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What are the basic concepts of natural crime?

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Quick Answer

Natural crime occurs when someone breaks a natural law or does something that is considered in a particular society to be inherently wrong. These crimes generally include instances of murder, theft, violent behavior or rape. Anything that goes against mankind's innate sense of an acceptable action can be considered natural crime.

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Full Answer

The concept of a natural law originally came about due to religious theology. The Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas expressed this idea of a natural law in his treatise “Summa Theologica.” This treatise introduced the concept that God had established a “natural law.” Natural crimes were understood as crimes that violated this natural law. As an extension of this idea, the concept of a natural law meant that someone who committed a crime had also committed an act that separated themselves from God.

This idea of a natural law changed the general response to criminals. Those who committed crimes against God's natural law were effectively placing themselves out of his presence. Because of their distance from God, criminals deserved pity just as much as they deserved punishment.

This theology is evident in various legal systems. Most laws in place punish individuals who commit natural crimes. Although the reasoning behind these laws is not so heavily based in religion, humanity supports the idea that some actions are inherently wrong or unjust.

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