Essay and Answer Writing

“We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws” [2017]

“Law is twofold – natural and written. The natural law is in the heart, the written law on tables. All men are under the natural law” – all human beings are governed by laws. Some are man made, i.e. we and the societies that we inhabit have created laws, certain rules and regulations for a smooth and easy functioning of our lives. But these laws can be modified, rewritten or even amended and abolished – it is something that we can control. But beyond this, there are certain laws that we cannot govern – the ‘natural’ laws. The fact that earth rotates around the sun, or that seismic waves in the earth’s layers cause earthquakes. Humans have however time and again attempted to control natural laws artificially, but experience has proven that at some point or the other, natural laws will catch up. The essay shows why it is important to respect natural laws.
 
What are human laws and natural laws?
Most simply, human law is a man-made law. These are a set of rules and regulation or practices that have been devised over time to ensure standardised behaviour and smooth running of the society. 
 
Natural law is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be deduced and applied independent of the enacted laws of a state or society. According to natural law theory, all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by ‘God, nature, or reason’. Natural law theory can also refer to ‘theories of ethics, theories of politics, theories of civil law, and theories of religious morality’. 
 
Can natural laws be controlled?
To fulfil materialistic needs and to tweak nature in order to gain profits, man has time and again made attempts at controlling and resisting the flow of natural laws. The examples are plenty:
 
·We have created dams to control natural flow of waters and rivers
·We have constructed roads and infrastructure in hilly terrain, defying its natural capacity and going against its grain
·Governments and institutions are now able to predict the occurrence of natural disasters such as cyclones and they make several attempts at reducing its degree of destruction
·We have cut forests and trees in the name of urban development
 
Every natural resource, every natural law is governed by its own timeline. It takes its own time to regenerate, works according to its own pace. Besides, natural laws are also moral laws that are based on human nature, experience and reasoning. These laws act like glues to society, and are the guiding force. Absence of moral laws like integrity, honesty, justice, freedom, human rights in society triggers unrest and revolutions. Human laws are made to establish these universal principles and make society more just and equal. Human laws that conflict the natural laws or violate it, invite the wrath of nature, which may come in the form of natural disaster or civil unrest.
 
Over a period human society has evolved and so as its law. Human laws and their activities have affected nature. And nature responds to human activities in their own ways, often beyond human control. On one hand, human laws are made to regulate society, human behaviour, and maintain peace and security. On the other hand, natural laws regulate the flow of the river, the growth of trees, change in weather, celestial functions, etc.
 
Human laws can be partial, discriminatory, weak, strong, flexible, and different in different locations whereas natural laws are non-discriminatory and universal. Natural laws are calm, peaceful and beautiful such as planetary motion, etc. But, at times, it can be dangerous and harsh such as cyclones, tsunamis, flash floods, etc.
 
As the population increased human dependence on nature also increased. As long as the exploitation of natural resources takes place as per the natural laws, the problem of a natural disaster doesn't arise. But when the speed of exploitation overtakes the rate of replenishment, then it invites the wrath of nature. For instance:
 
·In 2013, a multi-day cloudburst centred on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides becoming the country's worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami. The reason the floods occurred was that the rainfall received was on a larger scale than the regular rainfall the state usually received. The debris blocked up the rivers, causing major overflow.
·The real cause however is considered the rate of unprecedented tourism in a sensitive area like Kedarnath, and the construction of roads, bridges, hotels, etc. 
·Unplanned and haphazard construction, mismanaged tourism, and related activities including intensive mining in this fragile ecosystem are some of the reasons that made to name this natural disaster partly as man-made that increased the intensity and magnitude of damages.
 
One can escape human laws in many ways. But intensive agriculture, overfishing, indiscriminate cutting of trees for making roads have deteriorated the natural resources available by stretching beyond  their regenerative capacity. This deterioration threatens food security, livelihood of many dependent on it directly and indirectly.
 
Conclusion
“Current illusion is that science has abolished all natural laws” - Most of the environmental issues being currently faced by the world are the result of violation of the natural process of regeneration and flow. Over-exploitation of resources, replacing an endemic species with a profitable one endangers sustainable development. The reward and punishment of human laws can be escaped but that is not true in the case of nature laws. Nature punishes in its own way slowly but surely.



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