Born This Way: Natural Law and Its Role in Today’s Legal System

Have you ever wondered how laws are made? How do lawmakers decide what rules we must follow as a society, how we enforce the rules, and how we handle those who break the rules? While the answers to those questions are woven through centuries of history, like many threads in a rich tapestry, we can look to one philosophical concept for help: the theory of Natural Law.

According to Natural Law, our laws should be created to reflect a strong sense of morality and ethics. While today we might use the law to differentiate between legal rights and wrongs, the ancient Natural Law highlights the choice between “good” and “evil.” What’s the difference? Instead of looking to society for a common consensus, Natural Law asserts that every person is born with a fully formed moral compass.

For example, how do we know stealing is wrong? The modern explanation might be that we are taught not to steal from a young age, and as we grow older we come to understand concepts like respect for personal property, compassion for other people, and so on. By the definition of Natural Law, on the other hand, we are born with the understanding that stealing is wrong—a knowledge instilled in us by nature itself, or something greater than humanity. Instead of “learning” morality, we observe it in the world around us. When we practice moral behavior, we are merely echoing the laws of nature.

In other words, Natural Law theory proposes a system of universal moral laws that are naturally understood by all human beings. Its history can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, having been discussed by famous philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The theory was further developed by the Stoics and eventually the Christians.

Owing to the theory’s deep spiritual roots, Natural Law relies heavily on faith. It doesn’t mesh well with today’s secular legal system, which relies heavily on facts and tends to be shaped by the times and the culture surrounding it. That said, there are still many aspects of modern law that are difficult to prove, like its goals of “justice,” “fairness,” and the conviction that every person deserves to be “free.” How can we define these terms without looking back to Natural Law? The theory still impacts us today and shapes the way we legislate societal rules, even if we don’t notice its presence.

Our modern legal system was built on Natural Law, and while our moral values have changed over the centuries, we can still strive to meet its original mission. Philosophical quandaries aside, if your entertainment company needs legal assistance, you should consult a qualified attorney. At Calevoso Law, we are fully committed to seeking out justice in an ethical and professional manner. Get in touch with us for creative legal solutions to all of your entertainment law needs.