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Throughout the English revolution of 1688 and just after the establishment of the freedom of the press in 1694 the conditions were perfect for a development of a new understanding of knowledge John Locke who in the field of theology found his starting point like most prominent thinkers of the age in the conflict of systems beliefs and practices Out of his reflections on the known facts of experience he developed new abstract and ethical ideas In spite of his supernaturalist tendencies Locke believed and taught that only reasonable demonstration of power and experience not supposed obligation or kingly position can establish the true leadership and power of an individual In the Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1690 Locke had investigated the understanding of revelation from the standpoint of the theory of the nature sources and limits of knowledge and laid down the criteria by which the true revelation is to be distinguished from other beliefs which claim such authority This meant that strict proof of something must be present and however we were to understand the proof must be able to be backed up by both external and internal evidence and its content must be shown to correspond with rational philosophy and ethics In other words Locke argued that everyone not just those who were supposedly specially called by God has a right to rise up and overthrow a tyrannical government Locke preached that revelation is revelation but after it is once given it may be shown to be rational which meant it had to be capable of being deduced from the premises of our reason Only where this is possible is there a belief in favor of the purely mysterious parts of revelation Where these criteria are disregarded the way is open to the excesses of religious groups and priesthoods by which religion the difference of the reasoning man has often made him appear less rational than the other radical thinkers Locke
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