Natural law theorists and positivists (Morality 4)

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  • Natural Law Theorists
    • There are theories as to whether the law should be based on moral values
    • Natural law theorists argue that in order to be valid the law must coincide with natural law.
    • There is quite often a overlap with religion. So if the bible appears to, for example, reject relations between the same gender then natural law theorists might base their morals upon that view and reject current legislation.
    • In Gibson a women made earrings out of foetus' and natural law theorists were appalled, stating that this was public indecency
    • However, many people who are religious agree with homo-sexuality and so this reflects the importance of how morals change. If the natural law theory was applied the law and society would become stuck in time.
  • Positivists
    • Positivists, such as Jeremy Bentham would say that natural law theories are nonsense.
      • He promoted the utility principle; the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
    • Hart was a leading positivist and believed that the law is and what the law should be are two different questions
    • Positivists believe that moral wrongs should not be a crime unless they harm other people.


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