— 95 —
No Propositions can be innate, since no Ideas are innate.       §19. Whatever then we talk of innate, either speculative, or
— 96 —
practical Principles, it may, with as much probability, be said, That a
Man hath 100 l. sterling in his Pocket, and yet denied, that he hath
there either Penny, Shilling, Crown, or any other Coin, out of
which the Sum is to be made up; as to think, that certain Propo-
sitions are innate, when the Ideas about which they are, can by no
means be supposed to be so. The general reception and assent that
is given, doth not at all prove, that the Ideas expressed in them, are
innate: For in many cases, however the Ideas came there, the assent
to Words expressing the agreement, or disagreement, of such Ideas,
will necessarily follow. Every one that hath a true Idea of God, and
Worship, will assent to this Proposition, That God is to be wor-
shiped, when expressed, in a Language he understands: And every
rational Man, that hath not thought on it to day, may be ready to
assent to this Proposition to morrow; and yet millions of Men may
be well supposed to want one, or both, of those Ideas to day. For if
we will allow Savages, and most Country-people, to have Ideas of
God and Worship (which conversation with them, will not make one
forward to believe) yet I think, few Children can be supposed to
have those Ideas, which therefore they must begin to have sometime
or other; and then they will also begin to assent to that Proposition,
and make very little question of it ever after. But such an assent
upon hearing, no more proves the Ideas to be innate, than it does,
That one born blind (with Cataracts, which will be couched to
morrow) had the innate Ideas of the Sun, or Light, or Saffron, or
Yellow; because when his Sight is cleared, he will certainly assent
to this Proposition, That the Sun is lucid, or that Saffron is yellow:
And therefore if such an assent upon hearing cannot prove the Ideas
innate, it can much less the Propositions made up of those Ideas. If
they have any innate Ideas, I would be glad to be told, what, and
how many they are.
Locke Hum I, 4, §19, pp. 95-96