In the state of nature, there are no rights of man and no laws to govern him, only freedoms to take what he can by force to enable him to extend the longevity and happiness of his life. In the state of nature, man has boundless freedom to take from others what he can, but the ensuing chaos leaves all but the strongest few with less happiness, less safety, and less life.
To improve the likelihood of achieving most men’s divine and natural goals, over time they entered into social contracts with others to establish societies. Through social contracts, man gave up natural freedoms that allowed him to take whatsoever he desired by force, but in giving up his natural freedoms, he gained the structure through which he could increase safety from having his happiness and life taken from others. The essence of the social contract became law, and the process of creating law was embodied in political society.
An uneasy balance between the social contract and natural rights has been our struggle of human existence ever since. Power struggles within tribes for dominance have shifted this balance through the many political systems to which we have subjected each other. And between tribes, the social contract was neglected and wars pitted tribe against tribe, executing organized natural law to shed blood for profit.
Within tribes, the struggle between social contracts and natural rights is bounded by the limits of authoritarianism and anarchy. Kings and priests shared authoritarianism in early societies. Today, most society’s powers are divided amongst representative governments and the “new kings” of the international, powerful, financial elite. Yet whether by kings, priests or financial elite, power is still bounded by the opposite limits of totalitarianism and the threat of revolution or devolution into anarchy.
Within the realm bounded by these firm human limits are the limits required by Divine Law. Divine Law suggests that neither of the limits of authoritarian control or of the natural state provide optimum communion with God. Both extremes take away from man’s divine purpose on Earth.
The Declaration of Independence recognized that Divine Law should govern man well before he ever is subjected to the extremes of human law. The founders agreed by signature that men are:
“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness”
Declaration of Independence, 1776