NATURAL LAW

 

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Natural Law is not the law of the jungle as some people mistakenly believe.  The following quote on natural law was made by John Locke.  John Locke's political theories had a strong effect on colonial America.  The Declaration of Independence embodies these principles.

 

"The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.  The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of Nature for his rule."  John Locke

 

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The following quote on natural law was made by Sir William Blackstone (1723 - 1780).  Blackstone was an English judge, author, and professor who won recognition for his Commentaries on the Laws of England.  This book presented a comprehensive picture of the English law of his time and became the most influential book in the history of English law.  It was the basis of legal education in England and America for years.  It had great influence in the American colonies, where it provided the colonists with their chief source of information about English law.

                

"Good and wise men, in all ages...have supposed, that the deity, from the relations, we stand in, to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is, indispensably, obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever.

 

"This is what is called the law of nature, which, being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is, of course superior in obligation to any other.  It is binding over all the globe, in all countries at all times.  No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid, derive all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original." 

 

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The following quotes were made by Alexander Hamilton, one of the framers of the Constitution and one of the authors of the Federalist Papers.

 

"Upon this law, depend the natural rights of mankind, the supreme being gave existence to man, together with the means of preserving and beautifying that existence.  He endowed him with rational faculties, by the help of which, to discern and pursue such things, as were consistent with his duty and interest, and invested him with an inviolable right to personal liberty and personal safety.

 

"Hence, in a state of nature, no man has any moral power to deprive another of his life, limbs, property, or liberty; nor the least authority to command, or exact obedience from him....

 

"Hence also, the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent?  To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man the right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation to obedience."

             

"When human laws contradict or discountenance the means, which are necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society, they defeat the proper end of all laws, and so become null and void."

 

[It should be noted that Alexander Hamilton later betrayed his own words and American citizens when he became a civil servant.]

 

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CLICK HERE to read Thomas Jefferson's quote about natural rights in relation to our bodies, food and medicines.

 

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