239: What Are Natural Rights?
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In this episode, Kenny explains the concepts of natural rights and natural law. Kenny compares and contrasts natural rights, that originate from a source that transcends governments, with legal rights that originate from a national government or from the leadership of some jurisdiction.
Kenny explains that the Biblical purpose for national governments is to bring law and order for the people, to acknowledge the natural rights of humans that have been given to us by God, and to build and cultivate the appropriate systems which will honor and protect natural rights.
Whenever a government violates natural law, or fails to acknowledge and protect the natural rights of the people, then that specific government, and its leaders, has lost its right to survive and exist. Whenever a government has violated this idea, and hence therefore has forfeited its own right to even exist, then it would be appropriate for the people of that nation (or the leadership of other nations) to remove the existing government from power, whether diplomatically or by force, in order to establish a new or reformed government that will indeed acknowledge and protect the natural rights of the people.
The concept of natural rights greatly influenced the founders of the United States. The philosophy of natural rights was asserted and taught by many philosophers throughout the centuries, but the greatest proponent of the modern understanding of natural rights was the 17th century British philosopher and physician John Locke.
Kenneth E. Ortiz (M.Div.) is a professor and recruiter at Bethlehem College and a pastor at Cities Church. He has 15+ years of vocational ministry experience. He’s also a podcaster, author, and Ph.D. student. Kenneth lives in Bloomington, MN with his wife Malaina, they have one daughter.