A Contrast of Moral and Natural Liberty

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Winthrop stood tall among his peers and the community as he was acquitted. Upon his acquittal he felt is necessary to explain to the community how he was justified in what he had done. More specifically, how he was justified in exiling two residents of Hingham. Winthrop chose to speak of liberty. He speaks of not one, but two liberties; natural and moral. These two liberties contrast in both origin and in guidance. Firstly, a major way in which these two liberties, natural and moral, contrast is in their origin. John Winthrop states that natural liberty is “common to man with beasts and other creatures” (166). Natural liberty is a liberty that man is born with, though they do not retain heritage alone, as they must share it with the wildlife that is born around them. It is a liberty that is most feral in nature, aligning man with the “beasts” they walk among. Winthrop makes the comment that “It is a liberty to evil as well as to good” (166). Natural liberty does not inherently stem from either side of the coin, neither good nor evil. It is simply an innate inheritance gifted upon e...
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