I am very happy to be here with you today to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace. I feel honored, humbled and deeply moved that you should give this important prize to a simple monk from Tibet. I am no one special. But, I believe the prize is a recognition of the true values of altruism, love, compassion and nonviolence which I try to practice, in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha and the great sages of India and Tibet. I accept it as a tribute to the man who founded the modern tradition of nonviolent action for change – Mahatma Gandhi – whose life taught and inspired me. And, of course, I accept it on behalf of the six million Tibetan people, my brave countrymen and women inside Tibet, who have suffered and continue to suffer so much. They confront a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities. The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated. I speak to inform you of the sad situation in my country today and of the aspirations of my people, because in our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess. War today would be a form of suicide.
Plato and Aristotle. Plato (left) and Aristotle (right.) A detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael.
Natural law theories such as Declarationism, a legal philosophy, argues that the founding of the United States is based on natural law. Because of the intersection between natural law and natural rights, natural law has been cited as a component in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. (See “Laws of Nature” First Paragraph Declaration of Independence) Within the American Declaration of Independence, building on natural law, philosophies such as Consent of the Governed replaced the older doctrine of the Divine right of kings. These philosophies like social contract theory came of age during the age of enlightenment through individuals such as John Locke, but these ideas can be found in Roman law, Greek philosophy and ancient Buddhist texts.