Natural rights essay

Emerson’s overwhelming faith in the individual is completely opposite to his views on nations: “Every actual state is corrupt.” Political parties are “made out of necessity” of the time period and not out of any underlying theory. Emerson is very critical of both major parties in his essay. [5] “From neither party, when in power, has the world any benefit to expect in science, art or humanity, at all commensurate with the resources of the nation.” Neither party is satisfactory for Emerson, and his essay he hints at the natural inequality this system adheres to, and its effects. Party politics are not the only organization Emerson has his eye on in his essay, however. Emerson also distrusts the pulpit and the press because they are conventional roles that require organizational persuasion. [4]

One can imagine a dramatically different social order in which the rights of all people to secure persons and property are treated as inviolably sacred. Other people’s rights are never thought of as a cost of doing business; rather, they are an absolute bar on violating conduct. In such a society, even relatively small risks of harm may be considered impermissible; accordingly, activities that create such risks are legally barred by preventive regulation. In a society that bends over backwards to ensure that rights violations occur as seldom as possible, there is very little room left for freedom.

“Ius Naturale” is the law applicable to men in a state of nature. It precedes religions and kings both in time and in authority. “Ius Naturale” does not derive directly from the will of God. As Hugo Grotius pointed out in the early seventeenth century, even if there was no God, or if God was unreasonable or evil, natural law would still have moral force, and men would still spontaneously back it with physical force. God could not create men as they are, and at the same time make natural law other than what it is. A God that claimed to do that would be a mere tyrant, unworthy of worship.

Natural rights essay

natural rights essay


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