's model government, contrary to Hobbes, a state can revoke itself from the social contract. The government depends on the consent of those who are being governed. Locke believed that after the escape from the state of nature, people enter a social contract. This contract provides complete freedom to conduct one's life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others. The American colonists borrowed many of their ideas from Locke, such as the right to revolution. An influential aspect of Lockean Theory made its way into the American Declaration of Independence. In the words of the colonists under foreign rule they were not able to enjoy Lockean natural rights guaranteeing, "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness." President George W. Bush was elected into office in November of 2000. Since then he and his administration have been the driving force behind several policies that have, in one way or another, affected the lives of the American people. President Bush has not lost touch of the responsibility he has to protect the three fundamental Lockean natural rights. President Bush is pro-Life on the issue of abortion, except under dire circumstances, he is a driving force be hind the war that is fighting to free the people of Iraq from a corrupt regime, and he has initiated tax cuts that will make the dream of land ownership a more realistic aspiration for the general public. These are only a fraction of the issues that President Bush has tackled but these have direct relevance to Locke's basic principles.

John Locke thinks that one of the natural rights that are endowed to people by the creator is the right to life. Locke never specifies as to at what stage of development technical "life" begins, so it is open to some interpretation. President George W. Bush interprets the Constitution in a strict constructionist view, which simply put upholds that abortion is the destruction of life and should be illegalized. In 2000 Bush was quoted saying "all children born and unborn, have the right to protection." In April of 2004 Bush signed "Unborn Victom of Violence Act: Legislation Targets Abortion Acts." , and in 2003 he signed the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act." President Bush believes that the right to life begins at conception, and He is doing everything he can to be the voice for the unborn. Locke would approach this issue with the same view. Religion and Christianity were largely influential in the development of Locks philosophy, and it is no mystery as to where the church stands on the issue of abortion. Saint Basil the Great, who is a respected figure in the Orthodox Church said "The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us". Even though Locke avoided joining the clergy, he had a great respect for the church's teachings. Had the issue of abortion been a topic being discussed by the philosophers of his time, he would have argued right along side President Bush, in defense of the right to life.

In Locke's "Two Treatise of Government" Locke discusses when the use of force is appropriate. Under Locke's system of government, all aggressive behavior is illegal, that is performed against an innocent party, therefore justifying the destruction of the aggressor. An Aggressive action against the innocent can only result in the violation of natural and/or civil rights. Locke thinks that people have the right to act as supreme if they are being treated unjustly, they can continue to legislate themselves, or then can place the leadership into new hands. They have the right to do as they see fit. When Iraq was under the corrupt rule of Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq had no voice. Not only was the government corrupt, so was the police force and other public officials as well. In Chapter 18 Locke discusses tyranny. He says that "so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to; and this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage." Saddam Hussein fits the description of a tyrant, and according to Locke deserved to have his power taken from him by usurpation. The people of Iraq did not have the means of over throwing their corrupt leader, and something needed to be done.

Surveys taken throughout the 1990's proved support for the use of force by the United States, to



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