Saturday, June 17, 2023


      The picture that I have been developing of the moral community translates easily into an attendant system of law—the common law whereby disputes and grievances are brought before an impartial judge and resolved according to the ancient principles of natural justice, which advocate the avoidance of bias and the right to a fair hearing.  The habit of settling our disputes in that way therefore seems to be the natural adjunct to the moral order.  Just those principles that underlie common-law practice in the English-speaking tradition emerge from our spontaneous ways of negotiating solutions to our conflicts.  All of the following principles, for example, seem to be accepted by those who lay down their weapons and reason toward solutions instead:

1. Considerations that justify or impugn one person, will, in identical circumstances, justify or impugn another,

2. Rights are to be respected.

3. Obligations are to be fulfilled.

4. Agreements are to be honored.

5. Disputes are to settled by negotiation, not by force.

6. Those who do not respect the rights of others forfeit rights of their own.

-Roger Scruton, On Human Nature

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