"[I]t being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a Wolf or a lion...."
John Locke
(1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist
Second Treatise On Government ยง 16 (C.B. Macpherson ed., Hackett Publishing Co. 1980) (1690)
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Reader comments about this quote:
We have the absolute right to defend our selves and our families, as well as our property. It's the only moral justification for law.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    You have to carefully examine each phrase in this one, otherwise it would be quite easy to enter (or pass) the gray zone seperating our right to defend and our inate supposition that everything generally considered dangerous is intent on causing us harm.
     -- m. Rhodus, Hickory     
    I'm with J Carlton on this one.
     -- jim k     
     -- carolyn, somerset,ca      
    Right on! It is morally reprehensible to let your fellow man be raped and plundered.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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