John Locke on Freedom. Argumentative Essay Example.

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Wesleyan University
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Argumentative essay
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John Locke on freedom is the philosophy views of what he defines as the freedom of will and freedom of action which have been significant in moral psychology. He argues distinctive accounts why different actions occur and their forbearance which is the voluntarily not doing an action. Locke argues that the nature of actions may be passive or impact depending on whom initiates the action. If an action is self-initiated, it is an active action. Actions are affected by the Locke say that actions may be voluntary where the performance of an action is associated with orders of the mind or involuntary where the occurrence of an action is performed without the thought of the mind. I agree with some of Lockes arguments on the nature of freedom as it is the ability to move or not move, think or not think according to what mind directs us. I object most of his arguments because I feel that some are not applicable in real life, for instance, involuntary will and preferring one action to another. According to John Locke, human beings have total freedom to actions because of free will. People do not have the freedom to will and get their will since some actions are beyond human control and nobody can forbearer a positive will.

John Locke description of action is irrational since he states that the action has to be self-initiated. An action has to be associated with a mind effect since the mind is the one that gives orders for an action to be performed. He gives an example of one's hands being pushed up, and it rose, and since the action did not initiate from the mind of the person who raised the arm, it is a passive action. Locke argues that one has to be in control of a certain action occurring and if is not the case it is not a voluntary action. Locke also defines an action as the motion of passion so it the action is as a result of obedience to the passion. An example of an action being a passion is when a ball is hit, it obeys the Billiard-sick stroke and responds to the passion. This definition is a mere imagination since the ball runs as a result of the strike and not the passion of the billiard-stick. Locke draws himself away from desiderative conception of will by describing that a man can get what he wills. An example he gives is that is a person is locked up in a room forcefully he can choose to look for ways to get out of to stay. If a person does not leave the premises, he is being held he has willingly forebear to stay. This action is not practical since when locked up against his will all he wishes for is to get out of the room and no one time he can to stay. For this reason, I object his ideal of one can will what he will. He also gives another example that when one is sick, he/she can decide to go to a hospital and receive medication to stop the pain or can forebear going to the hospital and stay with the pain.

Locke claims that one can prefer an action to its absence which he claimed as the willing of it. According to him, one has the will to prefer X to Y if one is pleased by x more than Y. The man has the power to do or forbearance an action according to the mind preference, and this will be affected by what he will. I object this argument because there are actions which one cannot choose to forbear. For instance, he gives the example of a woman when explaining his claim that a person is free to choose action A or forbearance to perform action A. The woman is locked in a room, and this means that she is not free of the act of leaving, but she is free to the action for the forbearance to leave. According to Locke since the woman does not have the power to leave once she wills to she chooses to forbearance the act of not leaving the room. Another instance is that of a man who is walking across a bridge, and it falls under the man has the will to choose to the action of not leaving but because he doesnt have power to will not fall he choose the act of performing the act of forbearance to fall. In these two instances, they are acting by necessity, but I understand that when one is looked up in a room against will one does all the best to come out of the room and at no one time one may choose to forbear the act of leaving since this would be waiting for the worst. When one is falling under a bridge, one tries all he can to save himself because he may die after the fall and therefore one can only choose to save himself from falling regardless of whether one has the power to the will or not. One tries to save himself at all cost, and one will never choose to fall, and therefore this argument is not practical.

On the doctrine of suspension, is the option of choosing the greater good. According to Locke argues that uneasiness is ranked according to the order of strength and intensity. Among all uneasiness affecting an individual determines one will is the one that causes the greatest pressure in mind. If a situation is pressing, one can opt to remove the action depending on the uneasiness of suspending it. I object this doctrine since it is contrary the sense of freedom to will since one should be free to choose the action that he desires. A man should will and get what he will, but in this case, a man is made to suspend his will since it is the easiest thing to do. Locke wants us to believe that we are free to will for anything but he introduces the doctrine of suspension so that a man can suspend a desire. When one suspends a will the power to will is not determined, and in this case, the power to forbear willing is chosen. Locke argues that God never wanted us to suffer and that is the reason he gave us the power of suspension so that we can analyze a situation and examine the good and the evil in it so that we may end up making a right decision. The power of suspension does not always apply to Locke claim. For example, he gives an example of a paralyzed man who is straining to walk, and because of this, his legs hurt very much. The man may decide to rest and avoid the pain of walking but the man is willing to move, and the only problem is that he does not have the power to move, and he can choose the easy way which is to rest so that he can end the pain he is suffering. When he stops walking, he will be exercising the power of suspension, but in this case, this decision is not the right one since the man will have to remain in the same position which is illogical. Another instance is when one is sick, and he/she exercise the power of suspension by refusing to go to the hospital and instead stay at home with the pain. Although the person may have no time or money to go to a hospital suspending treatment may not be a good option to choose because the pain will not end and the person will continue suffering.

Locke argument of voluntary or involuntary actions and forbearances is against the contemporary philosophy of action. A voluntary action has to be performed with direct orders from the mind and also the forbearance of the same. If an action is performed without orders from the mind, then the action is involuntary. According to Locke for an action to be voluntary it has to be caused by a volition meaning that the person doing the action has to be willing to perform the action. For instance, Locke will assume that if left-hand moves due to the movement of the right hand Locke will assume it was not a voluntary action since there was no volition. I do not agree with Locke view of voluntariness applied to forbearances, for instance, he assumes that when a man is carried while still asleep and taken to a room where a person he desires to see is in there. The room is locked when the man wakes up he is happy to see the person he desired and therefore he wilily stay in the room while talking to his friend. According to Locke, the man is exercising the voluntary forbearance to leave. This cannot be true since the man is not staying in the room because he will not leave, it is because he has no power to leave since the door is locked and therefore he has to stay with the friend and talk to her because he does not have a choice. Another argument that makes me object Lockes view on voluntary forbearance is the example of a man who is falling under the bridge because it breaks. The man will fall into a river, and Locke argues that the man is falling because he is voluntarily willing not to fall. According to Locke, the man has the ability and control over objects which are affected by forbearance and willing of actions. The man fell because he forebear from falling and I know that this is something one cannot control and therefore, the man could not prevent himself from falling into the river because the bridge broke under him.

I object the argument against power to suspend since Locke does not explain whether people suspend passive or active power. Some instances one may be willing to suspend, and in another instance, it happens without our knowledge. For instance, suppose one is sick, and he/she is walking alone along the road, if pain becomes severe the person may faint, and therefore he did not will to suspend an action, but it happened beyond his control. In such a case one has not exercised power to suspend an action, and therefore the doctrine of suspension may always not apply.

In conclusion, I object most of John Lockes arguments on freedom since people may not always be free to choose. The doctrine of suspensions may not always apply since it can happen without our mind orders. A man can never will and get his will since some actions such as falling into a river are beyond our control, and even if we will not fall, we may end up falling. However, I agree with some arguments of Locke, for instance, we are free to will. Will is the power of the mind to send orders to our bodies and this is what mostly happens in our daily activities. When one decides to eat the body has to send orders to our hands so that we can start eating. I also believe that sometimes people act out of necessity due to circumstances for instance when one is walking and feels tired, one may take rest and relax rather than continue walking while tired and exhausted.


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