Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

The natural law

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 3644 words Published: 22nd Jun 2015

Reference this

The subject of the article is the natural law. The term used to describe the experience many people have when they maintain their presence. It is well known fact that the natural law is theory depicted by the existence of law whose substances are set by nature and has validity in every corner of the world. Now, the natural law is complex phenomenon but I am going to focus on basic ideas.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

First of all, we will consider the meaning, emergence, the origin of the natural law. Secondly, I will describe the reasons why there are so many differences among various cultures and whether different cultures evaluate the natural law with a distinct point of view or not. Finally, I will mention some thought of philosophers like Thomas Aquines, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke who have profound impact on natural law theories. It is obvious that the implementation of natural law has fluctuated variedly through the history. For the first time in the history, almost the entire world have different theories of natural law, varying from each other with respect to the legal norms. The natural law theory is apparently very complicated occasion. It was composed of two types of theories, moral and legal theory. The term “natural law ” is not referred to the laws of the nature which science has tried to clasify. Natural law moral theory acquired from the disposition of the human beings and existence of the world. On the other hand; being the legal theory independent, the two theories congregate in term of some respects. Since the time immemorial, it is generally wondered that now human society and its civil institutions come into being. In order to overcome the curiosity, philosophers developed the idea of the natural law. The natural law was made use of comprehending the human behaviour in society. The doctrine of natural law trigger the individual rights in constitutional law. In an attempt to come into existence, these rights constituted according to the fundamental structure of government which eliminated the power of majority rule. Notwithstanding there are some significant questions that we should ask ourselves. Can these fundemental constitutional rights be guarenteed by the governments in an attempt to provide citizens free speech, education, medical care etc. ? It is suggested by Joel Feinberg that moral rights as opposed to legal rights explains that human rights are a subset of moral rights and that natural rights are a subset of human rights. On the other hand John Locke’s ideas formulate theory that natural law is moral law and natural rights are moral rights. It may sound as if the situation that one philosopher differs from the other. For instance, Locke characterizes these fundamental moral requirements as God- given individual rights and more basic than human law or government. However, Bentham believes that all law and rights are conventional. They are the product of agreements of social order of government. Bentham defended that there are no rights without law and there is no law without government. There can be only chaos and individual power. We can say that the natural law is known as to be opposed to the positive law which was revealed by human beings. Natural law started to maintain availability with the presence of human beings. Furthermore, thanks to intersection between natural law and natural rights in United States, the declaration of independence and the constitution of United States took place. This is the glamorous manifestation that the natural law tradition has immense influence on the development of government and law in western civilization, although the issue of natural law is still extremely controversial subject.

Like the differences between ideas and prevision of philosophers, there are many disagreements and discrepancy among various cultures and civilizations. The different cultures assess the situation with the challenging point of view. Natural law is generally identified as an ideal legal system which is known to correspond the social requirements in the best way and is not implemented not only particular time period but also every scope of the lifestyle. Custom traditions law are not documental. Even though these sentiments inhabit in social conscience. The custom which is assimilated as a social attitude among individuals of community should meet three requirements in an attempt to become a rule of law. These requirements are sustainability, general notion and enforcements carried out by the government. Consequently, natural law theory can be defined as its content is substantial intrisically arranged naturally, it is more important that everything and in valid, available and also effectual. Natural law theory is great matter in terms of both morality and philosophy of law. Beyond it has magnificent reputation with the influence on philosophers. The first and most significant notion of natural law was detected in antique Greek. Primarily natural law which is perceived by antiquity thinkers is the correspondence of behaviour of human beings to the natural rules. The manner of the human beings should be well matched and proper to the natural law as well as physical occasion to be compatible with the physical laws. The creator of the rationalism, Hugo Grotius who spent some of his time with Descartes thought that natural law is universal and its roots were based on human mind. The natural law originated from the social nature of humanity. Thanks to very nature of mind, human beings can discover the principle implemented on themselves.

In history of the humanity, human mind sought to reveal the principle with observing the life, habits, customs of people. Thereupon the natural law theory wa brought up by some specific philosophers known as the pioneer of their period. In that era philosophers, in order to identify the natural law, reached the result that the smallest structure of the society is individuals when they attempted to identify the common life while abiding the analysis method. For instance, in physics the term “atom” was handled the substance of matter. Like that Philosophers perceived the social life as social physic area. Philosopher sought the way to find the solutions to this issue that how both today’s sociability and future’s sociability should be constituted. In order to comprehend the nature of disposition of human beings, philosophers rendered a verdict that human should have placed on the isolation. As a result, they reached a decision that the affection of mind concatenation is necessary for individuals to lead a society that is harmonizingly peaceful. That is to say; social lifetime is not becoming together with individuals mechanically, it is just dwelling together by utilizing their mind without damaging and becoming harmful to each other.

Although you may think that the cultural diversity contradict the idea of natural law, that is not the case exactly. First then, why do people from various corners of the world experience natural law with an amended structure of consideration. Think about this for a minute when you grow up in a particular set of surrondings naturally, you get used to the rules and guidelines that govern the behaviour of the people around you. In a sense, you become totally dependent on the rules of your social group. You tend not to question them, you just accept them without thinking. These rules are often not clearly articulated and therefore you are not aware of their impact. In other words, you are not necessarily conscious of them. Let’s turn to the different situations of natural law. The natural law acquires a different character according to the different cultures and philosophers who have great impact on the cultures on some categories about natural law.

  • Stoic Natural Law: The improvement process of natural law can be attributed to the group of Stoics. The development of natural law is concurrent with the enlargement of the empires and kingdoms in Greek world. Stoic natural law is different from the divine or natural source of law in an attempt to obtain rational, real, purposeful order for the universe. And according to belief of Stoics, prosperity and arrangement can only gained through natural law. Stoics believed that the facilities of virtue can enlarge the power and development. Stoics emphasized influently that the theories of individual worth, moral duty and universal brotherhood played a great role in subsequent legal theory.
  • Christian Natural Law: According to the thought of Christian Augustine of Hippo, a life keeping on with the nature is no longer possible. The human beings should have sought the way to maintain the life with the help of divine law and favor of Jesus Christ. In contrast to the philosopher Gratian who reserved this by coinciding the natural law with divine law. Then at the last stage, Thomas Aquinas reconstituted the independent state not only divine law but also eternal law. He defended his idea but could not really comprehend the eternal law that the perfection of human reason can only achieved with the approaches of eternal law and supported by divine law. Thomas Aquinas also stated that all human beings can be judged by the dependance and the loyalty about the natural law. According to the Christian law, the unfair law is not evaluated as law. In other words the unfair law remains merely the appearance of law. Christian natural law theory adjusted that the natural law was not used just to implement the moral aspects of laws also to make decision about what the law should have said in the first place of the occasion. For this reason, in some circumstances events could be resulted in great tension. It is the most significant fact that Christian law focused on truthfullness of actions in the view of ethic rather than the result. The natural law purpose is to gain the goodness and it focused on the whether the things become real and formed the happiness and goodness or not.
  • Islamic Natural Law: The presence of natural law was admited. The advocator of natural law Abu Mansur AlMaturidi dedicated that the human beings could very well be aware of the existence of God and their apprehension could differentiate the “good” and the “evil” with the help of the feature of perception. In addition in this point of view human beings should have taken notice of inaccurate behaviours like killing, drinking alcoholism, gambling which were referred to the “evils”.
  • Classical Natural Law Theory: The theory pointed out that there is nondocumented relation betweeen natural law and morality. With respect to this observation, law can not be precisely clarified without the favor of moral argument. Thomas Aquinas contributed the composition of classical law theory. Aquinas set apart laws in four groups such as eternal, natural, human, divine law. Eternal law is a degree of God which performs all creation and nature occasions. Human law also is positive law made by human changes persistently. On the other side divine law is defined as any law that in the thought of believers originated directly from the will.

It is frequently mentioned that the natural law is composed of eternal law which administrate the behaviour of human beings in order to provide them for possesing free will. Furthermore, Thomas Aquinas can be stated as being representative and pioneer of the classical theory. Thomas Aquinas asserted that it is compulsory to do good things and to avoid bad habits and evil.

It is well worth emphasizing that in his view of what is good and evil is came out from nature and temperament of beings. Thomas Aquinas described natural law activity of human participation in the eternal law, in providence. As you know, life of all creators will terminate in the end as human beings are aroused to explore the world. The slice of lifetime is to differentiate the “good” and the “evil” and after that maintain life according to precepts. There is a formulatic statement with Aquinas; that “Man is by nature a social or political animal”(DERS KITABI). Along with this commitment, he does not denote that we have inclination to participate in social contracts. The nature can not be preferred or chosen. It is just given and individuals must adjust their first born place. Because of the fact that it is like ring of chair, the conformation of family have influence on the maintance of life and survival and also humanbeigs flourish the various social and political communities. Aquinas conveying the impression of Aristoteles depicted the people who can discriminate between the awful, weird and good, pleasent things.

In addition to, coming into being individual with nature, human beings go astray and deteoriate with nature. Besides this, people should know natural law even if they are alone. Aquinas characterized the knowledge of primitive and complicated. In his point of view, simple informations are based on just unique definition or descriptions. At the same time the latter, knowlegde of complex abide by affirmation or negation of one thing of another. Put another word; every first happening things is comprised of series of the others. There is s connection between phenomenons. “Thomas have a tenet that “There is a conception which is prior to and presupposed by all other conceptions and judgement that is prior to and presupposed by all other judgements”. Also think about it for a moment what does Thomas mean saying that “since knowledge is expressed by language this seems to come down to the assertion that there is a first word that everyone utters and first statement that would appear in everyone’s babybook on the appropriate page” .(INTERNET KAYNAK) However surely that is not the case. In my opinion, although the life of the human beings resemble each other regarding birth, death, a great quantity of occasions yield different consequences on anothers. Even though there is a common language either the perception of the language or utilizing and keeping it alive varies. To sum up, Aquinas characterizes the “God” as pure mind and so he thought that individuals dominate the mind, they comprise the model of God. Aquinas thought that the law is an ordinance of reasons directed to the God and also should make by one who has confidence of community and should be promulgated.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Another advocater of natural law is Thomas Hobbes. In Hobbes point of view; he dedicated that justifying towards certainity is more difficult than defining oneself. He uttered that individuals are equal in terms of damaging themselves. Hence, in an attempt to secure oneself and maintain existence, people can reach an agreement to constitute a government which is legitimate and quarantee complicated and profound issues, dilemma by setting aside our hostilities. He admitted that there was no reasoning about what is good, bad, better, worse. Hobbes evaluated the world administrated by mechanic movements as an ordinary hole of matters. Lively substances such as animal, plant, human are the fragment of the entire world. As to Hobbes both physical and mental life time dependent of the constution of mechanical actions. That’s why neither spirit, angel nor God are available. They are merely product of imaginary or belong to argument of belief.

What distinguishes Hobbes notion from the notions propounded by other natural law theorists is the different denotation is referred to reason. By the side of Hobbes, reasoning is caltulation by means of we draw consequences for the nature occasions in an attempt to express and denote our feelings and opinions. Owing to Hobbes, the law of nature indicates what is good or evil in realiton to given end otherwise the other theorists emphasised that individuals comprise a team about what is good or evil in theirselves. Moreover, the natural law states prominently what is convenient or inconvenient to the reachment of the end which is peaceful and symbolizes supreme utility. For this reason the basement of natural law prescribes the way people seeking peace, benefitions, goodness. Hobbes highlighted especially that it is possible to obtain a peace, provided the state is utilized like an effective bridge. In brief, owing to Hobbes natural law command everyone conveying their specific rigths in order to assure the ways for conserving peace. It is explicit judgement that this can come to the fruition by means of state. We accomplish the thoughts about him by making deduction from his words “you would give up liberty to gain security”. As a result; the objectives should be seeking the peace, defending ourselves, surrending our Liberties which can be defined as the absence of external impediments for peace.

Another theorist about natural law is John Locke who stuck in human’s mind despite the fact that he is known in an account generating the fundamentals of revolutions French, Amerikan and British. Owing to John Locke, people are connected each other with no principle of natural law. Natural law are rationalistic and the reason of existence of human beings. In his point of view; God has confered to all peopla fundamental rights about life, health, liberty and possessions. For this reason, he encumbered to the government for protecting rights. Since he anticipated that the state which should be respectful about personal ownership and secure privileges has responsibilities to the citizens,inhabitants.

John Locke consistently confronted with the question “why should we obey the law of nature?”. He thought that reasoning is kind of advisory.In human reason and divine reason it is just admited that what the God looks like. As if Locke took the natural law granted in spite of the fact that God created us with reason in an attempt to pursue God’s will and all of cases are exprienced like in divine and human law. Should the need arise; all humankind drew one’s first breath being equal, indepent and free. With the help of natural law, willpower of God can be found out and what can be suited to the rational world. It is not quite accurate that the natural law is command of mind. Since mind can not ascertain the natural law by constructioning, individuals can not generate any social group or unity without natural law. The other prof showing the presence of law is that individual who made mistake on purpose and act in a nasty particular behaviour, can not feel welfare about conscience. Neither virtue nor goodness and rewarding being possible is veracity.

Very important feature of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government as a work of political modeling is its concern with the question of why people need structures of governance, in particular laws as regulatory forces in communal life. Essentially, a political theory needs to not only study and model the structures and duties of government but also speculate about why we need such a construction and regulation in our lives. Locke examines this by first questioning “what state all men are naturally in.”1 Men in the state of nature are in “a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”2 That is, the essence of human nature is to be free from any restraints on one’s actions. Such unrestrained freedom, however, makes everyone “both judge and executioner of the law of nature”3 which, in turn, is very likely to impose a threat to another person’s freedom and right to live. If, for instance, people punish their offenders in their own judgment and without any regulations that limit such punitive actions, one of the most important principles of justice, that punishment should be consistent and should fit the crime, will be violated. Thus, in the absence of governing structures, men’s self-interest and natural instinct to preserve themselves and their possessions will eventually spur the society to unjust practices, thereby disrupting the peace and order of the communal life. This argument about human nature and why it requires certain structures of governance becomes yet stronger with the idea of how men are naturally inclined to protect their own property and seize new property at the same time: “The great and chief end, therefore, of men’s putting themselves under government and known law, is the preservation of their property. To which in the state of nature there are many things wanting.”1 Through his arguments, Locke devises a political theory by analyzing which political model is most likely to bring people out of their state ofcommunal life. This argument about human nature and why it requires certain structures of governance becomes yet stronger with the idea of how men are naturally inclined to protect their own property and seize new property at the same time: “The great and chief end, therefore, of men’s putting themselves under government and known law, is the preservation of their property. To which in the state of nature there are many things wanting.”1 Through his arguments, Locke devises a political theory by analyzing which political model is most likely to bring people out of their state of nature, and looking back to the historical context of his work, does so on the basis of empirical evidence. Thus, Second Treatise on Government, as a work of political theory, creates a strong foundation for why people need a certain political model and laws that it lays the grounds for.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: