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Natural Law Vs Natural Rights

Many scholars believe that the idea of natural rights emerged from natural law, a theory evident in the philosophy of the medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas (died 1274). It is believed that natural law embodies the principles of good and evil—especially with regard to relations between and between individuals—that can be established by human reason, outside of divine revelation. Philosophers, however, rarely completely agreed on the content of such laws. For example, they disagreed on whether natural law prohibits human slavery, as American abolitionists later argued. Is Locke a disciple of Hobbes who bases his theory on law rather than natural law? What difference does it make? A characteristic of a legal theory is that man is by nature a solitary and independent being, as in Hobbes` « State of Nature ». In Hobbes` state of nature, people are free and independent, have the right to pursue their own interests, and have no duty to one another. The moral logic is roughly as follows: nature has made individuals independent; Nature has left each individual to himself; Nature must therefore have granted every human being the right to take care of himself. This right is the fundamental moral fact and not a duty that individuals owe to a law or to each other. The primacy of individual law reflects our separation, our lack of moral ties to one another. One consequence of this, according to Hobbes, is that the state of nature is a « war of all against all »: humans are naturally at war with each other. Individuals create societies and governments to escape this condition.

Society is not natural to man, but the product of a « social contract, » a contract to which each individual must consent. The sole purpose of the treaty is to protect the rights of every citizen. John Locke was one of the founders of « liberal » political philosophy, the philosophy of individual rights, and limited government. This is the philosophy on which the U.S. Constitution and all Western political systems are based today. In the Second Treatise on Government, Locke`s most important political work, he uses natural law to support his philosophy. But there are many different interpretations of natural law, from Ciceronian to Thomist to Grotian. What is Locke`s interpretation? Which version of natural law supports liberal policy? While scholars continue to debate the extent to which judges should simply try to enforce the constitutional text, and the extent to which they can also uphold the unspoken principles of justice in natural law, natural law provides an ongoing means by which individuals can appeal to superior justice beyond government action and even judicial decisions. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) incorporated a discussion of natural rights into his moral and political philosophy. Hobbes` conception of natural rights was based on his view of man in a « state of nature. » Thus, he argued that the essential (human) natural right was « to use his own power, as he himself wills, for the preservation of his own nature; that is, of his own life; and consequently to do whatever he deems, according to his own judgment and reason, the most appropriate means of doing so. (Leviathan. 1, XIV) With the adoption of Stirner`s selfishness (1886), Tucker rejected natural rights that had long been considered the basis of libertarianism.

This rejection provoked heated debates in the movement, with proponents of natural rights accusing the selfish of destroying libertarianism itself. The conflict was so bitter that a number of natural law advocates retreated to the liberty side in protest, although they were frequent contributors. After that, Liberty advocated selfishness, although its general content did not change significantly. [48] The right to what is essentially inalienable is inalienable, since the act by which I take possession of my personality, my essential essence, and make myself a responsible being, capable of possessing rights and leading a moral and religious life, deprives my qualities of the very exteriority of which they alone have made them capable. pass into possession of another. If I have thus suspended their exteriority, I cannot lose them by the passage of time or for any other reason arising from my prior consent or willingness to alienate them. [22] 20. Ibid., pp. 705-716. For a similar view, see Donnelly, Jack, « Natural Law and Right in Aquinas` Political Thought, » Western Political Quarterly 33 (1980): 520–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar, « Liberties and entitlements distinguish rights from law so fundamental that we can say that law and rights point in different directions » (p. 529).

Google scholar Thomas Paine (1731–1809) went further into natural rights in his influential work Rights of Man (1791),[45] pointing out that rights cannot be granted by any charter, as this would legally imply that they could also be revoked and would be reduced to privileges in such circumstances: A critique of natural law theory is, that no standard can be derived from facts. [30] This objection is variously expressed as the problem of the real target, the naturalistic error or the appeal to nature. G.E. Moore said, for example, that ethical naturalism is a victim of naturalistic error. [ref. needed] However, some proponents of natural law theory counter that the term « natural » in « natural rights » is opposed to « artificial » rather than referring to nature. John Finnis, for example, asserts that natural law and natural rights derive from obvious principles, not from speculative principles or facts. [30] As a philosophy of law, natural law constitutes the basis and basis of legal traditions. As a concept of policy and jurisprudence, natural law is a set of rules prescribed by an authority higher than the state. It aims to protect individual rights against violations committed by other people, nation-states or political orders. Natural law first appeared in ancient Greek philosophy[2] and was mentioned by the Roman philosopher Cicero. It was later mentioned in the Bible,[3] and then developed in the Middle Ages by Catholic philosophers such as Albert the Great and his pupil Thomas Aquinas.

During the Enlightenment, the concept of natural laws was used to challenge the divine right of kings and became an alternative justification for establishing a social contract, positive law, and government – and therefore legal rights – in the form of classical republicanism. Conversely, the concept of natural rights is used by others to question the legitimacy of all these institutions. While American individualist anarchists first adhered to positions of natural law, later in this period, under the leadership of Benjamin Tucker, some positions of natural law abandoned and converted to the selfish anarchism of Max Stirner. Tucker rejected the idea of moral rights, saying there were only two rights: « the right to power » and « the right to contract. » [46] He also said, after converting to selfish individualism: « In times past. I used to talk lightly about man`s right to land. It was a bad habit, and I got rid of it a long time ago. Man`s only right to land is his power over it. [47] Natural rights are generally opposed to the concept of legal rights. Legal rights are those conferred on a person by a particular legal system (i.e. rights that can be modified, waived and restricted by human laws).

Natural rights are those that do not depend on the laws, customs, or beliefs of a particular culture or government, and are therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that human laws cannot renounce or restrict). Natural rights are closely related to the concept of natural law (or laws). During the Enlightenment, the concept of natural laws was used to challenge the divine right of kings, and became an alternative justification for establishing a social contract, positive law, and government (and thus legal rights) in the form of classical republicanism (built around concepts such as civil society, civic virtue and mixed government). Conversely, the concept of natural rights is used by others to question the legitimacy of all these institutions. The most famous natural formulation of law comes from John Locke in his Second Treatise, when he introduced the state of nature. For Locke, natural law is based on mutual security or the idea that one cannot violate another`s natural rights because every human being is equal and has the same inalienable rights. These natural rights include complete equality and freedom, as well as the right to preserve life and property. These fundamental rights cannot be abandoned in the social contract. Another 17th century Englishman, John Lilburne (known as Freeborn John), advocated for a high level of human rights, which he called « born free rights », which he defined as rights with which every human being is born, as opposed to rights conferred by government or human law.

The distinction between alienable and inalienable rights was introduced by Francis Hutcheson, who argued that « inalienable rights are essential constraints in all governments. » In the German Enlightenment, Georg Hegel gave a sophisticated treatment of the argument of inalienability. Like Hutcheson, he based the theory of inalienable rights on the de facto inalienability of aspects of personality that distinguish persons from things. A thing, like a piece of land, can actually be transferred from one person to another. According to Hegel, the same is not true for the aspects that make someone a person.