Critically Evaluate the Main Principles of Legal Positivism and Natural Law
The history of "Natural Law" is extensive. Classical Greek Naturalism was the major doctrine until Christian Theologian Doctrine replaced it. As societies have moved away from the church "Natural Law" has been to some extent superseded by Positivism. We have been asked to critically evaluate these two schools of Jurisprudence.
The classical Greek philosophers believed that natural law was a moral order, which was superior to human law and one that knows no bounds either in space or time. It decreed that people should be communal and that man-made regulations for communities were inferior to nature's laws.
Aristotle (384 -322 BC) believed that humans were inherently good and teleological, designed by nature with specific goals in mind. Anything, which interfered with this, should be considered to be bad. He spoke about the relationship between fact and value, what is and what ought to be. Cicero in the first century BC perpetuated these views
Christian Theologians such as Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) believed that God lay down the rules for society and that these were superior to temporal law. Man-made law should accord with God's law. He argued that there were four kinds of law: Eternal, Natural, Human and Divine Law.
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