Calling these guarantees "rights" suggests that they attach to particular individuals who can invoke them, that they are of high priority, and that compliance with them is mandatory rather than discretionary. Human rights are frequently held to be universal in the sense that all people have and should enjoy them, and to be independent in the sense that they exist and are available as standards of justification and criticism whether or not they are recognized and implemented by the legal system or officials of a country. Human rights aim to identify both the necessary negative and positive prerequisites for leading a minimally good life, such as rights against torture and rights to health care.
History[ edit ] The idea that certain rights are natural or inalienable also has a history dating back at least to the Stoics of late Antiquity and Catholic law of the early Middle Agesand descending through the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment to today.
For example, Immanuel Kant claimed to derive natural rights through reason alone. The United States Declaration of Independence, meanwhile, is based upon the " self-evident " truth that "all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".
Hart argued that if there are any rights at all, there must be the right to liberty, for all the others would depend upon this. The Zoroastrian religion taught Iranians that citizens have an inalienable right to enlightened leadership and that the duty of subjects is not simply to obey wise kings but also to rise up against those who are wicked.
Leaders are seen as representative of God on earth, but they deserve allegiance only as long as they have farr, a kind of divine blessing that they must earn by moral behavior. The Stoics held that no one was a slave by nature; slavery was an external condition juxtaposed to the internal freedom of the soul sui juris.
Seneca the Younger wrote: As the historian A. We think that this cannot be better exemplified than with regard to the theory of the equality of human nature. McIlwain likewise observes that "the idea of the equality of men is the profoundest contribution of the Stoics to political thought" and that "its greatest influence is in the changed conception of law that in part resulted from it.
Furthermore, every man is responsible for his own faith, and he must see it for himself that he believes rightly. As little as another can go to hell or heaven for me, so little can he believe or disbelieve for me; and as little as he can open or shut heaven or hell for me, so little can he drive me to faith or unbelief.
Preservation of the natural rights to life, liberty, and property was claimed as justification for the rebellion of the American colonies. As George Mason stated in his draft for the Virginia Declaration of Rights"all men are born equally free," and hold "certain inherent natural rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity.
The distinction between alienable and unalienable rights was introduced by Francis Hutcheson. Unalienable Rights are essential Limitations in all Governments. One could not in fact give up the capacity for private judgment e.
The right of private judgment is therefore unalienable. Like Hutcheson, Hegel based the theory of inalienable rights on the de facto inalienability of those aspects of personhood that distinguish persons from things.
A thing, like a piece of property, can in fact be transferred from one person to another. According to Hegel, the same would not apply to those aspects that make one a person: The right to what is in essence inalienable is imprescriptible, since the act whereby I take possession of my personality, of my substantive essence, and make myself a responsible being, capable of possessing rights and with a moral and religious life, takes away from these characteristics of mine just that externality which alone made them capable of passing into the possession of someone else.
When I have thus annulled their externality, I cannot lose them through lapse of time or from any other reason drawn from my prior consent or willingness to alienate them.
Such rights were thought to be natural rights, independent of positive law. Some social contract theorists reasoned, however, that in the natural state only the strongest could benefit from their rights.Philosophy of Law.
Philosophy of law (or legal philosophy) is concerned with providing a general philosophical analysis of law and legal institutions. Natural and legal rights are two types of initiativeblog.coml rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are universal and inalienable (they cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).
Legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system (they can be modified, repealed, and restrained by human laws).
John Mitchell Finnis (born 28 July ) is an Australian legal philosopher, jurist and scholar specializing in jurisprudence and the philosophy of initiativeblog.com is currently the Biolchini Family Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School and Permanent Senior Distinguished Research Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.
He was Professor of Law & Legal Philosophy at the University of. Also see IEP.. natural law theory. Belief that the principles of human conduct can be derived from a proper understanding of human nature in the context of the universe as a rational whole.
Finnis's background is that of a lawyer and legal philosopher, and so this book is ostensibly a contribution to philosophy of law, but in effect it is a wide-ranging treatment of ethical and political theory aimed at supporting a broadly Natural Law conception of the foundations of law.
Natural and legal rights are two types of initiativeblog.coml rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are universal and inalienable (they cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).
Legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system (they can be .