The First Ammendment Name Institution Date Part one Philosopher John Locke in his work "A letter of toleration" develops the philosophical source for the founding principles of the United States. John Locke maintains clear separations must exist between the government and the church (Walzer 2010). His first reason is that the state powers exist only in the external force whereas the religious beliefs of an individual exist in their mind. For this reason a religious person cannot be convinced or persuaded to change their opinion based on the drive from an outside force. The rules presented by the state are not enough to convince one to change their inward perception of things. He says that human beings perceive the truth by creating a relationship between the reality of them and their mind. to work together or do things together. The only way of achieving a common goal and taking up social responsibility is by allowing the citizens to make choices on what is right and wrong. Religion is not a way of the division but just the preference of the individual the belief will always guide one to worship where they feel more fulfilled that just praying at a place where they are required to by the law of the land. Liberalism is essential when religion is involved because most religions advocate for peace but unnecessary in other situations where religion is not concerned. References Broers A. (2011). John Locke on Equality Toleration and the Atheist Exception. Inquiries Journal 1(12). Walzer M. (2010). I. Liberalism and the Art of Separation. Political theory 12(3) 315-330. [...]
The First Amendment There are three parts to this assignment. Part One The First Amendment actually says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Our Founding Fathers were very familiar with the writings of John Locke, and the need to keep government and religions separate was just as important to them as guaranteeing the toleration of different religious beliefs. • What were Locke’s three primary reasons for keeping government and religion separate? Which one of those reasons do you think is the most applicable today, and why? Part Two Many people misread the First Amendment and think it is advocating “freedom from religion” rather than “freedom of religion.” They use this misreading to ban symbols of religion from public places. • From what you know about Locke, explain whether or not you think that Locke’s view of religious toleration would require the removal of religious symbols from the public view. Be sure to provide evidence for your position that is based on logical reasoning rather than emotional reactions. Feel free to quote from the textbook to support what you believe would be Locke’s position concerning the government prohibiting the display of religious symbols. • Also, based on what Locke has said, do you think there ever could be times that it would be legitimate for the government to suppress a religion or some of their beliefs because of that religion’s extreme practices—even if what they are doing is not breaking the law? Why or why not? Part Three Regardless of how you answered the second question, Mill (a father of Liberalism) insists that progress and happiness (for both the individual and society) is only possible when each person is able to express himself openly and fully about the things important to him. The criticism of this liberal view is that left to our own devises, the diversity in our pursuits of individual goals and interests will lead to disputes, and, thus, rules and regulations are needed to allow individuals to develop their goals within a more structured society and so they can learn their social obligations to the community as a whole. The problem with liberalism, the critics say, is that by making our ability to choose for ourselves the highest objective, we may embrace the notion of diversity, but we are no longer interested in tolerating differences or even in considering how to integrate the diversity of ideas into a cohesive society made up of individuals. Ultimately, then, following this line of thought, the toleration of a diversity of religions leads to a disunity within the community and a disinterest in social responsibility. • If the above conclusions about liberalism are true, would restricting religious diversity to five or six major religions in the United States still give people a choice in how they worship but also eliminate some of the religious divisiveness which separates people (whether through stereotyping or other forms of prejudice) and prevents the citizenry as a whole from viewing itself as a single nation in which we all cooperate and work together for the common good? In other words, is all of this religious toleration actually dividing us even further rather than uniting us as a society? Be sure to explain your thinking with examples and detailed reasons.