What Is 'Natural Right ' According to John Locke?

Topics: Political philosophy, United States Declaration of Independence, Social contract Pages: 4 (1294 words) Published: February 4, 2013
Natural right is distinguished from that of legal right. Natural rights are those rights of any species that exist outside of artificial legal contrivances. Fish that swim in the ocean do so by natural right and not out of some legislation that allows it. Here then are John Lockes own words on the subject: "The main intention of nature, which willeth the increase of mankind, and the continuation of the species in the highest perfection"

"The people can not delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves."
"The end of law is not to abolish or restrain freedom, but to preserve and enlarge freedom."
"There can not anyone moral rule be proposed, where of a man may not justly demand a reason."
"If man in the state of nature be so free, as has been said; if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to no body, why will he part with his freedom? Why will he give up this empire, and subject himself to the dominion and control of any other power? To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very unsecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property."

"That equal right which every man hath, to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of another man."
"A criminal, who having renounced reason...hath,...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • John Locke: Property Rights Essay
  • John Locke Essay
  • John Locke Essay
  • John Locke Essay
  • Essay on Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
  • The State of Nature According to John Locke Essay
  • John locke Essay
  • John Locke Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free