776. Are the state of nature and the law of nature the same thing?
“No, the state of nature is the original state. Civilization is incompatible with the state of nature, while the law of nature contributes to the progress of humankind.”
The state of nature is the first phase of the human race, and the starting point of its intellectual and moral development. Human beings, born imperfect and containing the seed of their betterment, are not destined to live in the state of nature forever, just as they do not remain in the state of infancy. The state of nature is brief, and human beings outgrow it through progress and civilization. On the contrary, natural law rules humankind as a whole. People improve as they understand this law more clearly, and mold their actions to adhere to it.