Natural Law vs. Positive Law

When the founders of America set out to form a better type of government they had a clear historical perspective of the type of government they did not want. They knew that monarchies and arbitrary power were the enemies of freedom. Using this knowledge they created a republican form of government that by design was based on “natural law” rather than positive law.

So what is natural law? Natural law begins with the premise that all of our rights come from God or nature and are inherent to our being. Positive law, on the other hand, believes that our rights are granted by the government, society or other men and therefore can be taken back by them as well. Positive law is the basis for the concept of social justice which attempts to subvert natural law and create artificial equality through regulations or force. This goes against the very essence of human nature. In other words, laws created by men are always secondary to natural law which emanates from human nature itself.

With first hand understanding of the pain and injustice suffered throughout Europe at the hands of monarchs, the founders built a government that used natural law as its foundation. Beginning with the Declaration of Independence the theme on which America was established was natural law.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” – The United States of America, Declaration of Independence

With natural law as the foundation of our government, the founders formalized their intent with the establishment of our Constitution. The very intent of the Constitution is to uphold natural law by restraining the government. The Constitution not only recognizes that we have natural rights but, that we are free to exercise these rights. In fact the one of the primary purposes of our government is to protect our natural rights. The Constitution does not grant us rights, it was designed to prevent the government from trampling those rights in pursuit of its own goals.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” – Patrick Henry

Natural law is the antithesis of positive law which is based on theories of majority rules, rights are granted and the government’s goal is to serve the majority. In this form of government the will of those in power is enforced and the minority is left unprotected, their rights at risk. The government becomes the arbitrator of right and wrong. This is where things historically go very wrong because human nature is inherent.

Through reason we can determine the requirements of natural law. The only time natural law curtails the rights of an individual is when that individual has acted against others by violating their natural rights. Under this system due process is used to evaluate and determine punishment for such crimes. In a society based on natural law abridgement of these morals are the only time an individual is subject to losing their own natural rights.

However in a society based on positive and in turn, social justice, the government may take away rights, property, liberty or freedom based on the greater societal goals/needs.

This is what is happening today. The government is passing laws and removing liberties all in the name of the “greater good” or “social justice”. This is unconstitutional and a violation of our “unalienable rights” as outlined in the Constitution.

Today’s Progressives have tried to revert to and reinvigorate the ideals of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights which attempts to create equality and social justice through the force of law. It goes against every principle of natural law. Throughout history this approach has never worked. While all men are created equal, they will not equally achieve. To infringe upon the natural production of one by taking away from another to create “equity” is to create class warfare and undermine individual freedom and liberty. This naturally results in oppression and rebellion, ultimately destroying the artificial society that the government created.

In their wisdom and from their experiences the founding fathers recognized this. That is why they created a government rooted in the principles of natural law. A government designed with a separation of powers and a Constitution designed to protect individual rights and freedoms while limiting the size, scope and authority of the government over the governed.

Somewhere we took a wrong turn and the government the founders desired to prevent has become a reality. It is time to make a U turn and return to the safety of our Constitution before it is too late.

Wake Up America! The pace of transformation is accelerating. Your liberty and freedom are at stake.

Restore the Republic! Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left.

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” – The Declaration of Independence

10 responses to “Natural Law vs. Positive Law

  1. Well put Dave. I just covered this topic in the Amer Govt class I am teaching. The reason it’s so easy for them to dismiss natural law is b/c they don’t believe in God and deny any and all references to His existence. Well written!

  2. Dale Langkilde

    Here is an easy read on the subject.
    “The Principles Of Natural Law” edited by Dale Langkilde, found at

  3. OK except for the fact it was not via “natural law” that we have come to be a system whereby over the past 50 years income and wealth have steadily moved from the poorest to the most wealthy. I mean, by what natural law is a CEO on wall street worth 10,000 times more than a pipe fitter? Does a wall street banker really contribute 10,000 times more in value to our culture?

    And how exactly does inheritance fit in with natural law? I am not positive, but I know of no system in nature where one family passes its wealth on to its descendants. Unless you consider hives of insects, but they never really die.

    It would be nice if all those who oppose what they call the socialist agenda, stopped acting as apologists for those very wealthy people who actually get the best government that money can buy

    • Richard Hawkins

      Marx and Engels shared the same perspective you show here.

      The “poorest” are reaping huge positive law benefits by govt extraction of wealth from the middle class and wealthy. Positive law is also govt intervention shifting wealth over to the wealthy bankers, unions, NGOs etc at the expense of the middle class.

      Inheritance fits with natural law very nicely as God explains in scripture. No problem here other than for a covetous Marxist! Wasn’t the confiscation of inheritance one of the communist planks? But of course, this confiscation requires positive law.

      It is a fascist system, not socialist, foisted on us by positive law from both Dems and Repubs that have formed very cozy partnerships with corporations, NGOs, unions, etc. Common Core-ruption is a perfect example of this form of positive law by a central government.

      You’d do well to read: Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets by Peter Sweizer to reorient your love affair with Progressives and your hatred of private property/free enterprise to total disgust with big government and private/public partnerships. Dirigisme (or Fascism/Socialism) is the real culprit along with an ignorant electorate that keeps putting crooks into office.

  4. The founding fathers did an excellent job given the circumstances. Alas, the product of their work shows their fear of the unkonwn and their lack of understanding of human nature as uncovered by modern psychology and sociology.

    In fact, once the 9/11 false flag is fully understood, there will likely be a push to amend the U.S. constitution so as to prevent a repeat of the infamous Bush/Obama subversion.


  5. great post! Natural Law simplified!

  6. Pingback: Natural Law & the nature of man | Southern Nationalist Network

  7. i agree.
    the centralized, oppressive, and criminal power structure needs to be broken down, if only into more manageable pieces. my only thoughts are this-
    1) 9/11 is the way they f’ed up, big time. we need to spread this, lest another false-flag injure the US and the world, in even greater ways. even without “success” our increased collective immunity to such malevolent state actions is a victory in itself.
    2) cccupy is whatever people make of it, and those who respect freedom and the *truth* need to engage in it. join it, as it is what we make it; occupy is us. it is a powerful vehicle, if we just get off our keyboards, and engage with those around us.
    3) even if you dislike occupy, then just get out and spread your own beliefs, and more power to you if you see 9/11 as a pivotal issue that needs attention.

  8. Very nice differences and explation. Thanks

  9. Quoting Patrick Henry regarding the character of the Constitution is not necessarily a good idea. He refused to sign it because he thought that it would make the federal government too powerful.
    Personally, I’m glad that Washington and the 38 other signers disagreed. And BTW, James Monroe as a member of the Virginia legislature voted against ratification of the Constitution, presumably for the same reason that Patrick Henry refused to sign it.

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