Words of Wisdom—John Locke

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John Locke (August 29, 1632–October 28, 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, and known as the “father of liberalism.” Liberalism was originally defined as a political and moral philosophy based on the right to private property and personal liberty, basic human rights, and equality under the law. John Locke was one of the most important philosophers of the Enlightenment and his contributions are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Below we list some words of wisdom from John Locke.

“The most precious of all possessions is power over ourselves.”

“There are two sides, two players. One is light, the other is dark.”

“There are a thousand ways to Wealth, but only one way to Heaven.”

“Knowledge is grateful to the understanding, as light to the eyes.”

“Reason is natural revelation, whereby the eternal father of light, and fountain of all knowledge, communicates to mankind that portion of truth which he has laid within the reach of their natural faculties: revelation is natural reason enlarged by a new set of discoveries communicated by God.”

“Good and evil, reward and punishment, are the only motives to a rational creature”

“Reason must be our last judge and guide in everything.”

“Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses.”

“It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.”

“But there is only one thing which gathers people into seditious commotion, and that is oppression”

“What worries you, masters you.”

“To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.”

“A father would do well, as his son grows up, and is capable of it, to talk familiarly with him; nay, ask his advice, and consult with him about those things wherein he has any knowledge or understanding. By this, the father will gain two things, both of great moment. The sooner you treat him as a man, the sooner he will begin to be one; and if you admit him into serious discourses sometimes with you, you will insensibly raise his mind above the usual amusements of youth, and those trifling occupations which it is commonly wasted in.”

“With books we stand on the shoulders of giants.”

“The business of education is not to make the young perfect in any one of the sciences, but so to open and dispose their minds as may best make them – capable of any, when they shall apply themselves to it.”

“Curiosity in children, is but an appetite for knowledge. The great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected.”

“Who lies for you will lie against you.”

“What if everything that happened here, happened for a reason?”

“The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure.”

“For where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all that he holds, or of the falsehood of all he condemns; or can say that he has examined to the bottom all his own, or other men’s opinions? The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others.”

“The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of their mischiefs … has been, not whether be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it.”

“Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.”

“All men by nature are equal in that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man; being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.”

“Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all.”

“I have no reason to suppose that he, who would take away my Liberty, would not when he had me in his Power, take away everything else.”

“I pretend not to teach, but to inquire.”

“Whoever uses force without Right … puts himself into a state of War with those, against whom he uses it, and in that state all former Ties are canceled, all other Rights cease, and every one has a Right to defend himself, and to resist the Aggressor.”

“The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.”

“It is practice alone that brings the powers of the mind, as well as those of the body, to their perfection.”

“God is the place of spirits, as spaces are the places of bodies.”

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