Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hobbes the "Rights" Guy, the "Wrongs" Guy

Nothing like a clear breakdown of the stuff.

...the natural law principles and logic that identify abortion for what it is, the deliberate killing of a human person, are irrefutable – even if few will acknowledge them. The only real alternative to valid natural law, as many clearly see, is to deny any reason or order in things so that we be free to establish whatever we want by will alone.

The primary intellectual tool that has facilitated this transformation is, ironically, the notion of “human rights.” The spiritual father to this transformation is Hobbes, who gave us the “right” to whatever we judge is necessary for our individual preservation and well-being. The state became the final power to define and enforce these natural “rights.

Well, yah, that produces a problem:

...Much of the recent natural law literature in Catholic circles is, in fact, devoted to an attempt to reconcile natural law and natural rights. However carefully this reconciliation may have been, it has made hardly any dent on the popular notion that “rights” are what we define them to be in positive law. Thus they bear the same voluntary mutability as positive law itself.

In some countries, including our own, written constitutions were established as positive, fundamental law in an effort to control and limit the vagaries of what human legislators, judges, and politicians can do. Beyond the constitution, stood the natural law, which was the rule of reason that grounded any human law or constitution.

What's a "right" on Tuesday could be "not a right" on Wednesday, you see.  That's how the Mad Hatter would 'splain it; and that's where we are.

1 comment:

Grim said...

As a practical matter, natural law provides you with a right to die; no one can take that from you. Your natural rights are determined by what you and others who will stand by you are prepared to use that right to die to defend.