John Locke is one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. He developed the idea of the social contract, which says that people agree to form governments in order to protect their natural rights.
Locke believed that all people have natural rights, such as life, liberty and property. These rights cannot be taken away from us by anyone else, including government or religious authorities. In addition, Locke believed that people are equal and should be treated equally under the law.
Philosopher’s ideas influenced Thomas Jefferson as he wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The second paragraph of this document states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
Moreover, Locke also argued for religious tolerance and freedom of thought. He believed that people should have the right to believe whatever they want about religion, as long as it does not interfere with other people’s rights or harm society as a whole. Locke was also an early advocate for separation of church and state (which means keeping religion separate from politics).
In addition, Locke believed that people should be able to choose their own leaders and not be ruled by absolute monarchs. His ideas contributed to the Glorious Revolution in England and helped inspire revolutions in France and America.