According to John Locke's notion of tabula rasa, there are no innate ideas in the mind. All human knowledge comes from sensible experience. Assuming this principle, it follows that there is no innate moral sense, either. The notions of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil are somehow the product of the interaction between human beings living in society.
One important objection to this argument, put forth by religions and other philosophical schools of thought, is that human beings must have an innate moral sense that guides their behavior. Otherwise, how could society (at the very least) remain stable and develop the great civilizations we have observed throughout History? In other words, if humans are essentially amoral beings, why have societies not descended into barbarism?
A possible response to this objection – still following the idea of tabula rasa – is that freedom may be understood as the fundamental principle of society organization. As such, even if individuals have their private vices, by respecting each other's freedom, society as a whole can benefit from the public virtues that emerge. I think the first to propose this argument was Bernard de Mandeville, in The Fable of The Bees.
But, that notion of freedom as a principle in itself may lead to terrible consequences, such as when, during the French Revolution, a group of people defined themselves as "friends of freedom", a slogan that was used to justify the tyranny against the ones they considered the "enemies of freedom". Since then, several other groups have used the idea of freedom to establish dictatorships.
Is this a valid reasoning? Has Locke's theory of knowledge somehow influenced modern political thought, especially in the justification of tyrannical regimes?