Natural law is stated as the reason people can be guilty of war crimes even if they were obeying orders under their national law. It also figures into the debate between the degree to which right and wrong is culturally contextual or universal.
The modern trend is to stress cultural context more than it has been stressed in the past, but documents like the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights or the United States’ Declaration of Independence are based on the importance of natural law.
There is much disagreement about natural laws, but everyone can agree that the concept was vital to the creation of the Bill of Rights.
All this was inviolable, like any set of natural laws.
Chang-rae Lee -- A Gesture Life
"What’s natural law?" I wondered, too late for an answer, because Dad was on a tear.
Homer Hickam -- October Sky
Science has claimed the power to eventually control everything, through its understanding of natural laws.
Michael Crichton -- Jurassic Park
But magic, like everything else, follows certain natural laws.
Micheal Scott -- The Alchemyst
It seemed as though he had for a soul the book of the natural law.
Victor Hugo -- Les Miserables
Was there some natural law that demanded equal shares of happiness and misery in the world?
Stephenie Meyer -- Breaking Dawn
He considered physics ’God’s natural law.’
Dan Brown -- Angels & Demons
It’s a natural law and the world is better off without them.
Margaret Mitchell -- Gone with the Wind
The ocean outside is rising, and by a perfectly natural law of balance, the level of this lake is also rising.
Jules Verne -- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
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But Samuel had put up a laughing wall against natural laws, and Una’s death breached his battlements.
John Steinbeck -- East of Eden
What is evil, if not a natural law?
Dan Brown -- The Lost Symbol
Because Obie was certain of one thing as if it was a natural law, like gravity—Renault wasn’t going to sell the chocolates.
Robert Cormier -- The Chocolate War
It is a natural law; every animal must fight for its own livelihood.
Henrik Ibsen -- An Enemy of the People
Not the people next door, who I’m pretty sure kept an ear to the wall, waiting to see if I would fly, or attempt, like our wingless lynx, to defy all instinct and natural law, ball up courage, count to three and crest the edge in one mighty leap.
Ellen Hopkins -- Crank
This led to the thought that there exists a universal right-ness, the so-called natural law.
Jostein Gaarder -- Sophie’s World
To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
Martin Luther King, Jr. -- Letter from a Birmingham Jail
By the natural law which governs all effort, what he wrote reacted upon him.
Theodore Dreiser -- Sister Carrie
To this order I belong, brother goatherds, to whom I return thanks for the hospitality and kindly welcome ye offer me and my squire; for though by natural law all living are bound to show favour to knights-errant, yet, seeing that without knowing this obligation ye have welcomed and feasted me, it is right that with all the good-will in my power I should thank you for yours.
Miguel de Cervantes -- Don Quixote
No; but less often than with landsmen do their vices, so called, partake of crookedness of heart, seeming less to proceed from viciousness than exuberance of vitality after long constraint; frank manifestations in accordance with natural law.
Herman Melville -- Billy Budd
He had planned to return to his pariah after the wedding, but he was appalled at the hardness of the inhabitants of Macondo, who were prospering in the midst of scandal, subject to the natural law, without baptizing their children or sanctifying their festivals.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- One Hundred Years of Solitude
Let the gods into your life and you rapidly lose faith in the natural laws.
Megan Whalen Turner -- The Thief
That there was no law of nature that man should love mankind, and that, if there had been any love on earth hitherto, it was not owing to a natural law, but simply because men have believed in immortality.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky -- The Brothers Karamazov
Perhaps it was the gift of Heaven—a happy convergence of natural laws.
Thomas Hardy -- The Return of the Native
When it was time for me to repeat the noises I did likewise, if only to please the teacher, twisting my mouth , shutting my eyes completely, conscious of an overarticulation so tortured it must have sounded like a sudden bending of the natural law, a stone or tree struggling to speak.
Don DeLillo -- White Noise
Nothing I learned that year or in the years that followed made me doubt the absolute truth of that natural law I discovered during the first month of the plebe system.
Pat Conroy -- The Lords of Discipline
By all logical and natural laws this war should end with all the white races wiping out one another, wiping out their so-called civilisation for all time and reverting to a state of primitivism the like of which has so far only existed in your imagination when you thought of us.
Wole Soyinka -- Death and the King’s Horseman
…quietly the puny, unhorsed figure moving with that precarious and meretricious cleverness of animals balanced on their hinder legs; that cleverness of which the man animal is so fatuously proud and which constantly betrays him by means of natural laws like gravity and ice, and by the very extraneous objects which he has himself invented, like motor cars and furniture in the dark, and the very refuse of his own eating left upon floor or pavement; and he thinks quietly how right the…
William Faulkner -- Light in August
But it is certain that natural laws vary from universe to universe—and believe this you must, milord, else neither of us will live long!
Robert A. Heinlein -- Glory Road
The idea, my dear sir, of both natural law and universal reason is alive in international law and—
Thomas Mann -- The Magic Mountain
Could say our customs are natural laws because are way people have to behave to stay alive.
Robert A. Heinlein -- The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
According to natural law.
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee -- Inherit the Wind
It was all he wanted—a genuine miracle to confound natural law, a baffling reversal of the inevitable consequences.
Tim O’Brien -- Going After Cacciato
This apparently astounding acoustic mystery is easily explainable by simple natural laws; it arose from the conductibility of the rock.
Jules Verne -- A Journey to the Center of the Earth
It was like all the natural laws had changed on them, and suddenly steel was soft and flesh was hard, rock was brittle and leather weak as grass.
Orson Scott Card -- Red Prophet
They were dominated by the weary and degrading egotism of life, which is blandly philosophical over the death of the alien, but sees in its own the corruption of natural law.
Thomas Wolfe -- Look Homeward, Angel
Here is a planted globe, pierced and belted with natural laws and fenced and distributed externally with civil partitions and properties which impose new restraints on the young inhabitant.
Ralph Waldo Emerson -- Selected Essays
Not even its phase appeared fixed, for there were moments when its dreadful bulk abruptly flickered and became translucent, as if some natural law rebelled against its presence in this world.
Henry H. Neff -- The Fiend And The Forge
Once selected, those leaders must have full scientific freedom to direct the bio-group in accordance with natural law, unhampered by such artificial anachronisms as statutes, constitutions, and courts of law.
Robert A. Heinlein -- Tunnel In the Sky
No one wants to invest you with a power of any kind, gunslinger; it is simply in you, and I am compelled to tell you, partly because of the sacrifice of the boy, and partly because it is the law; the natural law of things.
Stephen King -- The Gunslinger
But we are also aware that if actual law is not on our side, human law is for us, natural law, the law of common-sense and conscience, which is no less binding upon every noble and honest man—that is, every man of sane judgment—because it is not to be found in miserable legal codes.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky -- The Idiot
It rests now with ourselves to enjoy in peace and concord the blessings of self-government so long denied to mankind: to show by example the sufficiency of human reason for the care of human affairs and that the will of the majority, the natural law of every society, is the only sure guardian of the rights of man.
David McCullough -- John Adams
Perhaps the necessary classification which I pointed out in the last sentence will always be less respected by a democratic people than by any other, because amongst such a people there are no men who are permanently disposed by education, culture, and leisure to study the natural laws of language, and who cause those laws to be respected by their own observance of them.
Alexis de Toqueville -- Democracy In America, Volume 2
Some of the leaves which were exposed to the sun had drooped a little, and this slight departure from the usual natural laws had caught the quick eyes of the Indian; for so practised and acute do the senses of the savage become, more especially when he is on the war-path, that trifles apparently of the most insignificant sort often prove to be clues to lead him to his object.
James Fenimore Cooper -- The Pathfinder
Do they yield so laudably to the vast and cumulative influence of such enterprise and such renown; do those little rills become absorbed so quietly and easily, and, as it were by the influence of natural laws, so beautifully, in the swoop of the majestic stream as it flows upon its wondrous way enriching the surrounding lands; that their course is perfectly to be calculated, and distinctly to be predicated?’
Charles Dickens -- Little Dorrit
It is an issue of natural law and a free man’s inherent right to maintain his liberty.
Alexs Pate -- Amistad
That natural law surmounts every other; we can’t help what it clashes with."
George Eliot -- The Mill on the Floss
But at that moment, by an inspiration of jealousy, analogous to the inspiration which reveals to a poet or a philosopher, who has nothing, so far, but an odd pair of rhymes or a detached observation, the idea or the natural law which will give power, mastery to his work, Swann recalled for the first time a remark which Odette had made to him, at least two years before: "Oh, Mme. Verdurin, she won’t hear of anything just now but me.
Marcel Proust -- Swann’s Way
Reflection of Natural Law, you think.
John Gardner -- The Sunlight Dialogues
Her mother had warned her and Evangeline often enough about respecting the Natural Laws.
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl -- Beautiful Creatures