Examples of natural law: Bill of rights, human rights, etc. Natural law is the theory or belief that certain rights exist independently of any government's granting of those rights. Generally, whenever a group rebels against their government and asserts rights that the government hasn't granted them, they are making a claim of natural law. Many children, for example, appeal to a sense of fairness in disputes, and most people around the world agree that murder is a severe infraction of natural law.
For example, the declaration of independence was an assertion of natural law - the right to be free, the right not to be taxed without representation, etc., if you believe you are entitled to these rights just by virtue of the fact that you are alive/human, you believe in natural law.
It can also work the other way; certain actions are criminal just by virtue of the acts themselves, such as murder (malum per se).
Positive law, on the other hand, is the theory or belief that all law comes from the government/lawmakers (Malum prohibitum). Basically, you have no rights that are not granted to you from the government, and no action is inherently right or wrong under the law unless there is legislature or court-created law that says so. Basically, murder isn't illegal because it's "evil" or bad, it's illegal because there's a written law in the books that says so.
Natural law and natural rights follow from the nature of man and the world. We have the right to defend ourselves and our property, because of the kind of animals that we are. True law derives from this right, not from the arbitrary power of the omnipotent state.
Natural law has objective, external existence. It follows from the ESS (evolutionary stable strategy) for the use of force that is natural for humans and similar animals. The ability to make moral judgments, the capacity to know good and evil, has immediate evolutionary benefits: just as the capacity to perceive three dimensionally tells me when I am standing on the edge of a cliff, so the capacity to know good and evil tells me if my companions are liable to cut my throat. It evolved in the same way, for the same straightforward and uncomplicated reasons, as our ability to throw rocks accurately.
Added: A definition of the topic from a legal text source is partially quoted:
"Contents of natural law are set by nature. It has validity everywhere. . . .
. . . Natural law is defined as "a rule which so necessarily agrees with the nature and state of man, that, without observing its maxims, the peace and happiness of society can never be preserved". [Borden v. State, 11 Ark. 519, 527 (Ark. 1851)]
The knowledge of natural law can be attained merely by the light of reason and from the fact of their essential agreeableness with the constitution of human nature.
Following are the examples of natural law:
(1)common access to air, running water, sea, and seashore.
(2)duty of parents to provide support for their minor children.
(3)equality of treatment.
(4)sanctity of human life.
(5)relation between step-parent and step-child.
(6)obligation of parents to provide their minor children with the necessaries of life."
[for attribution see below link]
While it may certainly be posited that common law and positive law have much of their fundamentals based in 'natural law,' it must be noted that so-called 'natural law' is not 'law' at all, but is simply an ethical, moral, or religious code by which civilization chooses to rule its collective organized life. Natural law can not be relied upon as either a reason, justification, or a legal defense, in support of ones actions.
In Science and Physics, an example of a "natural" law is the law of gravity.
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