Hugo Grotius

Topics: Natural law, Human rights, Law Pages: 2 (496 words) Published: March 20, 2007
"The law of nature can be observed by everyone and they inform us how we should live

and the limit of our actions."(Grotius, Hugo)

Hugo Grotius born in 1583 was the first Dutch humanist of his day to develop an international perspective on human rights. In one of Grotius writings, The Law of War and Peace, he argues that even though some may say that God does not exist, we as human beings are still governed by the laws of nature which obligates and sets limits upon our doings and no human being can really deny these laws. Grotius, who believed that there was God, also believed that God is responsible for setting these laws of nature in motion and no one including government, human law, or any rulers can surpass these laws. Grotius also proposed that we posses both imperfect and perfect rights. The imperfect rights he stated were closer to our emotional, metaphysical, and ethical experiences of reality and they form our individual self. The perfect rights, Grotius said these are the rights that we willingly share with others in society, such rights are those guaranteed by our constitution, such as freedom of speech, and religion for example. He also stated that these perfect rights are based upon principles of justice freedom and democracy. In his natural law theory, Grotius stated that human law( human rights) should be created in place of the divine law (a law that comes directly from God) for the entire world, but if any conflict arises between the two laws, then the divine law should and will always come first. I agree with some of Grotius view points or beliefs but I do not feel that if a conflict ever arises that the divine law should always prevail. We do not know for sure if there is God and I just don't understand how we should automatically pick the divine law which is an area that is much questionable. Human law seems much more sensible to me because at least it is something that we all can make up and agree on or can not agree on. We are our...
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