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The Role Of Plato’s And John Locke’s Theories Of Law In Canadian Jurisprudence

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In Canadian jurisprudence, the legal system breaks off into several theories and concepts of law which are needed to sustain an orderly society, protect our rights and freedoms and to assure the safety of our community. In particular, the natural law theory is based upon human morality where laws are human-made, in consideration of what is right and wrong. However, the positive law theory is where people are compelled to obey the law to ensure the goodness amongst everyone. These specific theories of law have contributed to Canadian jurisprudence and are practiced by natural law philosopher ‘Plato’ and positive law philosopher ‘John Locke’.

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Plato was an ancient Greek philosopher who practiced the natural law theory. To start off, he lived and grew up in Athens, Greece where he was born on May 7, 427 BC. When he was only a child his father, Ariston passed away, and his mother remarried his uncle who was a politician. This made him consider the study of politics, but the murder of his teacher ‘Socrates’ who was the first moral philosopher made him choose to study philosophy. As time went on Plato was educated in philosophy by Athenian teachers and has earned many scholars through his writings which displayed justice, equality, and beauty. In addition, Plato was the founder of Corapi 2 one of the first higher learning institutions called the Academy in Athens. In his later life, he passed away at the age of eighty from natural causes in 348 BC, Athens, Greece. Plato’s beliefs and theories have contributed and shown great significance to Canadian law in today’s society. First, Plato viewed the law as a concept that held a reason and made a connection with nature. He believed that humans were ‘political animals’ that resembled ants. This was because ants live in an organized colony, and humans differ from that because of their reason, which allows us to tell the difference between right and wrong. Secondly, Plato associated the law with following human morals and being rational. He believed the law forced people into living their lives to a high potential by following their reason, which would result in living a good life. Finally, as Plato would say “The first and most basic law is to do good and avoid evil”. As a natural law philosopher, he believed that education would result in having ‘good people’, along with punishment to one who commits evil or does not obey the law.

John Locke was an English philosopher and political theorist who practised the positive law theory. To begin with, he lived in Wrington, England where he was born on August 29, 1632. He grew up and was raised by parents who were both part of the Puritan religious life. Locke’s father served in the English civil war as a captain and was also a country lawyer. Since his father had many connections to the government, John received an amazing education. In 1674, after Corapi 3 many years of schooling, John graduated at Oxford university with a bachelor’s degree of medicine and became a personal physician. Locke passed away at the age of seventy-two, due to bad health on October 28, 1704 in High Laver, England. Locke’s beliefs and theories show visible changes to society and contribution to Canadian law. To start off, John Locke believed that all men were created equally and were blessed by their creator. This assured equality and fairness amongst the society. Secondly, he believed that men should have the right to life, liberty, and happiness granted by the government. Lastly, John believes that if in any way the government becomes demolished, the people should have the right to institute a new government, given the power affecting one’s safety and happiness.

In conclusion the ‘natural’ and ‘positive’ law theory has influenced our society throughout history and shown great significance in contributing to Canadian law. Plato viewed law as a concept of reason rather than passion, to maintain an orderly society. In Contrast, Locke viewed law as a way to assure fairness and equality amongst society. These concepts and theories of law are needed in today’s government system to control human behaviour and keep us safe.

15 July 2020

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