Natural law theory bases morality on human reason and human nature. That is, we can look to the elements of nature, including human behavior, to help guide our ethical decisions. However, philosophers interpret what is “natural” differently. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau held that humans are naturally compassionate and altruistic. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes regarded humans as wholly self-interested and suspicious of one another. Philosopher John Locke believed the mind is a tabula rasa—a blank slate—at birth, and that there is no universal agreement regarding principles perceived as innate. Human rights are primarily based on natural law. Most of us believe we have a right to be free, treated humanely, and respected as human beings; however, people do disagree on what rights natural law accords us. This activity aligns with module outcome 1.
Discussion QuestionWhat do our natures entail exactly, if anything? Do you align yourself more with Rousseau, Hobbes or Locke? Accordingly, how might we successfully base our laws on the laws of nature, if at all?Referencing the television series Lost, what do you believe our natural rights afford us, specifically, in terms of actual laws? What laws might we need to re-evaluate or change, if any, to better reflect these rights?Evaluation Criteria
Initial Discussion Post
Your initial post should be at least 250 words and must substantively integrate the assigned readings from the module with proper APA style formatting. You may use additional sources and materials as long as they are relevant to the discussion and cited properly