Locke attacks both the view that we have any innate principles (for example, the whole is greater than the part, do unto others as you would have done unto you, etc.) as well as the view that there are any innate singular ideas (for example, God, identity, substance, and so forth). The main thrust of Locke’s argument lies in pointing out that none of the mental content alleged to be innate is universally shared by all humans. He notes that children and the mentally disabled, for example, do not have in their minds an allegedly innate complex thought like “equals taken from equals leave equals”. He also uses evidence from travel literature to point out that many non-Europeans deny what were taken to be innate moral maxims and that some groups even lack the idea of a God. Locke takes the fact that not all humans have these ideas as evidence that they were not implanted by God in humans minds, and that they are therefore acquired rather than innate.
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Perhaps the greatest immediate impact of the Renaissance was the Reformation, which began in 1517. Although the arguments of the Protestant reformers had been elucidated centuries before, the Reformation could not have happened had the Italian Renaissance not created the climate of passion and intellectualism throughout Europe necessary to allow the challenging of age old values. The Renaissance had seen the behavior of popes come to increasingly parallel the behavior of princes, as they attempted to compete with the gilded city-states around them. The papacy had fallen into corruption on more than one occasion, and the sale of indulgences, essentially pardons for sins, in order to finance the construction of a new St. Peter's basilica, pushed the reformers over the edge and into protest. The Church suffered similarly at the hands of the humanist attack, which through the study of ancient history and documents, had proven many claims made by the Church to be false. The result was a movement that shook the foundations of all of Europe and created a split in Christianity that remains a potent source of conflict even today.