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natural law

noun
1.
a principle or body of laws considered as derived from nature, right reason, or religion and as ethically binding in human society.
Compare positive law.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for natural-law

natural law

noun
1.
an ethical belief or system of beliefs supposed to be inherent in human nature and discoverable by reason rather than revelation
2.
a nonlogically necessary truth; law of nature See also nomological (sense 2)
3.
the philosophical doctrine that the authority of the legal system or of certain laws derives from their justifiability by reason, and indeed that a legal system which cannot be so justified has no authority
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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natural-law in Culture

natural law definition


The doctrine that human affairs should be governed by ethical principles that are part of the very nature of things and that can be understood by reason. The first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence contain a clear statement of the doctrine.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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