John LockeJohn Locke, (1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist

John Locke Quote

“Virtue is harder to be got than a knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered.”

John LockeJohn Locke
~ John Locke


Ratings and Comments


J Carlton, Calgary

Which leads me to think that the children of families who have been in politics for generations are hopelessly bankrupt of all morality.

jim k, A
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    jim k, A    2/5/10

    A good example of J Carltons comment is the Kennedys, corrupt since papa Joe started bringing bootleg booze into the country, and it got worse after that.

    Waffler, Smith

    If Locke were a Biblical writer which the quote says he was not, he would have known of the availability of forgiveness and a return to the fold of the virtuous. Since he apparently did not know about it I give him only one star. That a man of his caliber can believe that a loss of virtue is unrcoverable is in a word unbelievable.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    He didn't say unrecoverable Waffler...he said "seldom recovered" and he's right. Religious dogma has nothing to do with it.

    Waffler, Smith

    Yes J he did say seldom. But I suggest you quibble. Relgious dogma has every thing to do with it if you are of that religion. The thought that people especially young people can and do make mistakes and are not always virtuous and yet can never go straight or be good is a sad way to think I believe. Ever heard of a second chance. The Bible says none are perfect, no not one. Locke here believes or espouses a perfect that I do not believe exists.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Granted Waffler, the misdeeds of youth may not necessarily become a character trait.

    Waffler, Smith

    I am glad we have agreed J. It is great to dialogoue and come to mutual understanding.

    RBESRQ
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    RBESRQ    2/6/10

    The one thing that cost you nothing yet the most precious of all things - INTEGRITY. How easy it is to lose and yet how difficult ever to find again.

    Logan, Memphis, TN

    Eh, Waffy boy, a "non-biblical writer" means that the founders quoted more from the Bible than any other source, not that Locke didn't quote from the Bible -- Apparently you haven't read Locke's Two Treatises on Government or his Essay on Human Understanding (that quotes quite extensively from the Bible). It is arguable whether the founders quote more from Locke than from Montesquieu, but these were, respectively, the second and third most quoted 'non-biblical writers' of the founding fathers. Great quote by the way.

    elisabeth, Astoria, NY

    Unfortunately that is true. And the word "seldom" does count in the quote. "Seldom" is different from "always", and in general what the quote says is what happens. It is the same behavior as memorizing a song when you're young and singing it along for life whenever you hear it. Although Locke and Freud had different views about many things, I believe that Freud would explain the behavior.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Logan, welcome back - quit messing around and start commenting more often / again ;-) Waffler, oops - the ancient Hebrew and Greek defined the word and concept 'perfect' very differently. By way of example: "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." (Gen 6:9) "THERE was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" (Job 1:1, 8) Waffler, Locke wasn't saying anything about the availability of repentance, his comment was simply based on an observation. Much the same as when Jesus said: "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matt 19:24) - not that it can't happen, it is just 'seldom'. A five star observation.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Waffler, by your obvious definition of perfect, you don't believe Jesus when He said: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48) Again, there is a huge difference between the ancient Hebrew understanding and meaning of 'perfect' and today's use of 'perfect', being a Greek extraction. There is also a huge difference between the ancient Hebrew 'perfect' and being without sin or sinless. There have been perfect men but, there's only been 1 (one) sinless man. Thanks for playing though, have a great day.

    E Archer, NYC

    All too true, Bible or not. Trust is hard to recover once caught in a lie. When a people no longer care about their honor but only their power, seldom does the situation reverse itself. But virtue is its own reward, and if wanted badly enough, the aspirant can make amends and reform himself.

    Waffler, Smith

    Logan-Boy, you have no argument with me. I repeated the quote citation that said Locke was "the most often quoted non-biblical writer". Nice to see you blogging around on this site again. I stand by my posts, I stand by my undersatnding reached with J Carlton and I am glad I got some thinking going on in the minds of you others.

    Waffler, Smith

    PS: For further discussion and analysis why did Locke say "if lost in a young man it is seldom recovered". Does he purport to say that older men who loose virtue can recover it more easily than a younger man. In final analysis maybe this is really a lousy quote saying nothing. It implies a certain admiration for virtuosness from childhood forward, but fails in so many other ways.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Waffler, NO, he did not "purport to say that older men who loose virtue can recover it more easily than a younger man." He did not address that issue at all, at least not here In final analysis, maybe this is really a good quote. It does imply an admiration for virtuosness from childhood forward, but recognizes once virtue fails it is often not regained.

    Waffler, Smith

    Mike he is here being discriminatory toward youth and males. Is virture lost by older folk or women folk more easily recovered than with young men? Locke is showing tremendous bias in this quote and I think has shown his own lack of virtue.

    E Archer, NYC
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    E Archer, NYC Waffler, Smith 7/27/18

    Yes, no doubt Locke's 'white male privilege' discredits him and his observations.  If only he were as unbiased as you, Waffler. ;-) 

    Patrick Henry, Red Hill

    Conservatism was the prelapsarian mode of Man.

    The conservation of Virtue is the quintessence of conservatism.

    The genius of Locke.

    Ronw13, OR

    John Locke was well versed and "studied" in the word. no doubt.
    Virtue, ( Arete ), manliness, valor, excellence, intrinsic eminence, moral goodness. Virtue is enjoined as an essential quality in the exercise of faith. 
    Virtue ( Dunamis ) indicates power, mighty force, strength associated with miracles. as also power and ability, physical or moral power in action. 
    Virtue ( Chayil ) when applied to men sometimes focuses their ability to conduct themselves well in battle as well as being loyal to their commanders. In this context the word may b translated Valiant. In the light of virtue as "manliness" Locke's statement rings well. Virtuous people ( Chayil ) this nuance indicates "upper class" were at once soldiers, wealthy, and influential. Waffler's contempt shows his ignorance through such a knee jerk reaction. 

    E Archer, NYC
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    E Archer, NYC Ronw13, OR 7/27/18

    Ron, what language are you referring to?  Where is this found?  Thanks.

    Kemberley, payette

    loooooooooooool

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