Free Essay

Nature of Law

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By flyer
Words 1608
Pages 7
| What is the Nature of Law | Ian ToughS211177 | | | |

|

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF LAW 1

What is the nature of Law? What is the Law? Does humanity have any regard for laws?Do all societies have the same laws?
The answer to these questions, are thought to have two competing answers. The classical answer is provided by natural law theory, which is frequently characterized as asserting that there is an essential relationship between law and morality or justice. The modern answer is provided by legal positivism, which, as developed by John Austin, asserted that law is the command of the sovereign backed by the threat of punishment.
Arguments over the nature of law focus on a revised set of positions. Legal positivism is represented by analytic legal positivists, like H.L.A. Hart, Joseph Raz, and Jules Coleman. The natural law tradition is defended by John Finnis. And a new positition,interpretivism is represented by Ronald Dworkin.
The "What is law?" question has been approached by contemporary legal philosophers who have over many decades attempted to define the term. For example, the sociological tradition includes important work on the nature of law by Max Weber and Niklas Luhmann. .
Natural law theory is strongly associated with classical and medieval thought, especially Aristotle, Roman jurisprudence, and St. Thomas Aquinas. There are several challenges associated with the task of explicating natural law theory, and one of the most important tasks of this introductory entry is simply to identify these challenges.
First, there are two interrelated but distinct views that are called "natural law theory." One is a view about the nature of morality: this view asserts that there are natural moral laws, and it is not essential to this view that it take any particular stand on the "What is law?" debate. A second view that is called "natural law theory" is a theory about "law" as an institution or practice--that is the view that is implicated in the "What is law"" controversy.
Second, contemporary understandings of "natural law theory" have been strongly influenced by the legal positivists critique. When the positivists articulated the theory they were criticizing, their articulations of natural law theory were neither charitable nor true to the natural law tradition.
For the purposes of this broad overview, we might use the term an unjust law is not a true law, as a starting point.
This formulation differs from a literal translation--an unjust law is not a law. Formulated in that way, natural law theory seems to be committed to a contradiction: something which is a” law” (but also is unjust) is not a law. The quotation marks around "law" and the phrase true law make it clear that natural law theory is asserting something else, that something which might be called a "law" is not in fact a law if it is unjust. Usually, this notion is accompanied by some explication of the characteristics that are required for status as a "true law" or perhaps "valid law."
It is difficult to know where the positivist tradition begins. Hobbes's theory of law shares some characteristics with the theories offered by Jeremy Bentham and John Austin--both of whom are clearly in the positivist tradition. Jeremy Bentham developed a very sophisticated version of legal positivism, but for a variety of reasons, the more influential and widely known view was that of Bentham's student, John Austin.
Austin's theory was that a given rule was a law if and only if the rule was the command of the sovereign to subjects of that sovereign backed by the threat of punishment. A sovereign is some person or institution who is habitually obeyed in a well-defined territory, but who or which does not habitually obey any other person or institution.
Austin's positivist theory does an excellent job of explaining the rules of criminal law, which forbid certain actions and impose punishments on those who engage in the forbidden actions. But this theory has a difficult time accounting for other aspects of law, and especially for those rules that create legal powers, such as the power to create contracts, trusts, wills, and so forth. .
These deficiencies in Austin's theory prompted H.L.A. Hart to develop a more sophisticated version of legal positivism. One feature of that theory is the distinction between primary rules (which would include criminal prohibitions) and secondary rules (which allow for the creation, alteration, and termination of primary rules). Hart replaced the notion of a sovereign with that of a rule of recognition--a social rule that specifies what counts as a law and what does not.
The contemporary approach to these issues is the product of almost sixty years of thinking within the tradition that is sometimes called "analytic jurisprudence." Beginning with the work of H.L.A. Hart and extending through Ronald Dworkin's critique of Hart, and the reformulation of the positivist tradition by both Joseph Raz and Jules Coleman, the basic issues and questions have gone through several transformations.
One useful way to get at the heart of these developments is to conceive of the debate about the nature of law as centrally concerned with the relationship between social facts, moral facts, and legal content. Our question is "What determines legal content?," where "legal content" is simply understood as the content of the legal norms.
One answer to this question takes the form: It is necessarily the case that only social facts determine legal content. This is exclusive legal positivism--a view that is strongly associated with Joseph Raz.
A second answer to this question takes the form: It possibly the case that moral facts determine legal content, but only if social facts give the moral facts this role. This is inclusive legal positivism--and this view is most strongly associated with Jules Coleman.
A third answer to the question takes the form: It is necessarily the case that moral facts determine legal content. This view would include natural law theory and interpretivism--the view that is strongly associated with Ronald Dworkin.
By framing the "What is law?" debate in terms of the relationship between social facts, moral facts, and legal content, the conceptual space we get precise mapping of the conceptual space.
Legal positivism is the view that only social facts can determine legal content. Joseph Raz famously argued for exclusive legal positivism based on the premise that law claims authority, that authority consists in displacing other reasons for actions, and therefore law must displace moral reasons for action. (That was a very short and inadequate summary of a long and complex argument.)
Inclusive legal positivism is the view that moral facts can play a role in determining legal content, but only if there are some social facts that give the moral facts this role. For example, a constitution might include a clause that make a moral conception of human equality a legal rule. This would give the morality of equality a role in determining legal rights, but this role would exist because a social fact (the Constitution) made it so.
The positivist critique of classical natural law theory resulted in a major restatement by John Finnis. Finnis's theory is subtle and complex and no thumbnail sketch can do it full justice, but for the purpose of this overview one of his ideas can serve to illustrate the flavor of his theory. Finnis argues that the natural-law claim that an unjust "law" is not a true law can be explicated via the idea of the "focal meaning" of "law." This argument that concedes that unjust enactments are "laws" in a sense, but that that the focal sense of "law" is limited to laws that are not unjust. .
The final view is "interpretivism," strongly associated with Ronald Dworkin. For Dworkin, social facts, such as constitutons, statutes, and court decisions, do not directly determine legal content. Instead, Dworkin believes that the content of the law is given by the theory that best fits and justifies the legal materials. Dworkin makes this theory vivid by imagining a judge, Hercules, who is able to construct a grand theory of political morality that provides a constructive interpretation of the entire institutional history of a given society. Because this theory is a theory of that institutional history, it is constrained. But this constraint does not require a perfect match between a literal interpretation of every legal text and the content of the law. So some precedents may be categorized as mistakes, and some statutory or constitutional provisions may be given a constructive interpretation that makes them morally more attractive but does not follow every jot and title of the text.

Bibliography
John Austin, The Province of Jurisprudence Determined (1861).
Jules Coleman, The Practice of Principle: In Defence of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory (2001).
Ronald Dworkin, Law's Empire (1986).
John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980).
H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (1961) (2d ed. 1984).
Joseph Raz, The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality (1983).
Links
John Finnis, Natural Law Theories, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Leslie Green, Legal Obligation and Authority, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Leslie Green, Legal Positivism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Andrei Marmour, The Nature of Law, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Nicos Stavropoulos, Interpretivist Theories of Law, Stanford Encyclopedia of Law.
Brian Tamanaha, Law, Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History, 2008.
Raymond Wacks, Understanding Jurisprudence, An Introduction to Legal Theory Oxford 2012.
Legal Theory Lexicon 032: Fit and Justification

Legal Theory Lexicon 038: The Internal Point of View

Legal Theory Lexicon 039: Primary and Secondary Rules
Legal Theory Lexicon 044: Legal Theory, Jurisprudence, and the Philosophy of Law

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Examine the Ways in Which Government Policies and Laws Affect the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity

...policies and laws affect the nature and extent of family diversity Government policies and laws are put in place to uphold moral values of society and force people to take responsibility themselves. Social policy refers to the actions of government agencies such as the welfare system. Most policies affect families in one way or another, some are aimed directly at families, whilst other policies aren’t but still have an impact on families. One way in which family diversity diverse is by an increase in same sex families. This is gay and lesbian couples living together with children. A social policy that can be linked to this type of family diversity is that in 1967 male homosexuality was legalised and this made homosexuals feel socially accepted, eventually allowing gay individuals to start a family. There was also other policies that made same sex families even more accepted. For example, in 2002 UK adoptions laws were changed. The laws meant that gay couples were now able to adopt and have a family of their own. Additionally, in 2004 the Civil Partnership was introduced. This meant that gay people could now have a type of marriage if they felt they had stability, commitment and happiness to starting a family. All of these policies have a link to the increase in same sex families. Feminist sociologist were really happy with these policy changes. Feminist believes that society is patriarchal, that men dominate and exploit women. Feminist suggest that many laws were......

Words: 543 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Examine the Ways in Which the Government Policies and Laws May Affect the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity.

...Examine the ways in which the government policies and laws may affect the nature and extent of family diversity. Government policies and laws are put in place to uphold moral values of society and force people to take responsibility over themselves and who else they may be responsible for e.g. children. Although the government see its policies as being able to produce the ‘ideal’ nuclear family where the man works and the woman looks after the children, the policies today fail to take into account the changes in society and the different types of families that are becoming more common in society. The government’s policies affect different family types in different ways e.g. the government policies and laws benefit married couples in more ways that cohabiting couples and single parent families as they make divorce harder as well as being benefiting married couple financially as they can claim more tax allowances. This policy only benefits married couples as the government sees the nuclear family as the ideal family and therefore benefits this certain family type through its laws and policies. Functionalists see society built on harmony and consensus and free from major conflicts. They see the state as acting in the interests of society as a whole and its social policies as being for the good of all. Functionalists see policies as helping families to perform functions more effectively to make life better for their members. Ronald Fletcher believes the introduction of......

Words: 1179 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Examine the Ways in Which the Government Policies and Laws May Affect the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity.

...Examine the ways in which the government policies and laws may affect the nature and extent of family diversity. Government policies and laws are put in place to uphold moral values of society and force people to take responsibility over themselves and who else they may be responsible for e.g. children. Although the government see its policies as being able to produce the ‘ideal’ nuclear family where the man works and the woman looks after the children, the policies today fail to take into account the changes in society and the different types of families that are becoming more common in society. The government’s policies affect different family types in different ways e.g. the government policies and laws benefit married couples in more ways that cohabiting couples and single parent families as they make divorce harder as well as being benefiting married couple financially as they can claim more tax allowances. This policy only benefits married couples as the government sees the nuclear family as the ideal family and therefore benefits this certain family type through its laws and policies. Functionalists see society built on harmony and consensus and free from major conflicts. They see the state as acting in the interests of society as a whole and its social policies as being for the good of all. Functionalists see policies as helping families to perform functions more effectively to make life better for their members. Ronald Fletcher believes the introduction of......

Words: 288 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Does Taiwan Qualify as a State Under International Law? Apply the Factual Criteria to This and Elaborate on the Role of Recognition by Other States. What Does This Case Study Contribute to the Debate Around the Nature of International Law?

...Introduction to International Law Does Taiwan qualify as a state under International law? Apply the factual criteria to this and elaborate on the role of recognition by other states. What does this case study contribute to the debate around the nature of International law? ------------------------------------------------- Lecturer: Natalie ------------------------------------------------- Author: Rofhiwa Ramahala ------------------------------------------------- Tutorial Group: 4 ------------------------------------------------- Due Date: 7th March 2016 Introduction Two separate statements made by two high profiled Chinese government officials in 1999 threw the question of Taiwan sovereignty into question. The first statement originated from then President of the government of the Republic of China (or “ROC”) Lee Teng-hui on Taiwan on July 10, 1999 during an interview with a reporter. In the interview he stated that the relationship between China and Taiwan is one of a “special state-to-state relationship”. While in the second statement a spokesperson of the People’s Republic of China (or “PRC”) after a severe earthquake struck Taiwan. The United Nation office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs attempted to send a disaster management team to Taiwan, however then Secretary General Kofi Annan was informed that the U.N. had to ask the government of the PRC for permission to dispatch an aid team to Taiwan. Mr. Annan thus coined the statement of “the Taiwan Province......

Words: 3345 - Pages: 14

Free Essay

By Definition, Miracles Can Never Happen. Discuss.

...is “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.” However, Peter Vardy in The Puzzle of God gave four different definitions provided by many different scholars, including Aquinas and Hume, with Hume believing they are impossible but cannot be disproved compared to Aquinas believing they are completely possible even within the system of natural activity. What a miracle is can be debated forever due to the many different interpretations of who and why they come about, with psychologists such as Freud arguing they are just an illusion and Wiles arguing that miracles do exist but not as a result of God’s will. The real question is whether the laws of nature can ever be broken and to that affect – do miracles define themselves into non-existence? The definition of a miracle provided by Hume is “a transgression of the laws of nature brought about by the volition of a deity.” He believes that miracles are simply an interposition by some invisible agent, but he however goes on to challenge this definition with his theoretical case miracles which argued that the laws of nature we experience are constant and therefore cannot be changed, In response to this, as the laws of nature cannot be defied, (if they could be broken they would not be laws), by Hume’s definition, miracles can never happen, as laws of nature are fixed. Hume also does not believe in the supernatural, so to state that miracles......

Words: 1617 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

What Is Social Contract Theory?

...Page 1 of 7 What is Social Contract Theory? The concept of social contract theory is that in the beginning man lived in the state of nature. They had no government and there was no law to regulate them. There were hardships and oppression on the sections of the society. To overcome from these hardships they entered into two agreements which are:1. “Pactum Unionis”; and 2. “Pactum Subjectionis”. By the first pact of unionis, people sought protection of their lives and property. As, a result of it a society was formed where people undertook to respect each other and live in peace and harmony. By the second pact of subjectionis, people united together and pledged to obey an authority and surrendered the whole or part of their freedom and rights to an authority. The authority guaranteed everyone protection of life, property and to a certain extent liberty. Thus, they must agree to establish society by collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State of Nature and they must imbue some one person or assembly of persons with the authority and power to enforce the initial contract. In other words, to ensure their escape from the State of Nature, they must both agree to live together under common laws, and create an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it. Thus, the authority or the government or the sovereign or the state came into being because of the two agreements. Analysis...

Words: 2472 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

The State of Nature

...CHAP. II. the State of Nature. Sec. 4. TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man. A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty. Sec. 5. This equality of men by nature, the judicious Hooker looks upon as so evident in itself, and beyond all question, that he makes it the foundation of that obligation to mutual love amongst men, on which he builds the duties they owe one another, and from whence he derives the great maxims of justice and charity. His words are, "The like natural inducement hath brought men to know that it is no less their duty, to love others than themselves; for seeing those things which are equal, must needs all have...

Words: 2846 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Assess Hume's Rejection of Miracles

...Hume defined miracles as a “violation of the laws of nature” and consequently rejected their occurrence as both improbable and impractical. This view has been supported by modern scientists and philosophers such as Atkins, Dawkins and Wiles to a certain extent. However Aquinas, Tillich and Holland and Swinburne to a certain extent reject Hume’s reasons, instead arguing that miracles have a divine cause and that Hume’s arguments are weak. This essay will argue that Hume’s reasons for rejecting miracles are not valid and in doing so consider his two main arguments; lack of probability and Hume’s practical argument. Hume’s first reason for rejecting miracles was a lack of probability. He argued that evidence from people’s experience of observing the world showed the laws of nature to be fixed and unvarying. However to suggest a miracle occurred was to say that the laws of nature had been violated, hence his definition of miracles being a “violation of the laws of nature.” Miracles were reported has having occurred by eyewitnesses, as is stated in the Bible in the case of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. However for Hume it was far more likely that the eyewitnesses were mistaken in what they witnessed, than for Jesus to have actually raised Lazarus from the dead and in doing so violated fixed laws of nature. A violation of the laws of nature was therefore an improbable occurrence. Wiles’ agrees with Hume’s point that it is more likely the eyewitness was wrong than a......

Words: 1313 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Miracles: How They Do Not Violate Nature

...Page |1 Robert Hillis Dr. Clouser PHL-100 Introduction to Philosophy Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Miracles: How They Do Not Violate Nature For centuries, the validity of miracles has been debated on by countless philosophers. Of these philosophers, some are religious and others both materialist and atheist. Some materialists, who argue against the existence of miracles, believe that the world is purely physical and that nothing can possibly happen outside the laws of nature. The theistic philosophers reply with the statement that science cannot explain everything simply because the art was founded by us humans who are, by definition, imperfect. So the implication shows science to have inherited man’s imperfections. Science is completely logical, but it cannot explain the nature of everything since there are always undiscovered concepts and laws to be found. Among these phenomena are miracles. Contrary to materialist beliefs, miracles do not violate the real laws of science because the laws that we are referring to are the ones that man, in all his imperfections, compiled. God created all the laws of science of which many have never yet been discovered. So logic would tell us that we cannot be for certain that supernatural events violate any natural laws, but certainly these events do not have to violate any natural law to be miracles. First off, today’s use of the word miracle is inherently misused. It is commonly used by speakers to describe a wonderful event that he believes his...

Words: 1812 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Hobbes vs Locke

...The pure state of nature or "the natural condition of mankind" was deduced by the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan. Hobbes argued that all humans are by nature equal in faculties of body and mind. From this equality and other causes in human nature, everyone is naturally willing to fight one another: so that "during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man". In this state every person has a natural right or liberty to do anything one thinks necessary for preserving one's own life; and life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (Leviathan, Chapters XIII-XIV). In short Hobbes believes is self-preservation, even if something was someonelse's, if you felt the need for it you had the right to fight for it and claim it as your own. Hobbes described this natural condition with the Latin phrase bellum omnium contra omnes (meaning war of all against all), in his work De Cive. Within the state of nature there is neither private property nor injustice since there is no law, except for certain natural precepts discovered by reason ("laws of nature"): the first of which is "that every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it" (Leviathan, Ch. XIV); and the second is "that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down......

Words: 1452 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Asses the View That Miricals Are a Obtscal to Faith

...According to Hume a miracle is: “A transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the deity or by the interposition of some invisible agent”, this question all depends how you define a miracle, most people in the modern world understand a miracle as Hume’s definition, but not everyone agrees. Supporters of the existence of miracles have different views, aquines is one of these. He has three differnet types of definition, An event done by God which nature could not do – could be said to be the most traditional approach. They are acts that contradict our regular experience. Aquinas uses the example of the reversal of the course of the sun, An event done by God which nature could do, but not in this order such as recovering Asses the view that miracles are an obstacle to faith. from paralysis or a terminal illness. Its possible for these things to happen but it is not usually expected, and so could be attributed to the direct intervention of God. And A event done which nature could do but without using the principles or forces of nature. For example, recovering from a cold more quickly than usual perhaps because someone prayed for this, and then it might be called a miraculous intervention of God. These definitions allow for a range of possible events, which we could call miracles, they also do not limit a miracle to a violation of a natural law and so is therefore, primarily identified by Gods intervention. This leaves us with the idea that miracle is an......

Words: 512 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Explain How a Follower of Natural Law Theory Might Approach the Issue Surrounding Abortion.

...a) Explain how a follower of Natural Law theory might approach the issue surrounding abortion. The Natural Law Theory has developed over time since the era of the ancient Greeks, and it is not necessarily based on one single theory. Natural law is the belief that God has created the universe to work in certain ways. The structure of Natural Law is not accidental; it is deliberate and has important implications to the human race (this can also be used to argue the existence of God in the teleological argument). Humans have a duty to conform to Natural Law. If they do not conform it is morally bad. St Thomas Aquinas linked his idea of Natural Law with Aristotle’s view that people have a specific nature, purpose and function. Aristotle said that not only does everything have a purpose, but also it achieves supreme good when it fulfill its purpose. Aristotle stated that the supreme good for humans is to achieve happiness, which can be related to mill’s utilitarianism where our aim is to gain happiness by avoiding pain and gaining pleasure, but Aristotle did not follow the consequentialist nature of utilitarianism. Aristotle said we were to achieve the final goal by living a life of reason based on what we experience, and this follows the deontological nature of Kantian ethics. Aquinas said that humans beings have an essential rational nature given by God in order for us to live and flourish, even without God reason can discover laws that lead to human flourishing, this is...

Words: 2221 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Essay

...of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity or by the interposition of some invisible agent. David Hume has 4 main criticisms that this essay will explore and look at the responses to these criticisms. For Hume, a miracle such as Jesus curing the paralytic is an example of an event which suggests that something happened which broke the laws of nature. It is important to understand what Hume means by the law of nature, as his ideas are slightly different from those of scientists today. Hume uses the law of nature to show how the universe works. He does not say that miracles don’t exist, they are just not reliable and we should not base our faith on them.   David Hume’s first criticism of miracles is that the uniform of testimony of all human experience of nature hold. Hume argues that the probability of miracles actually happening is to low that it is irrational and illogical to believe that miracles do occur. He is an empiricist, meaning that he emphasises experience and observations of the world as the way of learning new things. So, Hume is arguing inductively. He argues that when investigating any story of a miracle, evidence can be collected such as from human witnesses. Laws of nature appear to be fixed and unvarying. For example, the law of gravity is the same throughout the universe so far as we know. Miracles appear to violate the laws of nature. He concludes that it is more likely that the report of a miracle happening is incorrect than that the laws......

Words: 314 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Natural Law

...Natural Law Is a philosophy of law that is determined by nature, and so is unive rsal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature both social and personal and deduce binding rules of moral behavior from it. Natural law is often contrasted with the positive law of a given political community, society, or state. In legal theory, on the other hand, the interpretation of positive law requires some reference to natural law Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or human nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain rights or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition or articulation PROPONENTS OF NATURAL LAW Plato According to Plato we live in an orderly universe. At the basis of this orderly universe or nature are the forms, most fundamentally the Form of the Good, which Plato describes as "the brightest region of Being". The Form of the Good is the cause of all things and when it is seen it leads a person to act wisely. In the Symposium, the Good is closely identified with the Beautiful. Also in the Symposium, Plato describes how the experience of the Beautiful by Socrates enables him to resist the temptations of wealth and sex. In the Republic, the ideal community is, "...a city which would be established in accordance with nature.......

Words: 1931 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Natural Law Theory and Gays

...Essay 1 A Natural Law theorist would argue that homosexuality is unnatural because it goes against four common definitions of the word unnatural. The Natural Law theorist would argue that homosexuality goes against the descriptive laws of nature, it is artificially produced by humans, anything uncommon is unnatural, and that any use of an organ that it contrary to its purposed use is unnatural. Leiser believes that these contentions to homosexuality being a natural phenomenon do not sufficiently explain why homosexuality is unnatural. Leiser believes that homosexuality does not go against the descriptive laws of nature because these laws are meant to describe behavior, not prescribe it. (Leiser p. 56) Leiser gives the example of the law of nature that says that water boils at 212 degree Fahrenheit. This law does not tell the water that this is what it has to do, but simply describes a natural phenomenon. In fact, if any of these descriptive laws is broken, then it cannot be considered a law at all. (Leiser p. 56) With regards to the contention that homosexuality is unnatural because it is artificially produced by humans, Leiser refers to his typewriter. He explains that man had to remove certain substances from nature and put them together using a variety of chemical and mechanical processes to create his typewriter. With this, he argues that the logic that would lead someone to believe that this is a reason for thinking that homosexuality is unnatural would lead someone...

Words: 599 - Pages: 3