John Locke's Politics of Moral Consensus by Greg Forster

By Greg Forster

The purpose of this hugely unique e-book is twofold: to give an explanation for the reconciliation of faith and politics within the paintings of John Locke, and to discover the relevance of that reconciliation for politics in our personal time. faced with deep social divisions over final ideals Locke sought to unite society in one liberal neighborhood. cause may possibly establish divine ethical legislation that might be applicable to individuals of all cultural teams, thereby justifying the authority of presidency. Greg Forster demonstrates that Locke's conception is liberal and rational but in addition ethical and non secular, offering an alternative choice to the 2 extremes of spiritual fanaticism and ethical relativism. This clean new account of Locke's concept will entice experts and complicated scholars throughout philosophy, political technological know-how, and non secular experiences.

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Unfortunately, despite the many important insights that have been developed in the last thirty years, current Locke scholarship has not adequately grasped the relationship between his religious thought and his political thought. We must clarify the nature of this misunderstanding in order to provide a more accurate picture of how Locke’s religious thought does (and also how it does not) shape his vision of moral consensus. Locke scholars in our time have been of two minds about the role of religion in Locke’s politics.

4, 45). 2, 44). Much of the subsequent intellectual history of the West – though by no means all of it – has sadly borne out this prediction. Locke devoted much of his epistemology to preventing this outcome. We will see in the next chapter how he distinguishes genuine, humble rationalism from the false pretensions of arrogant, overweening rationalism. If some liberals today are discouraged about the possibility of moral consensus produced by rational argument, a good stiff dose of Lockean philosophy may be just the thing to replenish their spirits.

Building moral consensus has epistemological, theological, and political aspects. In its epistemological aspect, Locke’s philosophy shows each denomination that because its beliefs are not straightforwardly obvious in the same way that 2 + 2 = 4 is straightforwardly obvious, it has a responsibility not to act as if its beliefs were so clearly true that questioning them would be irrational. The purpose of the Essay is to show how it is possible, through rational regulation of belief, to simultaneously believe 28 John Locke’s Politics of Moral Consensus in a revelatory religion and yet not treat all one’s revelatory beliefs as absolutely certain.

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