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-   -   Catechism of Catholic Ethics, Chapter 2 (http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4119)

Ron Conte 12th April 2010 01:09 PM

Catechism of Catholic Ethics, Chapter 2
 
The Eternal Moral Law

The moral law is not a set of written laws, although any requirement of the moral law can be written down. The moral law is not a set of decisions made by God about good and evil. The moral law is not a particular set of just laws, although all just laws are based on the moral law. The moral law is not the implementation of justice in particular cases. The moral law is justice itself. All that is contrary to the moral law is contrary to justice itself. All that is in agreement with the moral law is in agreement with justice itself. Although the whole moral law, in any and all of its requirements, can be understood by reason alone, and can be expressed in particular laws and implemented in particular cases, the moral law as a whole is greater than reason and greater than any set of written laws.

Shane 12th April 2010 04:46 PM

Can you say that as God is Justice itself, then God is the moral law?

Ron Conte 12th April 2010 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shane (Post 32213)
Can you say that as God is Justice itself, then God is the moral law?


Yes, God is Justice. The eternal moral law is Justice. Therefore, God is the eternal moral law. Whoever violates the eternal moral law acts contrary to the very Nature of God.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: "So then no one can know the eternal law, as it is in itself, except the blessed who see God in His Essence."



Ron Conte 14th April 2010 06:04 PM

The moral law is universal, applying to all persons, at all times, in all places, in all situations. There is no context in which the moral law changes, or in which the principles of morality are different, or in which nothing is immoral, or in which the moral law does not apply, or in which the moral law applies only in a limited way, or only to a limited extent. All the principles of the moral law are universal, applying to all persons, at all times, in all places, in all situations.

Ron Conte 15th April 2010 12:30 PM

An unjust law is not a law.

Any human law, Church law, ruling, regulation, which is unjust, is not binding before the eyes of God.

An unjust law is a type of violence.

Should we disobey unjust laws? Our actions must always be just under the moral law. If disobeying an unjust law, such as excessive taxation, does more harm than good, you would obey the moral law by seeming to obey the unjust law (i.e. pay the excessive taxes).

But if an unjust law in effect commands us to sin, then we must not obey.

Ron Conte 16th April 2010 11:18 AM

Since the moral law is a type of law -- it is actually the archetype of all law -- it must have the characteristics of law. According to St. Thomas, these are:

All just laws are
(1) reasonable,
(2) of proper authority,
(3) for the common good,
(4) promulgated,
(5) enforced.

The moral law is reasonable and understandable by reason, of proper authority, which is God, for the common good of humanity, promulgated by natural law and by Divine Revelation, enforced by God, who knows all sins and who punishes sin.

Ron Conte 19th April 2010 01:37 PM

Natural Law
 
Natural law is the promulgation of the eternal moral law in all creation, especially in created persons, both in the nature of each created thing, and in the ordered relationship between created things.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: "Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 6) that 'knowledge of the eternal law is imprinted on us.' "

Saint Thomas Aquinas: "The natural law is a participation in us of the eternal law…."

This imprinting of the eternal moral law upon human persons is inherent to human nature itself; it is not merely an addition to, or one aspect of, human nature. For all that God created is inherently good, and therefore all that God created is a reflection of God, who is Goodness itself.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: "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."

But the natural law is no different than the moral law, except that the natural law is the means by which we know the moral law. Therefore, the natural law is the promulgation of the moral law, so that this eternal moral law may be known naturally by created persons.

Ron Conte 19th April 2010 05:38 PM

Some exercises on natural law:

1. Give an example of a moral truth and explain how it can be known from reason alone, without Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium.

2. If we have a question as to whether or not an act is moral, what approach can be used, based only on natural law, to determine the answer?

3. Give an example of a moral truth which is easily misunderstood when approached by reason alone, and explain why reason has difficulty reaching the correct conclusion.

sammy 19th April 2010 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 32390)
Some exercises on natural law:

1. Give an example of a moral truth and explain how it can be known from reason alone, without Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium.

2. If we have a question as to whether or not an act is moral, what approach can be used, based only on natural law, to determine the answer?

3. Give an example of a moral truth which is easily misunderstood when approached by reason alone, and explain why reason has difficulty reaching the correct conclusion.


1. Do not steal. When I take something that does not belong to me, I deprive someone else of whatever I take. It is reasonable that they need what I have taken.
2. How would I like it if it was done to me?
3. Euthanasia is murder. We can justify euthanasia because we can see that it relieves suffering by removing the person who suffers thus we have with reason reached the wrong conclusion that euthanasia is ok.

Ron Conte 19th April 2010 09:27 PM

Good answers. Yes, the golden rule of treating others as you would want to be treated, which Jesus taught, is also accessible to reason alone, and so it is of the natural law. This idea is even found in the OT:

[Tobit]
{4:16} Whatever you would hate to have done to you by another, see that you never do so to another.


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