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Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract Essay


The lives of people with their natural rights cannot be governed entirely by the legislative power

As people lived in a natural way before joining the social contract, they should have the same freedoms and rights as before so that the legislative power does not limit in any way their natural rights and intentions. At the same time, the legislative power should be designed to restrict human beings from negative impact from other people because the intentions of some people may be negative towards others leading to destruction and lack of negotiations. As suggested by John Locke in The Second Treatise, the legislative power cannot be “absolutely arbitrary” (par. 135: 61). However, not following the regulations of legislative power can be destructive for society itself.

As people lived in conditions that were far from the social contract, the legislative power cannot restrict their rights to the extent of the society only

The nature of human society can be explained by the rights and freedoms and certain limitations imposed by the legislative power, which is aimed at regulating and controlling the way the power is exercised in society by this or that citizen. In other words, an individual’s power may be excessive, while the legislative power is called to remain in balance with the powers of individuals in a society.

The legislative power should not be aimed at destructive activities directed against the members of a society

Destruction of society can be performed by destroying every member of this society by enslavement, impoverishment, or any other harm brought to an individual and his/her family. In other words, the legislative power should be designed according to the natural laws and God’s laws that can properly govern society. As Locke claimed, “the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men” (62) being the basis for legislative power.

Legislative power and access to regulation

In the state of nature, no man had arbitrary power over himself and could not exercise any kind of power over others; so, the legislative power turned out to give no more access to regulation to a man than he had in the state of nature.

The state of nature was the period when no formal society existed, and every man could govern and regulate his life as he wanted. However, he had no arbitrary power to regulate his own life and the lives of other people because the natural laws prevailed. As such, the legislative power brought no more limitations to the governance of people’s lives than they used to have in the state of nature.

Legislative power and limit of human power

No arbitrary power was available for a man in the state of nature in terms of life, possession, and freedom; so, the legislative power was aimed at not limiting the power of man over possession, liberty, and life more than it was in the state of nature.

The legislative power did not exist in the state of nature, though people had no power over their lives. As such, people should not be given more power in a society with the help of exercising legislative power, according to Locke, than they had in a natural state when they enjoyed no power. In this case, the legislative power is aimed at restricting people no more than in the state of nature and empowering them no more than in the state of nature.

As people lived in conditions that were far from the social contract, the legislative power cannot restrict their rights to the extent of the society only

The legislative power should have preservation functions and be based on the principles of pubic good to be valid for governing people’s lives that live in a society.

As people used to live according to the laws of nature and their lives were peaceful regardless of their limited power to govern their lives and lives of other people, the legislative power should have preservation functions as well. The public good should be the main principle of exercising power in society because society is a unit that should be properly maintained. As such, the preservation of people from harming themselves to each other is the main function of legislative power in a society.

The legislative power should be designed and exercised according to the laws of nature and the will of God

The laws of nature were the primary source of power and knowledge for people who lived in the state of nature. As such, the legislative power should be designed according to those laws as they were peaceful, and no harm was intended. The absence of destruction in a society under the legislative power may be based on the natural laws as it used to be in the state of nature.

The legislative power should not be aimed at destructive activities directed against the members of society.

Works Cited

Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Government: And, a Letter Concerning Toleration. Mineola, NY: Courier Dover Publications, 2002. Par.135: 61-62. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2021, January 5). Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/legislative-power-natural-law-and-social-contract/

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"Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract." IvyPanda, 5 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/legislative-power-natural-law-and-social-contract/.

1. IvyPanda. "Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract." January 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/legislative-power-natural-law-and-social-contract/.


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IvyPanda. "Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract." January 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/legislative-power-natural-law-and-social-contract/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract." January 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/legislative-power-natural-law-and-social-contract/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Legislative Power, Natural Law and Social Contract'. 5 January.

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