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In John Lockes Essay of Human Understanding he successfully sets the foundation for disproving the doctrine of innate ideas through the use of several refutations Further critical scrutiny and explanation of Lockes criticisms make for a solid argument that innate ideas cannot possibly exist Lockes strong arguments derive from empirical proofs and observations in the world around us John Locke begins his denial of innate ideas by stating a fact humanity has the capacity to acquire knowledge through the application of the bodys faculties These faculties include our sensory perceptions and reflections This fact is sufficient to prove it not innate Ii1 because God is perfect in every way thus unable to make the mistake of over-equipping his creation humanity with innate ideas In essence Locke is posing a rhetorical question Why would God give us the capacity to acquire knowledge if we already have innate ideas God could not possibly do this because it would be redundant superfluous and disproportionate - all descriptions of an imperfect act and as stated previously God is infallible To attack this argument is to attack the concept of God something that was usually avoided even during the age of enlightenment A proponent of the doctrine of innate ideas cannot counter this argument because it assumes dependency on Gods existence Who else would stamp the minds of humanity with innate ideas The concept of innate ideas stems from universal truths Locke attacks this claim by arguing that such universal truths are non-existent because nothing can be universally agreed upon The traditional moral rule do not kill is usually thought to be innate however it is over-looked that people exist in the world who believe murder is not immoral namely cannibals Ideas can be extremely commonplace but not universal Hypothetically if a truth existed that all consented to this still would not be sufficient to prove it innate a point explainable through consideration of the existence of children
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