Law of nature

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LAW OF NATURE. The law of nature is that which God, the sovereign of the universe, has prescribed to all men, not by any formal promulgation, but by the internal dictate of reason alone. It is discovered by a just consideration of the agreeableness or disagreeableness of human actions to the nature of man; and it comprehends all the duties which we owe either to the Supreme Being, to ourselves, or to our neighbors; as reverence to God, self-defence, temperance, honor to our parents, benevolence to all, a strict adherence to our engagements, gratitude, and the like. Erskine's Pr. of L. of Scot. B. 1, t. 1, s. 1. See Ayl. Pand. tit. 2, p. 5; Cicer. de Leg. lib. 1.
     2. The primitive laws of nature may be reduced to six, namely: 1. Comparative sagacity, or reason. 2. Self-love. 3. The attraction of the sexes to each other. 4. The tenderness of parents towards their children. 5. The religious sentiment. 6. Sociability.
     3.-1. When man is properly organized, he is able to discover moral good from moral evil; and the study of man proves that man is not only an intelligent, but a free being, and he is therefore responsible for his actions. The judgment we form of our good actions, produces happiness; on the contrary the judgment we form of our bad actions produces unhappiness.
     4.-2. Every animated being is impelled by nature to his own preservation, to defend his life and body from injuries, to shun what may be hurtful, and to provide all things requisite to his existence. Hence the duty to watch over his own preservation. Suicide and duelling are therefore contrary to this law; and a man cannot mutilate himself, nor renounce his liberty.
     5.-3. The attraction of the sexes has been provided for the preservation of the human race, and this law condemns celibacy. The end of marriage proves that polygamy, (q.v.) and polyendry, (q.v.) are contrary to the law of nature. Hence it follows that the husband and wife have a mutual and exclusive right over each other.
     6.-4. Man from his birth is wholly unable to provide for the least of his necessities; but the love of his parents supplies for this weakness. This is one of the most powerful laws of nature. The principal duties it imposes on the parents, are to bestow on the child all the care its weakness requires, to provide for its necessary food and clothing, to instruct it, to provide for its wants, and to use coercive means for its good, when requisite.
     7.-5. The religious sentiment which leads us naturally towards the Supreme Being, is one of the attributes which belong to humanity alone; and its importance gives it the rank of the moral law of nature. From this sentiment arise all the sects and different forms of worship among men.
     8.-6. The need which man feels to live in society, is one of the primitive laws of nature, whence flow our duties and rights; and the existence of society depends upon the condition that the rights of all shall be respected. On this law are based the assistance, succors and good offices which men owe to each other, they being unable to provide each every thing for himself.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
One way to understand early modern debates about laws of nature is in terms of a bottom-up as opposed to a top-down approach.
Diversity is a natural phenomenon created by God and we are bound by the laws of Nature to this diversified world, where religions and cultures exist next to each other in the same lands and countries.
He said that a lifestyle that commensurate with the laws of nature and natural habitat decreases the chances of mental sickness.
When the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina grew concerned that their students felt they had to choose either their faith or modern science, faculty invited Hal Poe to bring a lecture to help the students think through how God might be able to act in the universe without violating the laws of nature. Poe spoke on September 26, 2017.
(4) The Federal District Court and Federal Court of Appeals in Ariosa ruled that this method for prenatal diagnosis was excluded as patent-eligible subject matter because it relied too strongly on the "laws of nature," "abstract idea" exceptions, and lacked an "inventive concept." (5)
It discusses how archetypes of well-known heroic tales reveal a connection to basic laws of nature, such as removal from home to the natural environment, finding adventure in the wilderness, and quests in a mythic otherworld full of natural resources and beauty; describes the experience of the hero in facing mortality in mythic underworlds; explores their experiences with sacrifice, showing that death is natural; and discusses how the message of these myths is not to dwell on death but that people are part of nature.
TO REVISIT BARNETT'S SECOND CHALLENGE, then, what did it matter that everyone believed in natural law if they were willing to legally sanction and safeguard practices, such as slavery, that were in contravention of the laws of nature? Helmholz's answer is that it mattered quite a lot for litigation across a range of issues in Europe and the United States.
He's explaining how things which can seem entirely random and arbitrary are actually incredibly well planned and structured - and based on fundamental laws of nature.
Explaining the laws of nature is no small task but Brian gives it a darn good try - and he is helped no end by some truly stunning photography.
The book ultimately provides a theistic account of morality, but along the way it also offers much of general interest regarding explanation, the laws of nature, and the essential importance of moral laws.
My intention in engaging with his works here is to show, first, that three of his five contributions can be read as organically developing a fundamental argument: that the laws of nature as we know them through the sciences are constructed models of what occurs in nature; that the laws are not isomorphic with the natural world; and that the complex and rich reality of the world around us far exceeds our capacity to model it in our scientific theories and laws.
The Interim Guidelines identify "naturally occurring principles/substances and substances that do not have markedly different characteristics compared to what occurs in nature" as examples of laws of nature and natural phenomena, while abstract ideas include "fundamental economic practices, certain methods of organizing human activities, an idea Cyof itself,' and mathematical relationships/formulas."