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John Locke vs. Thomas Hobbes

by Christian Ledford

In the coming decades natural rights may be more vulnerable to subversion and violation than they have ever been. It is of the utmost importance that we return to the ideals of Lockean Liberalism and the Christian origins of natural rights. ...Individuals across the globe must rise up and declare that their rights come not from constitutions, not from politicians, not from laws, and not from the state, but instead as a universal and inalienable endowment from their creator: God.

*This piece is both timely and fitting for the current political climate. It is an excerpt from a longer speech that Christian wrote for last spring's Locke and Lewis / Faith and Reason speech contest at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He delivered this speech from the university's film studio on March 18, the first week after it had been shut down due to the Coronavirus. It won first place. The full video recording of the speech can be viewed in YouTube here: https://youtu.be/glhYFz7nxmc. Christian Ledford is a recent political-science graduate of the university (2019) who aspires to a profession in law.

**The Editor has divided this piece into three parts beginning with the final two paragraphs. 

  • 11 November 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 238
  • Comments: 0
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Tao and Tawheed is dedicated to exploring the mysteries of faith, reason, and meaning. We aspire to provide articles and videos that stimulate the serious consideration of truth as seen through the lens of these and related ideas: logic, purpose, order, beauty, hope, love, morality, happiness, natural law, intelligibility, science, and divine revelation to expand the list. Our presupposition is that all these things exist and create the tapestry of reality. They are so fundamental they both govern and drive us whether we know it or not. And through the art of good thinking, metacognition and civil discussion they are discernible to us as the rational beings that we are. This is what makes humanness wonderful. 

But why "Tao and Tawheed"? Because it's mysterious? Yes. But also because of what they mean to us. Tao is an eastern idea for which the religion of Taoism is named, although we are not Taoists. It refers to the comprehensive order and harmony of the universe despite things that seem chaotic. (In fact, we hold that there really is no chaos.) The late British philosopher C.S. Lewis used the notion of Tao to refer to natural law, or the moral order that permeates all cultures everywhere. Tawheed, or Tawhid, is Muslim concept that captures the idea of absolute unity. specifically the unity of God, or Allah. But we use it more broadly. To us it suggests that no matter how much diversity we see in the universe it is always still one. The opposite is also true, of course. Further, although we are not Muslims there is a powerful rational for monotheism that we embrace. Together we think they capture something profound: Faith, Reason and Meaning. 

But there is another word embedded in our emblem, do you see it? It's the Greek word "logos" from which the word logic derives. It is a very broad concept that by itself captures all the meaning of Tao and Tawheed together. Logos is a word that the ancient Greek philosophers used to refer to 'the logic of everything' or the 'order of all reality' consisting of both particulars and universals. Centuries later the New Testament writer John also used it in the very first sentence of his gospel. Without abandoning the earlier philosophers' notions, but with the claim of divine revelation, John appropriated 'logos', in word and principle, to Jesus the Messiah. This website recognizes and celebrates that. Therefore, our intent is to hold all ideas up to the light of the Logos personified.

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