What is the theory of natural law?
The term 'natural law' is derived from the belief that human morality comes from nature. Everything in nature has a purpose, including humans. In short, any law that is good is moral, and any moral law is good. Legal positivism is a legal theory that is the opposite of the natural law theory.
Natural law (Latin: ius naturale, lex naturalis) is a philosophy asserting that certain rights are inherent by virtue of human nature, endowed by nature—traditionally by God or a transcendent source—and that these can be understood universally through human reason.
- In English law, natural justice is technical terminology for the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua) and the right to a fair hearing (audi alteram partem). While the term natural justice is often retained as a general concept, it has largely been replaced and extended by the general "duty to act fairly".
- Thomas Aquinas is generally regarded as the West's pre-eminent theorist of the natural law, critically inheriting the main traditions of natural law or quasi–natural law thinking in the ancient world (including the Platonic, and particularly Aristotelian and Stoic traditions) and bringing elements from these traditions
- Eternal law is comprised of those laws that govern the nature of an eternal universe. It is the moral law; the law of nature. It is the law which God in the creation of man infused into him for his direction and preservation. An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law.
Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature's or God's creation of reality and mankind.
- Contractarianism, which stems from the Hobbesian line of social contract thought, holds that persons are primarily self-interested, and that a rational assessment of the best strategy for attaining the maximization of their self-interest will lead them to act morally (where the moral norms are determined by the
- John Locke (1632—1704) John Locke was among the most famous philosophers and political theorists of the 17th century. He is often regarded as the founder of a school of thought known as British Empiricism, and he made foundational contributions to modern theories of limited, liberal government.
- Like Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature allowed people to be selfish. This is apparent with the introduction of currency. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his "Life, health, Liberty, or Possessions".
Updated: 23rd October 2018