Positive law is distinguishable from natural law. The term “natural law”, especially as used generally in legal philosophy, refers to a set of universal principles and rules that properly govern moral human conduct. Unlike a statute, natural law is not created by human beings. Rather, natural law is thought to be the preexisting law of nature, which human beings can discover through their capacity for rational analysis.
सनत-सुजात-Free from all kinds of duality, it is manifest as the universe and all-pervading. Men of learning say that it is without any change, except in the language used to describe it. The Soul is the cause of my birth and procreation. I am the warp and woof of the universe. That upon which I rest is indestructible. Unborn I move, awake day and night. It is I knowing whom one becometh both learned and full of joy. Subtler than the subtle, of excellent eyes capable of looking into both the past and the future, Brahman is awake in every creature.
Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown, and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death.
What we are seeking, then, is how the mind may always pursue a steady, unruffled course, may be pleased with itself, and look with pleasure upon its surroundings, and experience no interruption of this joy, but abide in a peaceful condition without being ever either elated or depressed: this will be “peace of mind.”
The end of Government has been described in a great variety of expressions. By Locke it was said to be “the public good;” by others it has been described as being “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”
It was the supreme manifestation of the modern state according to the image which Machiavelli had set up, the state that suffers neither limit nor equality, and is bound by no duty to nations or to men, that thrives on destruction, and sanctifies whatever things contributed to increase of power.
Our search for the Ideal must be limited to a search for that one, among all the wholes composed of elements known to us, which seems to be better than all the rest. We shall never be entitled to assert that this whole is Perfection, but we shall be entitled to assert that it is better than any other which may be presented as a rival.
Mahatma Gandhi and his followers were talking about nonviolence, love, peace — all the great values cherished down the ages. And when power came he escaped. Mahatma Gandhi himself escaped because he became aware that if he took power in his hands he would no longer be the mahatma, the sage.
My subject is not Capital Punishment in particular, but that theory of punishment in general which the controversy showed to be almost universal among my fellow-countrymen. It may be called the Humanitarian theory. Those who hold it think that it is mild and merciful. In this, I believe that they are seriously mistaken.
That idea—”the wrong-doer deserves punishment because he might have acted otherwise,” in spite of the fact that it is nowadays so cheap, obvious, natural, and inevitable, and that it has had to serve as an illustration of the way in which the sentiment of justice appeared on earth, is in point of fact an exceedingly late, and even refined form of human judgment and inference; the placing of this idea back at the beginning of the world is simply a clumsy violation of the principles of primitive psychology.