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

 
 
 

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