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Natural Law Theory Defended

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By monikerSNAFU
Words 1422
Pages 6
Charles Bell
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
PHIL 3516
Professor R. Debes
Natural Law Theory Defended One may pose the question; what is Natural Law Theory? To answer that question I would like to take a look at our book. Thomas Aquinas says this,
“[Now] the first principle in practical matters, which are the object of the practical reason, is the last end: and the last end of human life is happiness or beatitude…. Consequently, law must… concern itself mainly with the order that is in beatitude. Moreover, since every part is ordained to the whole as the imperfect to the perfect, and since one man is a part of the perfect community, law must… concern itself properly with the order directed to universal happiness. Therefore Aristotle mentions both happiness and the body politic, since he says that we call those legal matters just which are adapted to produce and preserve happiness and its parts for the body politic.” (Q90) He goes on to say, “Thus,… Law is nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by him who has the care of the community. The natural law is promulgated by the very fact that God instilled it into man’s mind so as to be known by him naturally…. The promulgation that takes place in the present extends to future time by reason of the durability of written characters, by which means it is continually promulgated.” (Q90) Simplified we can take a few things from this excerpt such as that Natural Law is instilled in us by God, and directs towards a final end which is happiness and well being. It also can be derived that because it is instilled by God into man that men can guide themselves to said well being. An objection given to combat, so to speak, the Natural Law Theory would be that it conflates moral obligation with legal obligation. That is to say that it melds or blends the two. Morals are personal principles or...

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