different-meanings-of-natural-law -- narrated - march 2013

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natural law versus moral law

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The Different Meanings of Natural Law and the Difference This Makes:

The Different Meanings of Natural Law and the Difference This Makes Edward J. Dodson, M.L.A. February 2010. Revised May 2011

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Aristotle

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Thomas Aquinas

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Mortimer J. Adler

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“[M]an often violates the moral rules which constitute the law of his specifically human nature.”

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Natural Law: Descriptive Moral Law: Prescriptive

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Thomas Jefferson

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“may be strengthened by exercise.”

“… a state of perfect freedom to order [our] actions, and dispose of [our] possessions and persons, as [we] think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”:

“… a state of perfect freedom to order [our] actions, and dispose of [our] possessions and persons, as [we] think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

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Robert V. Andelson

“In the state of nature rights exist but they are enforceable only in proportion to their claimants’ power.”:

“In the state of nature rights exist but they are enforceable only in proportion to their claimants’ power.”

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John Locke

“Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent. …”:

“Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent. …”

“The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, …”:

“The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, …”

“… in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it. This any number of men may do, because it injures not the freedom of the rest; they are left as they were in the liberty of the state of nature.”:

“… in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it. This any number of men may do, because it injures not the freedom of the rest; they are left as they were in the liberty of the state of nature.”

Thomas Paine:

Thomas Paine

Mortimer J. Adler:

Mortimer J. Adler

“What is a moral right as contradistinguished from a legal right?”:

“What is a moral right as contradistinguished from a legal right?”

“It is obvious at once that it must be a right that exists without being created by positive law or social custom. …”:

“It is obvious at once that it must be a right that exists without being created by positive law or social custom. …”

“What is not the product of legal or social conventions must be a creation of nature, or to state the matter more precisely, it must have its being in the nature of men. …”:

“What is not the product of legal or social conventions must be a creation of nature, or to state the matter more precisely, it must have its being in the nature of men. …”

“Moral rights are natural rights, rights inherent in man’s common or specific nature, just as his natural desires or needs are. Such rights, being antecedent to society and government, may be recognized and enforced by society or they may be transgressed and violated, …”:

“Moral rights are natural rights, rights inherent in man’s common or specific nature, just as his natural desires or needs are. Such rights, being antecedent to society and government, may be recognized and enforced by society or they may be transgressed and violated, …”

“… but they are inalienable in the sense that, not being the gift of legal enactment, they cannot be taken away or annulled by acts of government.”:

“… but they are inalienable in the sense that, not being the gift of legal enactment, they cannot be taken away or annulled by acts of government.” From: The Time of Our Lives: The Ethics of Common Sense , 1970

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Natural Law is DESCRIPTIVE of “what is” Moral Law is PRESCRIPTIVE of “what ought to be”

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