similar to what the framers of the U.S. constitution called "unalienable rights," those rights that are given to humans by God or nature, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the constitution) embody this concept of natural rights, which was given modern formulation by English, French and American thinkers in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.
According to John Locke, a seventeenth-century political philosopher, the personal rights that belong to people in the free state of nature.
Rights that belong to people simply because they are human beings.
rights, freedoms and privileges which are such a basic part of human nature that they cannot be taken away. These are different from rights which are given to people by the law. According to the Declaration of Independence, these rights include "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Belief that individuals are naturally endowed with basic human rights; those rights that are so much a part of human nature that they cannot be taken away or given up, as opposed to rights conferred by law. The Declaration of Independence states that these natural rights include the rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
See Rights, Natural.
the rights which, according to natural law theorists, individuals retain in the face of government action and interests.
Natural rights (also called human rights) are universal rights that are seen as inherent in the nature of people, and not contingent on human actions or beliefs. One theory of natural rights was developed from the theory of natural law during the Enlightenment in opposition to the divine right of kings, and provided a moral justification for liberalism.