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The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsNatural Law, Natural Rights, and Human Rights in Transition$
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David Boucher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203529

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203529.001.0001

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(p.357) Conclusion
The Limits of Ethics in International Relations


Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the discussions of natural law and natural rights. It argues that natural law and natural rights are constellations of presuppositions and ideas that have greater similarities than most critics want to admit. It objects to the proposition that natural rights constituted a secularization of natural law ideas on the ground that it leads people to the discovery of obligations, and maintains that natural rights and human rights are far less closely associated than is often asserted. This is because while natural rights cast adrift the religious foundationalism, human rights have jettisoned the Christian metaphysics upon which both natural rights and natural law depended.

Keywords:   natural law, natural rights, human rights, obligations, Christian metaphysics

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