What is Natural Law Theory in Philosophy?

Have you ever lie to anyone? Are you proud of it? Obviously not. Then do you know why you feel that guilt whenever you are lying? It is because all of us know deep inside what is wrong and what is right. So this sense of right and wrong is morality, and the relationship between morality and law is natural law theory. 

Thus Natural law theory states the relationship between law and human morality. 

So here we’ll see how natural law theory would resolve today’s dilemmas.

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Natural Law Theory Definition

Natural law theory is the theory that recognizes law and morality deeply connected. Morality tells us what is good or bad, right or wrong. 

So natural law theorists believe that:

  • Morality defines human laws and not an authoritative figure like the government. 
  • Humans are guided by our human nature to figure out the laws and act in conformity with those laws.
  • Natural law theory is a kind of universal law as all of us are aware of this law by birth. 
  • Human morality comes from nature.
  • Our main purpose is to live a happy or good life. 
  • Immoral actions prevent us from living a happy or good life.

Example of Natural Law Theory 

You are the owner of the house. Suppose one day your paying guest tried to murder you for some personal reasons. You still do not have the right to kill that person in self-defence. 

It means, no matter what the circumstance is, killing another person is forbidden by natural law. 

Another example: 

Suppose you are on a ship that is about to sink. You have a boat that has food and essentials for only 22 people for 30 days. So will you choose to help only young people or give an equal chance to older people too?

If you are a naturalist then you’ll give an equal chance to older people too even they can’t survive for the next 30 days. It is because natural law theory says,” all people have equal rights to live since they are born.” 

Natural Rights Vs. Human Rights

Natural laws are those laws endowed by birth and protected by the government. 

Human rights are those laws deemed so by society.

So these were some essential points about natural law theory. If you need to know more about the topic, then get instant philosophy assignment help from our experts.