NaturalRights are rights that come from nature.

Some people have the idea that natural rights come from governments. Artificial or political rights come from governments. Natural rights are from nature.

The writers of the U.S. Constitution understood the tendency to misrepresent the source of natural rights and created a document which basically says "We are not the ones to grant natural rights", but "Nevertheless, we hereby grant them". No Constitution or law or statute actually grants any person natural rights. At best they recognize rights. But when some people have control of political bodies often they try to convince others that they are granting rights, offering freedoms, providing liberties, all of which are simply not theirs to offer.

Any powerful group can force people to pretend that their group is the one granting rights. They can say "You may speak freely to the extent we allow" or "You may travel where we tell you". And if they have the means to force people, many people will begin to agree, in order to avoid problems.  

A core element of natural rights is the idea of a power that "enforces" them, a power more genuine than governments and other gangs.  A person might call the power "god" or "karma" or "nature". Regardless what it is called, ultimately rights are protected by a force greater than any gang.

In colonial America, did a "slave" have the right to walk away from a "slaveowner"? The "slave" had the natural right of course. It is the most basic right of anyone to walk away from anyone else. And in nature one of the most basic crimes is to pursue another person. But the government had made laws that contradicted natural law.

So if natural law, eternal law, says a "slave" has the right to walk away, but government law says the opposite, which should a person respect? It is a question that comes up in a new form every time people in government act to benefit their own specific group.

Corrupt individuals often grant themselves "super rights" and deprive others of natural rights by taking control of a powerful gang, government, etc. 

 

 Natural rights are not actually a concrete set of rights. They vary according to many factors. So giving a set group of natural rights is not really possible. The founders of the U.S. mentioned "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", and yet many of them kept slaves, attacked Natives to get land and so on. Still, the following are some general examples of rights that every person ultimately has, and also some corresponding examples of artificial rights created by people trying to improve upon nature.

 

Some Examples of Natural Rights Some Examples of Political Rights
Speech and thought are never limited by nature. Political powers often restrict individual thought and speech.
There is no natural right to harm another. Governments often require harming people.
Every person has a natural right to travel anywhere. Political rights almost always involve restrictions on travel.

Nature never puts one person inherently above another. Each is different, none is superior.

Governments are often built around "superior" and "inferior" people.

 

A person might ask "But without government controlling our rights, won't everyone start commiting crimes?"

Its important to know the difference between external values and internal values. If you do not commit a certain crime because the government says the crime is bad then you are not " doing something good" by not commiting the crime. You are simply obeying a power. A person who avoids a crime for a power will also commit one for the power. It is better for a person to know what is good and bad than to consult a government in order to make decisions.

One of the most dangerous kinds of people are the types who try to "do good" through things like governments, religious authorities etc. These people have a shallow unseasoned idealism and imagine themselves to have unique qualifications to guide others by force or stealth.

 

People enjoy having power over others and it is common for people who get some kind of temporary power to create a false paradigm that puts them in the position of "guiding" or "helping" or "teaching" those who are not in their gang. It is an adult version of the blind obedience forced on children in many societies, but now the children have grown and gotten power and use it to inflict their values on others. The most extreme examples, like nazi doctors smilingly performing experiments on children who are taught to see the doctors as parent figures, are no different than the more mild seeming examples where a power hungry bureaucrat enforces his or her will on some vulnerable person in the name of some fictional virtue.

Historically, some leaders have tried to model society on natural rights.

The founders of many societies over time have spoken and written about the difference between natural rights and legal rights. These individuals generally make it clear that legal, or non natural, rights should be used only as a means to preserve natural rights. Without exception though, within a generation or two, every such society degenerates into a fancy street gang.

America's founders saw how unnatural authority raged out of control in Europe when politicians became intoxicated with artificial powers and they tried to prevent that happening in America. Now America's leaders has become worse than the violent oppressive gangsters that the original settlers of America were fleeing.

 Why do some people use artificial laws to limit natural rights?

A government often operates the same way a street gang does. The powerful use force to profit at the expense of the weak.

In a government, power takes the form of overt muscle (groups with guns) as well as control of money and of many other things.

Unnatural laws, government laws, always serve some purpose, they always benefit someone. Unfortunately, government often becomes a sanctuary for clever minds to control others, rather than protecting their liberties and natural rights.