Locke as Key: An Appeal to Heaven

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From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, excerpt:

The concept of an “appeal to heaven” is an important concept in Locke’s thought. Locke assumes that people, when they leave the state of nature, create a government with some sort of constitution that specifies which entities are entitled to exercise which powers. Locke also assumes that these powers will be used to protect the rights of the people and to promote the public good. In cases where there is a dispute between the people and the government about whether the government is fulfilling its obligations, there is no higher human authority to which one can appeal. The only appeal left, for Locke, is the appeal to God. The “appeal to heaven,” therefore, involves taking up arms against your opponent and letting God judge who is in the right.

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