John Locke on Toleration

published 4 years ago by BBC Radio

Is it possible to persuade people to change their beliefs by force? John Locke thought not. Narrated by Aidan Turner.

WNED the seventeenth century heretics and non conformists risked rittick torture and a painful death. John Locke a religious man himself argued for much greater toleration of religious diversity. Start with he pointed out that those who forced others to recount their beliefs by threatening them with red hot poker Cincom screws could hardly be said to be acting out of Christian charity. Also if these persecutors really wanted to save souls they ought to focus on sinners not on people quibbling over the interpretation of scripture. But he had a better argument than these. Using force to change beliefs is a rational. That's because no threat can persuade anyone to believe something that they think. Foltz. They might say they believe in a god to save themselves and torture or being burnt at the stake. But you won't change their actual beliefs that way. We can't just ...

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