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Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract

A suite of essays on natural law, natural rights, and the social contract, with special emphasis on the worldwide origins of the ideas, and their development in the West, particularly in the United States.

Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
04/25/17
Modified:
04/25/17
Words:
24

three centuries ago, Bentham and Mill invented the idea of 'utilitarianism:' the maximization of happiness. The results of their ideas persist throughout modern culture on more ways than most know. This article will explore the idea of 'legalitarianism:" the maximization of natural rights. According to Locke, the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness enable people to act for the greater good, which a benign government implements to cause a better society for all. This article will explore how a maximization of natural rights therefore results in the best society for all.

More: On Legalitarianism: the Maximization of Natural Rights
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
04/16/17
Modified:
05/12/17
Words:
6142

Because Franklin decided to call Jefferson's idea of natural rights 'self evident,' many people believe they understand them perfectly. However, Jefferson based his conclusions about natural rights on empirical theory, not intuition. This topic describes how Jefferson's implementation of positive law provides definitive and immutable answers to basic issues on the extent of Federal and State authority, including solutions to many problematic conflicts that have since been politicized in the USA. The article draws the conclusion that mandatory education in positive law would reverse recent declines in peace and power

The statement of natural rights in the final draft for the Declaration of Independence
More: Applying the Positive Law in Jeffersonian Natural Rights
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
04/05/17
Modified:
04/05/17
Words:
2668

To answer questions of politics properly, one must understand the theories which produced the questions. Otherwise it is no more than blind stabs into an unknown dark. Most people alive today think that requires no more than some relatively trivial Google searches on political science. But POLITICAL SCIENCE, ultimately, can only describe that which IS or IS NOT, because it is a science rather than art. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY takes a step beyond, to describe that which MIGHT BE.

Plato's cave: an artistic conception
More: Politics as Science without Philosophy
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
03/10/17
Modified:
03/13/17
Words:
4357

This article is not an endorsement of 'either side.' It simply summarizes how radical Islamic terrorism picks up on Augustinian ideas of divine law's precedence over human law (as restated in the Qu'ran), with results exactly the same as from Augustinian doctrine in early Christian history. Then after summarizing how the division between church and state came about in the West, it discusses what's best to do about it. By way of preface, there is a very good explanation why you never heard this before, and it is not because the facts are unsound. A truly neutral analysis is beset not merely by criticism, but rather outright condemnation, from all sides. Immediately after sharing this on Facebook, I was banned from three groups, without even an attempt to open the link. Most others said I was wrong for reasons countermanded in the next paragraph. Also I am obligated to state first, I am an American citizen, a Satipatṭhāna Buddhist, a retired Oxford scholar, and have no affiliations with any religious or political organization.

ISIS reduced this amphitheater in Palmyra (Syria) to total rubble, for the same reason early Christians destroyed most Roman texts
More: Early Christian Doctrine Causes Radical Islamic Terrorism
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
08/07/16
Modified:
03/21/17
Words:
10280

Considering the significance of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" to all Americans, the social contract from which they are derived is the most important yet least understood topic in the United States. This article explains why Jefferson chose the particular words that he did for the Declaration of Independence:

Natural Rights and Constitutional Law in the USA's Social Contract
More: The Social Contract in the United States
Category:
Natural Law, Rights, and the Social Contract
Created:
08/11/16
Modified:
08/11/16
Words:
15540

Tracing the three threads of development in ideas of natural law worldwide. In the West, it starts with the Stoic secularism of Cicero. Augustine's theocracy replaces it, spreading to the Middle East and back, via Averroes to Aquinas. Neoplatonism disappears, perhaps merging into the Christian church as divine awe for paternally guided afterlife. But no ideas of afterlife merge into the East or Far East. Instead Buddhist ideas spread Eastwards and transform, with their ultimate realization by Tsongkhapa; but in the Far East, later Han Lo eschews Buddhism, and Taoist ideas merge into Neoconfucianism.

Divergence of Divine and Natural Law

More: Divergence of Divine and Natural Law