Locke Vs Rousseau

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“Tolerance should be given to all religions that tolerate others” (Rousseau 73). And, “no opinions contrary… to those moral rules that are necessary to the preservation of civil society should be tolerated” (Locke 20). John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were philosophers of the Great Enlightenment period; both scholars lived in an age that promised societal transformation through reason and newly arising scientific discovery, both sought to shape just and tolerant human societies, and both made a conscious effort to emphasize the importance of maintaining individual freedoms in society. However, in addition to the arguments both scholars rooted in science and reason, they devoted significant amounts of time addressing a separate, but debatably stronger force within their communities – religion. Both scholars understood the strength of religious devotion in tolerant and just societies and both analyzed religions intrinsic ability to interfere with the aims of the body politic. In response to these forces, Rousseau calls for the de-institutionalization of religion; he argues that the creation of a civil religion, comprised of four basic principles, will serve as a tool to legitimize the social contract and strengthen civic republicanism. To the contrary, Locke argues for a complete separation of church and state – to build a wall between the two, keeping them in separate spheres – and certainly does not advocate for the use…show more content…
The question now is to what extent, and by what means, can religion be tolerated and further regulated by the state. Each of our philosophers answers this question differently based upon exactly how they believe religion is disruptive to societal

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