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Definition of natural law
Definition of natural law
Definition of natural law
Definition of natural law
Definition of natural law
Definition of natural law
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Definition of natural law

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  • 1. DEFINITION OF NATURAL LAW:The term natural law is used to mean a body of ethical imperatives supposedlyinherent in human beings and discovered by human reason. It therefore differs fromstatute law, from supernaturally revealed law, and even from so-called "laws ofnature."The word "natural" is, of course, highly ambiguous. Even "natural law" has beendefined in various ways; it now means different things to different people. Some findthe notion lacking in precise content. Others say natural law changes with an evolvingsociety. Others distinguish between "good and bad natural laws." Natural laws are Cosmic laws that are not made by humans. These laws may not be specifically taught to us but are felt by all at a subconscious level, as if genetically programmed in our psyche. For instance, whether or not specified by law, we are all aware that murder is not fair! These laws apply to all human beings at all times, irrespective of Nature imparted differences like gender and race or man-made categorizations like religion, region, culture, caste, creed, language, etc. Natural laws are, as such, moral codes which we collectively know as the conscience. Anything which does not conform to these codes comes across as immoral or unfair and all human beings, possessing average intelligence and emotional quotients, when faced with the commission of such unfair acts suffer from what we call a guilty conscience, whether or not we admit it. In ancient times, the validity and righteousness of the positive laws of some of the most glorious civilizations, such as the Greeks, were tested by pitching them against and comparing them with the natural laws. While drafting the laws of any nation, effort was always made to conform the positive laws as close to the natural laws as possible. The nineteen natural laws are given below: 1. ....every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war. 2. ...a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth, as for peace, and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself. 3. ...men perform their covenants made. 4. ...a man which receiveth benefit from another of mere grace, endeavor that he which giveth it, have no reasonable cause to repent him of his good will. 5. ...every man strive to accommodate himself to the rest. 6. ...upon caution of the future time, a man ought to pardon the offences past of them that repenting, desire it. 7. ...in revenges, men look not at the greatness of the evil past, but the greatness of the good to follow. 8. ...no man by deed, word, countenance, or gesture, declare hatred or contempt of another.
  • 2. 9. ...every man acknowledge another for his equal by nature. 10. ...at the entrance into the conditions of peace, no man require to reserve to himself any right, which he is not content should be reserved to every one of the rest. 11. ...if a man be trusted to judge between man and man, that he deal equally between them. 12. ...such things as cannot be divided, be enjoyed in common, if it can be; and if the quantity of the thing permit, without stint; otherwise proportionably to the number of them that have right. 13. ...the entire right, or else...the first possession... of any object which ...can neither be divided nor enjoyed in common... may be decided upon by a method of lottery. 14. ...those things which cannot be enjoyed in common, nor divided, ought to be adjudged to the first possessor; and in some cases to the first born, as acquired by lot. 15. ...all men that mediate peace be allowed safe conduct. 16. ...they that are at controversie, submit their Right to the judgment of an Arbitrator. 17. ...no man is a fit Arbitrator in his own cause. 18. It is immoral/ incorrect for any person to take upon the responsibility of a judge in any case in which greater profit, or honor, or pleasure apparently ariseth [for him] out of the victory of one party, than of the other. 19. In case of a dispute regarding the facts of the case, it is the duty of the judge to give equal weight to the testimony of both parties. In the absence of adequate evidence, such a judge should pass verdict on the case based upon the testimony of other witnesses.NATURAL SCIENCE OF ETHICS: The natural science of ethics is based on the natural origins of human values. A natural scienceof values or moral science is the science of moral development i.e. development of moralconsciousness or conscience. The human conscience is the natural source of moral knowledgeor morality’. The principles for morality and ethical values which are prescribed by religions canbe found within the biology of human nature. Unlike fixed philosophical systems, natural ethicsare flexible."Scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that the timehas come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of thephilosophers and bioligicized." (Wilson, E. Sociobiology: The New Synthesis BelknapPress of Harvard University Press, l975, 562)The human species is a social species and the human organism is asocial organism:Understanding is possible between individuals who are morally free, living in love andunderstanding of the will of the other - also morally free. Freedom in this sense means obedienceto ones own conscience (fully developed and therefore fully human) Individuals who are notfree in this sense submit themselves to control. The sources of norms for ethical conduct are tobe found in human nature. Violation of natural moral norms results in mental and emotional
  • 3. disintegration. The character structure of the mature and integrated personality - the productivecharacter - constitutes the source and the basis of virtue. Vice is the indifference to ones ownself and self-mutilation. Self-love and the affirmation of ones true self are the supreme valuesof humanistic ethics. For the human organism to have confidence in values, he must knowhimself and the capacity of his nature for goodness and productiveness. The science of ethics isthe systematic investigation into the real nature of the individual human organism as a memberof the human species.. The science of ethics refers to the study of intrinsic and instinctivenatural valuing process as a part of normal human development... a science of values...moralscience...The search for guiding values for ethical living is the subject of the natural science of ethics. Development of morality is naturally revealed with the unfolding of human potential in anormal process of psychological and moral development. Moral development is a function ofdevelopment of the biologically intrinsic moral consciousness or conscience’. The conscience isthe inner voice of a persons sense of responsibility, strength, courage and needs... the guidingvalues of free will... the personal decision making process which is based on the organismsinherent tendency for growth toward spiritual independence of maturity or self-actualization.Self-actualization can be characterized in terms of ethical values for communal living... valuesfor effective socialization or social values. Social values of ethical behavior originate in anatural valuing system which is intrinsic to the organism. Ethical values are operative values. Natural ethics is based on the natural valuing process of the human organism ... based on thenatural laws of human nature and human existence. For proper growth and development,instinctive needs must be understood and respected. The natural valuing process and thebiological basis of morality. Universal human ethics or humanistic ethics, intrinsic consciencethe natural valuing process is a part of normal human development. From a holistic perspective,an individuals values system is the product of the totality of the individuals thought processeswithin the context the individuals experiences in the changing social environment... Theprinciples for morality and ethical values which are prescribed by religions and philosophies canbe found within the biology of human nature. The natural system of ethics - natural ethics - isflexible, unlike philosophical systems which are fixed. As operative values human ethical values result from the intrinsic valuing process of thehuman organism... also known as the “naturalistic” or “organism value system” which is sharedby all members of the human species. The human species is a social species which depends forsocialization and survival on the social values or virtues. The virtues are natural ethical valueswhich are essential for creative and adaptive socialization. The human organism is a moral orethical being. The system of natural ethics evolved by a process of natural selection during thecourse of human evolution.A natural science of ethics is the systematic investigation into the biological basis of morality inthe evolution of social values i.e. morals or ethics. Ethics is a function of the real nature of thehuman organism as a member of a social species.
  • 4. Ethical behavior is rooted in the morals of the rational human conscience. Development of theconscience is a function of human psychological, emotional, intellectual and moral development.The biologically based constitutional ethical impulses which are revealed in normal developmentand which enable the individual to adjust to the realities of the social environment are naturalethics.Natural ethics is a function of moral consciousness or rationalconscience’:It is the human conscience which constitutes the biological basis of morality and ethics. Theconscience is the natural source of ethical principles for guidance in the solution of humanproblems. The human organism depends on the conscience in its efforts to adapt to the realitiesof a changing social environment. The conscience is a biological mechanism which enables theindividual to make accurate evaluations of social conditions while at the same time preservingthe integrity of the personality. As the source of natural values and ethical behaviour, theconscience is the unconscious perception of human nature and human needs. Analysis of theconscience as a natural system of ethics is based on the understanding of human motives forbehavior i.e. human needs. Human needs include the most urgent lower needs - physiologicaland psychological needs - and the less urgent higher needs - the spiritual needs of the value-lifei.e. met needs.Spiritual needs or met needs:The met needs are the biologically based constitutional ethical impulses revealed duringharmonious human development...... the spiritual needs of the value-life. They are the guiding moral or ethical values of humanness - the divine values of the moralbeing. also known as Being-values or B-Values - Being needs (B-needs) the needs for truth,beauty, goodness, justice, transcendence, wholeness, perfection, truth, love as humanfellowship, justice, aliveness, richness, simplicity, uniqueness, self-sufficiency etc. They must besatisfied for a person to become mature, to express the potentialities of human nature, to becomefully human. Individuals who have had their lower needs gratified during normal growth areless dependent on others for the gratification of the higher needs for spiritual growth, creationand production. The individual who is motivated by the Being needs for growth, is growthmotivated. The growth motivated individual relies on their inner resources and is independent ofothers for the gratification of growth needs.Motivation by the met needs for ethical living is met motivation’. A full definition of humannature includes met motivation by the met needs because it is biologically based and instinctive.Human needs for ethical living must be met for effective socialization, adaptation and survival...survival value of virtue. Human needs have evolved on the basis of their survival value to theorganism in a changing social environment. They determine the individuals full functioning as asocially intelligent being. Social intelligence and adaptation depend on proper growth anddevelopment. Individuals whose needs are met can be described by those human attributes, the
  • 5. ethical values, which have survival value for the human organism as a social organism. Theyenable the individual to adjust to the realities of a social environment -self-respect, self-directedness, self-discipline, sense of purpose, sense of worthiness and so on. Ethical values forcommunal living are characteristic of maturity and self-actualization. With complete growth,individuals become self-actualized. Self-actualizing individuals are autonomous... self-sufficient.The self-actualizing individual:Self-actualizing individuals are self-transcending living in the realm of ethical values. Obeyingtheir own conscience, they experience true freedom. They are detached and private and resistenculturation. They are spontaneous and enjoy life in all its aspects, reacting with freshappreciation and richness. They make decisions in their own true interest while leading ethicallives. They are problem-centered, making personal decisions on the basis of B-needs, thusmaking choices which are in the true interest of society. They are responsible to themselves andto others as well. They have democratic character structure and identify with the human species.They accept their own nature and maintain their personal integrity while adapting to socialchanges. They have a non-judgmental, non-interfering attitude towards others perceiving them asunique individuals with their own intrinsic qualities. Their comprehensive understanding of otherpeople makes for meaningful interpersonal relations and successful adaptation to social changes.They enjoy the pleasure of insight and experience high frequencies of so called peak-experiences. They have a capacity to perceive reality holistically... objective holisticperception. Holistic perception leads to holistic reasoning - transcending opposites, dichotomies,polarities, contradictions and incompatibilities perceiving these as interpenetrating facets of awhole. They are creative and productive and define their full individuality in their work.Psychological wholeness and personality integration achieved through proper development of theintrinsic human conscience is the basis of social intelligence. Failure to satisfy human needsleads to undeveloped conscience and pathologies of diminished humanness. A culture whichrecognizes and respects the human needs for socialization and provides the necessary conditionsfor fostering proper human growth and development is a healthy culture. As a result ofculturally fostered human development, the individual becomes self-actualized - livingaccording to the higher ethical values of a rational conscience. Ethical individuals can livetogether in peace and justice because they naturally do what is right and necessary for communalliving.Implications for education: Education for ethics is education for moral knowledge of a rational conscience. Intrinsicconscience must be properly developed for ethical living. Development of the conscience is apart of normal human development growth with total freedom and love. The process ofeducation for proper human development involves the fostering of an individuals instinctiveresponsibility to himself and his own needs. It therefore depends on the creation of anenvironment which fosters self-discipline, self-actualization and the full development ofhumanness, the natural ethical core of every human being. A healthy social and culturalenvironment which recognizes and respects the individuals human needs can provide the
  • 6. necessary conditions for fostering proper human growth and development. the individualbecomes self-actualized as the result of a culturally fostered human development... livingaccording to the higher Being values which comprise his natural system of ethics. The self-actualized individual lives in accordance with natural biological laws and the evolutionaryprocess.REFERENCES:http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9501/articles/henry.htmlhttp://www.holisticeducator.com/naturalethics.htmhttp://www.buzzle.com/articles/natural-law-theory.htmlhttp://spemc.org/resources/presentation_020509.pdfhttp://josephevers.blogspot.com/

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