The Natural Law Hypothesis And The Human Beings Are The Measure Of All Things

762 Words Sep 20th, 2015 4 Pages
There are natural laws that exist, and can be seen through the implementation of logic, that govern mankind’s ethical believes and behaviors. Throughout history philosophers have debated what, or who, is the measure of right or wrong? Some individuals believe that there is a divine set of laws passed down to humanity by the Gods. Others such as the famous sophist Protagoras believe that divine laws are nonsense and that, “human beings are the measure of all things.” Throughout my paper I will discuss why Protagoras’s argument contradicts itself and is false, introduce the Natural Law Hypothesis and the many philosophers who support it, and lastly demonstrate why the rules of reason should govern society and mankind.
Protagoras was an active sophist between the years of 490-420 BC, and is often viewed as Plato’s antihero. In ancient Athens sophists were traveling professors who, for a cost, would teach a range of subjects that could be of practical or intellectual benefit. These subjects varied from rhetoric, argument, law, ethics, politics, history, etc. Despite the popularity and success sophists received from educating many students, especially aristocrats and their children, their teaching alarmed many moral and religious conservatives of Athens. Protagoras and other sophists taught that the gods or nature did not determine moral beliefs and legal codes; rather laws and morality are human inventions that vary from society to society.
Furthermore, Protagoras believed in…

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