Natural Rights Theory

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Natural Rights Theory is the set of philosophical claims that certain human and civil rights exist "naturally" and not merely as a product of a social contract devised by ordinary people. "Naturally" is usually code for "from God." Natural Law, associated with Natural Rights Theory, makes the same sort of claim. The problem with Natural Rights and Natural Law is that it is not subject to empirical verification/falsification. As such it is ideological or theological in nature. People tend to adopt Natural Rights or Natural Law as ideas and rhetoric because they find the idea of attributing what they want to a deity much easier than thinking their way through challenging problems. In effect, it is the result of lazy mindedness.

The theoretical alternative is Positive Law, which recognizes the empirical reality that legal rights come from society and the state.

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