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Natural Law

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Natural law is a legal theory that posits that right and wrong is subject to universal principals. There are some theories that may oppose natural law such as relativism. Relativism believes morality is culture specific. The legal systems of many western countries have natural law at their foundations. The United States based its Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Right on the "rights of the people."

Natural and unalienable rights are both natural law concepts. Every human being is believed to have certain rights. The writers of the American Bill of Rights realized that rights could not be wholly and entirely realized. The ninth and fourteenth amendments to the United States of America’s Constitution are believed to protect those rights that are not explicitly named. The natural rights guaranteed by the 9th and 14th amendments have been used to argue everything from gun rights to gay rights.

Notable philosophers of natural law include: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, John Hobbes, and Thomas Locke.

Natural law is not limited to human rights per se, but is concerned with the natural justice of right and wrong. Natural law can be argued for any ethical dilemma. If an ethical breach can be reasoned then it should have full force of the law.

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