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Philosophy 3-26.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1070
Professor
Robert Mc Gill
Semester
Spring

Description
Philosophy 03/26/2014 Locke on Toleration Historical Background to the Letter: 1. Bloody RELIGIOUS WARS between Catholics and Protestants sweeping Europe and Britain following  the Reformation (1524­1648) E.g. Inquisition, Thirty Years War, English Civil War 2. Government imposition of Anglican Uniformity in Restoration England (1558) Church attendance compulsory Causes of Intolerance: Some are sadly familiar Hatred of those who are different Prejudice = unfounded opinions about other groups Bigotry = false beliefs aimed at sub­humanizing another group Greed But there was also an ARGUMENT against toleration Presented as a legitimate REASON for religious intolerance Dates back to Augustine in the 5  Century Master Argument for Religious Intolerance 1. To love man is to help him attain the greatest good (=salvation) 2. Salvation is impossible without correct belief (=orthodoxy) 3. So, we must help others attain salvation through correct belief 4. Persecution/intolerance are means to achieve correct belief 5. A lesser evil is justified as a means for a greater good 6. Persecution and intolerance are lesser evils 7. Therefore, persecution and intolerance are permissible for the purpose of helping someone get saved 2. Salvation is impossible without correct belief Who determines what is correct? A head of state is no more qualified to judge which religion is the true one that anyone else. Two perversions of Christianity: Variation of worship is a sin Christians have a duty to correct deviation and impose uniformity through force 4. Persecution/intolerance are means to achieve correct belief Giordano Bruno (1548­1600) Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, scientist & astrologer Supported helio­centrism, and the view that the sun is just another star in space Tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition Found guilty and burned alive at the stake “Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it.” –Bruno Force  cannot  induce religious change Attempts to force change only create hypocrisy and violence Martyrs will die before changing beliefs True Christians 
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