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Lockes The Second Treatise of Civil Government The Significance of ReasonThe significance of reason is discussed both in John Lockes The Second Treatise of Civil Government and in Jean-Jacques Rousseaus Emile However the definitions that both authors give to the word reason vary significantly I will now attempt to compare the different meanings that each man considered to be the accurate definition of reason John Locke believed that the state all men are naturally in is a state of perfect freedom 122 a state in which they live without depending upon the will of any other man 122 It is called the the state of nature and it is something that is within us at birth The state of nature is a law made by God called the Law of Reason This law gives humankind liberty freedom and equality and stresses that no man ought to harm another in his life liberty or possessions 123 According to Locke the law of reason is the basis of man as well as society It restrains men from infringing on the rights of others In this state there is no need for a central authority figure to govern the actions of people for it is the people themselves who impose the peace and preservation of mankind 124 One can have perfect freedom as long as one does not disturb others in their state of nature in this state of perfect equality there is no superiority or jurisdiction of one over another 124 Men thereby have the power to preserve the innocent and restrain offenders 124 and punish those who transgress against them and disturb their state of nature Thus all men are their own executioners in the law of nature or the Law of Reason While all men are in charge of their own will according to the Law of Reason in which they are born some men do in fact break or reject this
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