What is the Natural Right of Man?
3 minutes • 564 words
The natural right of man is vaguely defined as the right which man has to whatever is proper for his enjoyment.
Before we consider the natural rights of man, we must consider man in:
- His different states of bodily and intellectual capacity, and
- His different relations to other men.
If we do not examine these two, then it is impossible to perceive what that natural right of each individual is.
Philosophers have formed different and even contradictory ideas of the right of man because they did not take into account these two considerations.
Some with a semblance of reason have refused to admit it; others with more reason hove admitted it - and there is truth on both sides - But one truth excludes another in the same object, when its state is changed, as one form is the privation of another form in the same body.
He who says that the natural right of man is of no force, says true. 
He who says that the natural right of man is what nature teaches all animals, says true. 
He who says that the natural right of ‘man is the right which his strength and his intelligence secure to him, says true. .
He who says that the natural right of man is limited to the particular interest of each individual, says true. 
He who says that natural right is a general and sovereign law which regulates the rights of all men, says true. 
He who says that the ’natural right of man is the unlimited right of all to all, says true. 
He who says that the natural right of man is a right limited by a convention, either express or implied, says true. 
He who says that the natural right supposes neither justice nor injustice, says true. 
He who says that natural right is a just, decisive and fundamental right, says true. 
But none of them say true, relative to all cases.
Thus philosophers have stopped with a parallogism, or incomplete argument, in their researches on this important question, which is the natural principle of all the duties of man regulated by reason.
An infant without strength or reason has an incontestable natural right to subsistence, founded on the duty which nature dictates to the father and mother. This right is so much the better secured, because the duty of the father and mother is accompanied by a natural impulse, which act’s more powerfully on parents, than the idea of the natural order which establishes the duty. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that this duty, pointed out and secured by feeling, is in the order of justice-for parents can but render to infants, those duties which they have received from their parents-but a precept which refers itself to a just right, binds every reasonable creature.
If I be asked, what is justice? I reply, it is a natural and sovereign rule, discovered by reason, which determines what belongs to one’s self, and what to another.
If the father and mother of the infant die, and he find himself without any other resource,  inevitably abandoned to his own helplessness, he is deprived of the exercise of-his natural right, and this becomes void. For a relative attribute is void, when the correlative is wanting. The use of, eyes is lost in a place totally without light