I believe that Natural Laws should be the determining factor of what is just and moral regarding man made laws. Any rational person can distinguish right from wrong, but there are those who cannot and therefore that’s where man made laws come in hand. For instance the Comanche society believed it is a husband’s right to kill his wife without reasonable cause (Inciardi, 2010, p. 29). For a rational person this is insane, thus we make laws to prohibit acts to those natures. Natural laws are the laws god has instilled into all of us as a way to govern ourselves, and we should use those as guidelines for our own laws.
Sure things have changed with technology and the way we view the world but for the most part the natural laws have not changed. Thou shall not steal, thou shall not kill are probably the most well known of the natural laws. The laws for Thou shall not steal are robbery, burglary, and some offenses under property offenses. Robbery is the felonious taking of money or goods from a victim’s person, or in a victim’s presence and against his or her will, through the use or threat or force and violence (Inciardi, 2010, p. 68).
Burglary is the breaking and entering of a dwelling with the intention to commit a felony of misdemeanor (Inciardi, 2010, p. 71). Then the property offenses are Larceny, pickpocketing, shoplifting, and fraud to name a few (Inciardi, 2010, p. 72-73). The laws for thou shall not kill are murder and manslaughter. Murder is defined as the felonious killing of another human being with the malice aforethought (Inciardi, 2010, p. 64). While manslaughter is typically charged when a killing occurs under circumstances that are not severe enough to constitute murder yet are beyond the defenses of justifiable or excusable homicide (Inciardi, 2010, p. 6).
Man-made laws are made to be obeyed, in Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. ” Hebrews 13:17 is saying that man made laws are made for our own protection so don’t go against the laws and make their work at keeping peace more difficult than it already is, because it will not benefit you one bit. The bible states an eye for an eye; I believe this to be fair.
If you decide to take a life of another I believe that you forfeit your life as soon as you are found guilty. There are several defenses that can potentially let a guilty person walk free; insanity, mistake of fact, mistake of law, duress and consent, consent of the victim, entrapment, and justification (Inciardi, 2010, p. 36). The most popular defense is insanity. The insanity plea is for people who any type of mental issue, and cannot understand the consequences or his or her acts and cannot distinguish right from wrong. Natural law states thou shall not kill, but man made law says that there are exceptions to the rule.
I don’t believe in exceptions to the rule, I believe if you do the crime then you do the time. There are man-made laws that do not come from natural laws. For example there are several Islamic laws discriminating against women. There are laws that require them to cover their faces when out in public, and there is a law that if a man kidnaps and rapes his victim, if he agrees to marry her that he will not be punished by the legal system. Its man-made laws like these that send a chill up my spine and makes me wish that the world would stick with the natural laws that god has intended for us.
I understand that I am talking about two different countries with two very different religions, which makes me think that their definition of natural law could be very different from what ours is. Even though some countries have laws that have nothing to do with natural laws you can still find other laws that derive from natural laws. The laws of this country strongly resemble natural laws which are moral and just. Even if the laws of this country aren’t worded like natural laws if you look close they are a manifestation of them.