We human beings have qualities that derive from our very nature. There is good in our very nature and there is evil in our very nature. I believe that these qualities of our very nature are self-evident and that the better qualities of our very nature form the basis for what is just, right, and moral.
And so I believe in natural law. Natural law in the sense that some things, based on our very nature, are and always will be right and some things are and always will be wrong. The founders of our country discussed these better qualities of our very nature. From this they identified self-evident inalienable rights. Inalienable rights are “negative” rights. This means that inalienable rights are not a right to get something at someone else’s expense such as a “right” to a house, healthcare, food, education, or anything else that someone else is being forced to provide. Inalienable rights have to do with the right to be left alone and the obligation to leave others alone, e.g. my freedom ends where your nose begins.
In my view the right to life is the foundational inalienable right and the foundational principle for moral action. Your life is yours. My life is mine. It is wrong, unjust, and immoral for me to take your life or to harm you in any way and vice versa. By extension, your property, if gained by doing no harm to others, is yours and it is immoral for me to take if from you by force. You are free to say and do, and make and trade, and build anything that you want as long as you do not harm anyone else or anyone else's property. By extension you have the right to defend yourself and your property. You also have the right to defend the life and property of others.
Following this principle it is wrong, unjust, and immoral for one person to hurt or steal from you, it is wrong, unjust, and immoral for two persons to hurt you or steal from you, it is wrong, unjust, and immoral for 10 persons to hurt you or steal from you, it is wrong, unjust, and immoral for 100 persons to hurt you or steal from you, it is wrong, unjust, and immoral for 1,000 persons to hurt you or to steal from you, and it is wrong, unjust, and immoral for 300 million people to to hurt you or steal from you even if they take a vote on it.
For me the better qualities of our very nature and the the self-evident inalienable rights which ensue clarify the principles for what is just, right, and moral. Life is complex and there are many grey areas, but to the best of my ability I use these principles to guide my own behaviors and to evaluate the words and actions of individuals, politicians, preachers, governments, constitutions, laws, regulations, tax codes, wars, and everything else.
Mark Van Schuyver