Archive for September, 2011

 

Declaration of Independence Performed

 
 
 

Thomas Hobbes: From Classical Natural Law to Modern Natural Rights

THOMAS HOBBES:
FROM CLASSICAL NATURAL LAW to MODERN NATURAL RIGHTS
Robert P. Kraynak, Colgate University

For many centuries, natural law was recognized as a type of higher law that spelled out universal truths for the moral ordering of society based on a rational understanding of human nature. As a higher moral law, it gave citizens a standard for determining if the written laws and customs of their nation or any other nation were just or unjust, right or wrong, humane or inhumane. Today, natural law is not discussed very much, at least not explicitly. When mentioned at all, it is usually rejected as dangerous because it undermines existing laws or as intolerant because it is contrary to “multiculturalism,” which requires the non-judgmental acceptance of other cultures.

http://www.nlnrac.org/earlymodern/hobbes

 
 
 

John Locke and the Natural Law Tradition

JOHN LOCKE and the NATURAL LAW and NATURAL RIGHTS TRADITION
Steven Forde, University of North Texas

John Locke is one of the founders of “liberal” political philosophy, the philosophy of individual rights and limited govern­ment. This is the philosophy on which the American Constitution and all Western political systems today are based. In the Second Treatise of Government, Locke’s most important political work, he uses natural law to ground his philosophy. But there are many different interpretations of the natural law, from the Ciceronian to the Thomistic to the Grotian. What is Locke’s interpretation? What version of natural law supports liberal politics?

http://www.nlnrac.org/earlymodern/locke

 
 
 

One Term Presidents

“I’D rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president,” President Obama confessed to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer last year. Other than the “really good” part, Republicans would be happy to see this wish fulfilled.

With waning approval ratings and a stagnant economy, the possibility that Mr. Obama will not be re-elected has entered the political bloodstream. Suddenly, the opposition party envisions a scenario in which its presidential candidate could defeat Mr. Obama in a referendum on his job performance. Mr. Obama needs to think hard about his own statement and consider what it takes to be a successful one-term president, in the light of history.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/opinion/sunday/if-obama-is-a-one-term-president.html?_r=2&ref=todayspaper

 
 
 

When Worlds Collide Video

From PBS — a website, including a video documentary — explaining the Columbian Exchange.

 

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/when-worlds-collide/video/

 
 
 

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