Natural law theory bases morality on human reason and human nature. That is, we can look to the elements of nature, including human behavior, to help guide our ethical decisions. However, philosophers interpret what is “natural” differently. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau held that humans are naturally compassionate and altruistic. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes regarded humans as wholly self-interested and suspicious of one another. Philosopher John Locke believed the mind is a tabula rasa—a blank slate—at birth, and that there is no universal agreement regarding principles perceived as innate. Human rights are primarily based on natural law. Most of us believe we have a right to be free, treated humanely, and respected as human beings; however, people do disagree on what rights natural law accords us. This activity aligns with module outcome 1.
- What do our natures entail exactly, if anything? Do you align yourself more with Rousseau, Hobbes or Locke? Accordingly, how might we successfully base our laws on the laws of nature, if at all?
- Referencing the television series Lost, what do you believe our natural rights afford us, specifically, in terms of actual laws? What laws might we need to re-evaluate or change, if any, to better reflect these rights?
Your initial post is due by Thursday at 11:59 PM EST. Your responses to other posts are due by Sunday at 11:59 PM EST.
Initial Discussion Post
Your initial post should be at least 250 words and must substantively integrate the assigned readings from the module with proper APA (Links to an external site.) style formatting. You may use additional sources and materials as long as they are relevant to the discussion and cited properly.
Responses to Other Posts
After you have submitted your initial discussions, read through the postings of your peers. You must choose and respond to (at least) two of your peers’ discussion posts. The posts you choose to respond to do not necessarily have to be classmates’ initial posts.
Each response to a peer should be (at least) approximately 100 words in length and should contribute to the discussion in progress. All responses to classmates should be substantive. That is, they should go beyond simple agreement or disagreement with classmates’ posts. Responses must be respectful, substantive, and consistent with the expectations for discussion, as stated by the prompt. Please monitor and respond to feedback to your initial discussion thread throughout the module. You must reply to your classmates’ postings within the designated due dates for the discussion activity. Please direct any questions you may have to your instructor.
See the Course Calendar for due dates for posts and responses.
Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on “Reply.” Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.”
This is a “post first” discussion forum. You must submit your initial post before you can view other students’ posts.
To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.
This discussion will be graded using the discussion board rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page within the Start Here module of the course, prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this discussion. All discussions combined are worth 30% of your final course grade.
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