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    "In the realm of politics or State action, the natural law presents man with a set of norms which may well be radically critical of existing positive law imposed by the State. At this point, we need only stress that the very existence of a natural law discoverable by reason is a potentially powerful threat to the status quo and a standing reproach to the reign of blindly traditional custom or the arbitrary will of the State apparatus."

    Natural Law Theory is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be deduced and applied independently of positive law (the express enacted laws of a state or society). According to the theory of law called jusnaturalism, all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by "God, nature, or reason. "Natural law theory can also refer to "theories of ethics, theories of politics, theories of civil law, and theories of religious morality."

    History[edit | edit source]

    The earliest version of natural law theory we know of arguably came from Plato, who argued that the various virtues towards which people strive come from the imitable and enteral Form of the Good, which encompassed all other virtues. As such, all humans, once they properly understand the good, seek to find it.

    Aristotle is the first uncontested natural law theorist. He thought that the good was a result of human teleology, or the end towards which human beings are oriented.

    The Stoics divided goods into those which merely came out of the needs of human nature (food, shelter, money) from the goods that must be apparent to any creature capable of reason (the virtues.) Those goods which were merely "in accordance with nature" took a secondary roll to those which dealt with virtue. They taught that all people were capable of reason, and thus, everyone was equal in so far as there ability to use reason.

    Aquinas would go on to claim that different goods existed in different ways in different kinds of beings, all of which emanated form the existence of God.

    Thomas Hobbes viewed the only prescription of the natural law to be survival, and because you were always better off with a monarch then in a lawless "state of nature", your monarch could treat you however they wanted.

    Around the Time of the Enlightenment, John Locke introduced the idea of natural rights, claiming that the natural law gave people the right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property." The idea of natural rights has sense become one of the most popular parts of Natural Law Theory.

    Beliefs[edit | edit source]

    The Natural Law Theory of ethics makes the claim that there are a variety of goods towards which all of human nature is inclined. Unlike animals or inanimate objects, who are determined by the "laws of nature" we discover through science, humans have the ability to use reason to comprehend the ends towards which they are oriented, and are thus capable of moral or immoral action. Some of the inherent goods given to us by the natural law might be companionship, survival, pleasure, reproduction, or any number of virtues.

    Relationships[edit | edit source]

    Friends[edit | edit source]

    Frenemies[edit | edit source]

    • Platonism - Arguably founded me, but nowadays, most of my theories are built off your student's ideas rather than yours.
    • Cynicism - Look, I appreciate that you're trying to live in accordance with nature, but can you please stop masturbating in public?
    • Hobbesianism - I mean... you are a Natural Law Theorist, but you're a pretty unorthodox one.
    • Hedonism - Pleasure can be good, sure, but isn't there anything else you value?
    • Enlightenment Philosophy - I helped shape his worldview, but then he ditched me for Deontology and Utilitarianism.
    • Conservatism - Why do you only cite me when you're trying to bash gay people?
    • Queer Theory - As for said gay people... Yeah, we have a rocky history, don't we?

    Enemies[edit | edit source]

    • Existentialism - 'Existence preceeds essence'? Oh really?
    • Marxism - Quit calling me as bourgeoisie lie.
    • Nihilism - Oh? And tell me, has lying around all day mopping about how everything is meaningless made your life any better?
    • Pragmatism - Moral laws are not impermenant actually.

    Quotes[edit | edit source]

    Further Information[edit | edit source]

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