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What are my fellow scholars and /his/torians...
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What are my fellow scholars and /his/torians opinions on "Natural Law?"

Is it (Natural Law Theory) a sound bases for creating laws for humanity, or is there something better?

How does it compare to other forms of law? (Examples are Positive Law or Common Law)
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>>540841
It still exists in modern jurisprudence, in issues such as family law and even international law.
If you're looking for a good jusnaturalist legal thinker check John Finnis. Most jusnaturlist scholars today come from a religious angle, particularly catholicism, but exceptions do exist (Martha Nussbaum for example).
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>>540841
>Law: existing condition which is binding and immutable
I think you need to take a look at case law
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No. It's not. In fact, the idea of trying to codify natural law in politics is horrifying. "Natural Law" (in Orthodox Christianity) is the law written on your heart, your conscience (Romans 2:15), and is specifically defined in *contrast* to written law. The moment you externalize it and hold it over people, it ceases to be natural law, and becomes written law.

You can certainly write down natural law, but it can never, ever be a state law, except incidentally.
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>>540902
So would you say that "Natural Law" is unethical?
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>>540841
according to this definition humans are not natural.

Also you have not defined what natural means. You have only said it's "not human"
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>>540902
What you're arguing for is basically the Augistinian concept, as it was perceived in traditional canon. However we know today Augustine was not entirely opposed to naturalism (particularly in his just war doctrine), and that furthermore it was always opposed to other church doctrines such as Thomism (which gave birth to modern contractual theory via the mediation of Suarez et al).
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>>540951
This was just a picture that I found about Natural Law. I am also kind of hoping that some anons drop some good books to read about Natural Law as well.
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>>540974
Natural Right and History - Leo Strauss
It kinda bypasses the Christians but it's still a very good book and considered a classic.
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>>540917
No, I'd say that natural law as something the state makes pronouncements on or claims to derive its laws from, is unethical.

>>540966
What I'm arguing for is the Orthodox concept, Augustine didn't invent it, it was always there in the Church
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>>541019
I thought Byzantium tended to merge positive and natural law? That it was a theocracy of sorts
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>>540841
Natural law is the only chance for law to mean something.

If the law doesn't emerge from the inherent rights of men (assuming they exist), then it is necessarily arbitrary, and forcefully imposed.

Once force has been accepted as a valid source of law, force becomes a valid end of law, and everything, from civil disobedience, to crime, to violent revolution, ultimately stands with the same moral status as the law itself.
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>>540841
It is bullshit.
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>>540974
Well the word is going to have multiple definitions Without contextualizing your question it's fucked retarded.
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>>540841
See Michael Cronin's Science of Ethics Vol 1 and 2. It's pretty big though, but it's pretty complete
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>>541019
>It is unethical to have a solid, objective basis on which to make our law
This right here is what happens when you let Fr. Vladimir teach you Soviet sponsored ethics, kids
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>>541034
Byzantium was never a theocracy, the clergy had no say in government, and the emperor had no say in the Councils (except for the ability to call them).
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>>544337
Forgiveness is natural law. If you want state law based on it, you'd be unable to punish anyone.
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>>544359
Says who?
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>>544347
>Byzantium was never a theocracy
seriously?
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>>544382
Seriously. The Papal states were a theocracy. Israel before the kings was a theocracy. Pagan Rome was a theocracy because the emperor and the high priest were the same person.

Byzantium was not a theocracy.

>>544375
Says God, without which you will have a hard time proving any natural law.
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>>544395
>Byzantium was not a theocracy.
Byzantium enforced religious policy on his subordinates, that sounds like a theocracy
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>>544395
>Says God, without which you will have a hard time proving any natural law.
you can prove some tenets, but it would remain incomplete without God. Either way that doesnt make it unsuitable for political matters
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>>544382
What he is says is technically true. A theocracy is rule by the priests who had no real power in the Byzantium empire. This doesn't mean the religion had no power.

There's a subtle difference between rule by religion and rule by priests. One is a theocracy the other is a cultural institution having power.
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>>544505
considering the degree of influence the emperor had in enforcing church matters, i believe the "distinction" is null
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I'm happy this thread is progressing well

>>544318
Thanks for the book reference.
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>>544950
youre welcome, you can find it for free on archive.org, along with some other neo scholastic manuals
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>>544415
The Emperor enforced different laws against different *heresies*, often willfully *against* the Church (see iconoclasm). To say that is a theocracy would be like calling ancient Athens a theocracy.
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>>544997
well it is a theocracy, m8
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>>540841

I strongly agree with the concept of 'human rights' and 'civil rights'.

I think framing them in terms of 'natural laws' is deeply unhelpful, as if these things didn;t come about through centuries of struggle and discussion and debate and were just zapped down by a god or are inherent from the Universe.
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>>547275
sure the formulation on what these rights are did come about by discussion and debate, but that doesnt exclude them being inherently valuable. In fact, them being inherently valuable gives them the objective basis they need in order to be called rights
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>>547400

I agree they are 'inherently valuable' as concepts in themselves. I think calling them 'natural' actually devalues them and allows strawman arguments to be made against them.
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>>547478
maybe, but that is a consequence of the term having lost its meaning because of a distorted view on what "natural" means, there is nothing wrong with the term in itself
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>>547594

You're are sort of leaving me floundering in the dark because I don't know what you mean by the 'original' meaning of natural and the current meaning.

However, guessing on what you are aiming at, if you mean they are supernatural and from a deity then you are devaluing them in a time period when human's in the developed world are losing belief in deities.

It is far better to defend them based on actual defensible arguments.
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The only natural law should be:

Not take away someone's life

Food

Water

Shelter


prove me wrong
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>>547612
what i mean is how people think arguments against natural law theory on grounds like

>are glasses immoral because they arent natural?
>everyone does X, therefore it is natural to do X
>homosexuality isnt unnatural! look at the animal kingdom, it is full of homosexuality
are actually good objections against Natural law Theory, when they arent actually getting what the NLT means with the word "natural" (pertaining to our essence as rational animals)
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>>547679

Ahh yes I get what you are saying now, but sadly those are the kind of arguments that I worry calling them Natural Laws is opening them up to. I'm not saying those counter arguments are good, I am saying they are bad.

You could call it a semantic or practical claim but I just don't find the use of calling them 'Natural Laws' helpful in the modern context.
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>>547704
Sure, it is not helpful to call them Natural Laws, but it is how the tradition has always been presented. I dont think one should abandon tradition on the grounds that it doesnt "fit" in a modern context.
But again I understand what youre saying and you are justified in holding that the term isnt helpful in a modern context.
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>>547738
>Sure, it is not helpful to call them Natural Laws, but it is how the tradition has always been presented

I'm not sure that is true. It was more of a short term ideological English and American trend at the time of the American Revolution.

Civil Rights in the USA and Human Rights in the rest of the world has been the more commonly used term since decades before either of us were born.
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>>547803
Civil Rights and Human Rights are based on an understanding of natural laws.

Of course the "natural laws" from which the USA and company drafted their civil rights from deviate from the mainstream tradition of Natural Law Theory properly understood
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bump because this is getting interesting
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>>540841

Natural law properly describes the boundaries of law. Since law is a human activity, and what is impermissible according to Natural Law is what is, properly speaking, contrary to human nature. Natural law, moreover, establishes the basic aims of the state- the inculcation of virtue, particularly with respect to the life lived in common- i.e., the common good. The role of positive law qua positive law is to make practical determinations within the bounds of natural law necessary to achieve the aims of natural law.

Outside natural law, one can have the appearance of true positive law, but not its substance. Legal schemes which do not explicitly have natural law as their basis may still be justified according to natural law, but not taking notice of it unjust laws (which are not truly law) will tend to be more prevalent.
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>>547891
>Of course the "natural laws" from which the USA and company drafted their civil rights from deviate from the mainstream tradition of Natural Law Theory properly understood

I would very much like it if you could explain to me about what you mean and understand by Natural Law Theory and indicate some sources.
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>>540841
>What are my fellow scholars and /his/torians opinions on "Natural Law?"

It hinges on the belief of "final causality", which is largely rejected by naturalists but is still a big debate going around. The argument for Natural Law largely hinges on this notion.
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>>548525

Does it?

My crude understanding is that it is based on what is self evident from the very nature of men as beings.
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>>548530
>self-evident from the very nature of men as beings

The discussion of it ends up resting on a claim of natural purposes. We may note the details of a man but without saying what something is "for" or simply that ends it naturally adheres to beyond itself (final causality) we have no way to say what it means to use or misuse the parts of the nature of men.
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>>548550

But at the end of the day these rights are based on what is self evident rather than epistemological or metaphysical claims.
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>>548579
Not at all. Metaphysical truth can indeed be self-evident but the basis itself isn't on what is self-evident. What you assert is at best the Appeal to Common Sense Fallacy. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
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>>548437
Natural Law Theory is a philosophy that, since we share a common human nature and we can recognize the goods that our common human nature entails, we have a inherent right to attain those goods and, given we can recognize these goods, it is against reason to act contrary to them.
Of course NLT isn't a complete account of ethics, it still needs a notion of virtuous behavior and the like. What NLT says is that there certain things cant possibly be good, given our human nature

Some sources are the various Neo Scholastic Manuals such as >>544318 and some contemporary philosophers like Ed Feser, David Oderberg (Classical Natural Law) and German Grisez and John Finnis (New Natural Law)
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>>548599

Well, what I mean by self-evident is to say you should find it self-evident, that if you are accused of being a paedo, like so many Catholics are, then you should have the right to a fair trial before the state punishes you for it.

This may be a fairly crude (and mean) example, but it should self-evident to you that you do not want that to happen to your good-self (i.e. locked up without trial based on accusation), therefore it is reasonable to develop a society where one has the right to a fair trial.

I come at this from the angle of being a historian and a keen student of current affairs and politics and I don't claim to be brilliant at philosophy or theology.

Could you explain what is wrong with this concept to me without accusing me of making a logical fallacy that you don't wish to expand upon or get into the meaning of meaning about?

It would appear to me to be self evident based on the Golden Rule.
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>>548668
While common sense intuitions often "point" to what is morally right or wrong, these intuitions are often in an inchoate form.

I would say the trial example isnt accurate, since trials exist for the sake of justice, and justice depends on having a notion of "rights"

Well the Golden Rule presupposes that you want to be treated ethically, so it cant be used to justify ethical behavior in the first place.
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>>548599
When are you and Constantine going to have a smack down?
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>>548668

My bad, I apologize, but I did not mean ill will with what I said prior to this.


>Well, what I mean by self-evident is to say you should find it self-evident, that if you are accused of being a paedo, like so many Catholics are, then you should have the right to a fair trial before the state punishes you for it.
>This may be a fairly crude (and mean) example, but it should self-evident to you that you do not want that to happen to your good-self (i.e. locked up without trial based on accusation), therefore it is reasonable to develop a society where one has the right to a fair trial.


Then you have a law based on not "self-evident truths" but rather what can be agreed upon by the collective. The problem here is establishing something objective from everyone's subjective beliefs rather than examining the very nature of men as beings - which Natural Law Theory does.

At no point can your view say a view if objective as the closest it can get to being objective is to get everyone to be okay with it. That says nothing about about socialization and the like. All you have are claims based on subjective views of justice and how the world works. It may be a natural given response but that's not the "natural" people talk about when talking about Natural Law. To sum it up crudely, what is "natural" in Natural Law does not deal with what has the capacity to appear in nature but the fulfilling of things natural purposes.


>>548705
I am trying to not frequent this board or 4chan as a whole for a while to work on things. I, of course, hope the best but I need to do other things. I don't have the time to get into talk with other tripfags. Lord knows my talks with OuterLimits and Praceteom took forever.

I don't know this guy Constantine. Why the call for a smackdown?
Can it be a cage match?
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>>548722
>I don't know this guy Constantine. Why the call for a smackdown?
He's an Orthoduck that claims Catholics are crypto-Gnostics and are heretics while barely understanding a bit of Latin theology. Also he thinks Nietzsche was secretly an Orthodox monk
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>>548736
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>>548698

And I would say that unless you are an egotist and powerful and rich and think you are above the rest of humanity then it should be self-evident to you that every human life has equal value. I would also say you have no empathy.

I would say that unless you downtrodden and content to stay that way and think you are a slave and think your own life and happiness is of no value then it should be self-evident to you that every human life has equal value.

I do not mean that in a Marxist way, where every human life has to have equality of outcome, this is not self-evident to me, I mean that in a way where every human life is deserving of opportunity and equality before the law and the pursuit of happiness.

If I am making a logical fallacy that appeals to common sense then sue me in court. If my metaphysics on this are invalid then I appeal to common sense and decency and empathy and I don't care if that is a problem based on epistemology.

It is self-evident to you and it is self-evident to me and it is self-evident to all people that hunger for freedom that all men (and women) have certain inalienable rights and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Fuck you all.

Heil Jefferson.
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>>548736
>He's an Orthoduck that claims Catholics are crypto-Gnostics

In the Gnostic Jung there's a bit describing various Catholic priests reaction to hearing Gnostic theology and poetry. All of them decry it as dangerous maddness except the Jesuit priest who seems to have an unusual amount of reverence for Lord Abraxas.

So not all Catholics are Gnostics, just the ones running the church.
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>>548525
Do you have any books to recommend for the topic? With potential books against it/better system?
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>>548784
>And I would say that unless you are an egotist and powerful and rich and think you are above the rest of humanity then it should be self-evident to you that every human life has equal value. I would also say you have no empathy.


We can see very different ethical systems outside the West's influence and within the west's history so to say that your ethical view is held by everyone but the mean people seems fairly baseless, and I would generally agree with you despite this. People may value lives over others based their usefulness to some other end, may say that certain breaches of morality lower overall value of the person, etc. Such views are tremendously common, actually, but this does not sit with what you're saying.

All this ends up defending itself with is "people think it should be this way" but that's a circular argument and one that doesn't hold with all groups of people. You then defend this by saying "if these variables are controlled they it is indeed what people think should be" which has not shown itself to be true nor is it based on anything mind-independent and so can't be considered objective of nature.

>>548837
Natural Law? Best recommendations are here >>548610

Final Causality? I actually highly one particular book called "From Aristotle to Darwin and Back Again" by Etienne Gilson.
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>>548853
Thank you very much. I really should have come here and tried posting this thread than a few weeks ago as I posted it on /pol/.
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bump for interest
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