Natural Law Vs. Morality Essay

2113 Words Nov 21st, 2016 9 Pages
Introduction

“Rights are difficult to define because of their foundation in natural law, which is a notoriously ambiguous concept.”

The concept of rights from the perspective of natural law theorists, which denotes that the foundation of rights is derived by the virtue of moral principles and human beings reason, is a notoriously ambiguous concept. In other words, human beings, by way of practical reasoning, possess certain moral rights. Therefore, natural law theorists argue that law and morality are co-extensive. In other words, for a law to be a just law, it must have a moral basis and purpose to protect certain moral rights.1 Thus, laws that are not founded on morality are unjust law.2 Accordingly, the natural law theory denotes that natural rights are objectively, directly, derived from the nature of human beings and the universe. This theory in its modern dress is conceptualized by John Finnis (“Finnis”) in his book “Natural Law and Natural Rights”.3 However, legal positivist theorists such as H.L.A. Hart, argue that there is no necessary connection between law and morality. Thus, provided that a law is created with the right procedure, it’s just law. Therefore, the law is the law and irrespective of whether or not its contents is moral, we must obey it. Hence, Hart argues that rights are not conferred on individuals, they are not a benefit or an interest, but a choice, so individuals have the freedom to choose when they have a right.
This essay will argue that…

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