Natural Law/ Human Law

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Virginia Tech


This commentary is a response to Cormac Cullinan s 2008 article in Orion. In the article, Cullinan writes, _In the eyes of American law today, most of the community of life on Earth remains mere property, natural «resources to be exploited, bought and sold just as slaves were. In human law, precedence is regarded as extremely important. If precedence applied to natural law in the same manner as human law, then natural law, which is at least 4.5 billion years old, would carry more weight than human law. There are also severe penalties for violating natural law, even if they are not always apparent in times spans of interest to individual humans. However, no human economy could possibly survive if the biospheric life support system ceases to maintain conditions favorable for human health. Therefore, humankind needs to better understand nature at all levels of biological organization before any attempt is made to protect nature with human laws.



climate change, natural law, human law, carrying capacity, resource depletion