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Natural Law in the 17th and 18th Century

Updated on June 27, 2015

Natural Law

This was a system of right and or justice that was held as common for all people in the west during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. These unwritten laws held that man had the ability to make moral judgments (using reason to analyze social and personal human nature) and in so doing, arrive at binding rules of moral behavior. In Europe, the idea of natural law was born out of a need for a theory of natural law that was common to all societies as well as to counter moral skepticism that had started emerging in most parts of the continent. Given that there was a growing division that was majorly influenced by religious and differences and colonial wars, Europe needed a moral basis that would act as the binding force of the international law across Europe and natural law appeared to be the ideal choice. Considered inherent in nature and having a universal application, the natural law was regarded as the most ideal law that would help determine whether the conduct of an individual were right or wrong.

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