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Locke & Domat Essay, Research Paper

Documentary interview with John Locke and Jean Domat.

Here are a few words on the background of these two men:

Jean Domat is a renowned French jurist in the reign of Luis XIV, who made it his life’s task to explain the theory behind royal absolutism by setting French law and social structure into the wider context of the law of nature and the law of God.

John Locke, a university-trained philosopher, who witnessed in his youth the struggles of the English Civil War, sided with Parliament against King Charles I and Absolute Monarchy.

Let’s start the arguments on whether or not Absolute Monarchy is right for the people. Jean, tell us about your main ideas and why do you think this way.

D: The sovereign power of government should be proportionate to its mandate, and in the station he occupies in the body of human society that make up the state, he who is the head should hold that place of God. This is so because it is important to have good order in society. Only a god like figure in the government can truly provide that to his people.

John can you respond to that?

L: Human beings were born absolutely free to pursue their own welfare as best they might amid the natural abundance that God provided at the Creation. A king, or an absolute ruler who watches and has control over who does what puts limitations on those rights and liberties that God gave us.

D: Since government is necessary for the public good, and God Himself has established it, it is consequently also necessary for those who are subject to government, to be submissive and obedient. For otherwise they would resist God Himself, and government, which should be the bond of peace and unity that brings about the public good, would become an occasion for divisions and disturbances that would cause its downfall.

L: Men being by nature all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent. The only way whereby any one diverts himself of his natural liberty and puts on the bonds of civil society is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties and a greater security against any that are not for it. This any number of men can do because it injures not the freedom of the rest; they are left as they were in the liberty of the state of nature.

Gentlemen, do you believe in the Devine right of the kings?

D: Yes I do. Kings are chosen by God to govern his people by God‘s will.

L: I disagree. Kings do not follow the will of God. God’s will is that human beings were born absolutely free to pursue their own welfare as best they might amid the natural abundance that God provided at the Creation. Kings use the concept of Devine right to their advantage, and don’t have anything to do with God’s will.

John and Jean, can you give any examples of the governments that existed during your lifetime that affected your views?

D: Louis XIV of France is just one of many great monarch rulers. His empire was very strong thanks to his absolute power and his people’s respect for him. He wouldn‘t have succeeded if it wasn‘t for his absolute control over his people.

L: The creation of the parliament in England. The Bill of Rights put limitations on the kings and gave the people more power to govern themselves.


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