First Position Paper: Natural Law Theory vs Legal Positivism
What is a Position Paper?
For the purposes of this course, a “Position Paper” is essentially a take-home exam in which you are required to answer three questions. You will find an estimate of length and a grade value for each question.
The depth of your analysis: do not confuse a lot of words for a lot of thought. If your answer if filled with “filler” and is extremely repetitive, it will not receive as good a grade as one that is clear and concise. Also, do not confused your opinion for a good argument.
Submit the answer in a Word Document, 12 point Times Roman.
In approximately 800 words, explain as thoroughly and concisely as you can Aquinas’ Natural Law Theory of the human law and how it accounts for legal validity. (40 Marks)
In approximately 800 words, explain as thoroughly and concisely as you can Austin’s Command theory of the law and how it accounts for legal validity. (30 Marks)
In approximately 500 words, provide a critical reflection on which of these theories of the law can best account for legal validity in a contemporary multicultural society such as Canada. If you reject Natural law theory and side with Austin, are there no moral activities that you would argue should be illegal? For example, would you accept a law that allow for the euthanasia of seriously physically and mentally disabled babies at birth? If you side with Aquinas, how to address the problem that not everyone today shares the same moral values. And are there moral values that someone like Aquinas would hold that you do not? And if so, do you not have a problem of consistency? (30 Marks)
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