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Old 22nd August 2009, 10:30 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default 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.' "

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. Human persons are said to be made in the image of God because free will and reason make created persons more like God than other created things. Thus the natural law is first and foremost found in human nature itself.

The eternal moral law is God, and so perfect knowledge of that law is only obtained with perfect knowledge of God in the Beatific Vision of the very Nature (Essence) of God. But the moral law can also be known by the use of reason to consider all that God has created, i.e. the goodness and good order of natural things. All that is good in Creation is a reflection of God who is Just. Therefore, justice is inherent to all created things, to the natural order of all created things, and especially to the hearts and minds of all created persons. Free will and reason, and our understanding of the natural world and its proper order, give us the ability to understand what is just and what is unjust. Thus, the natural law is the promulgation of the moral law into the very nature of all created things, especially created persons.

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.

[Romans]
{2:14} For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature those things which are of the law, such persons, not having the law, are a law unto themselves.
{2:15} For they reveal the work of the law written in their hearts, while their conscience renders testimony about them, and their thoughts within themselves also accuse or even defend them,
{2:16} unto the day when God shall judge the hidden things of men, through Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel.

The natural law is nothing other than the promulgation of the eternal moral law by God within the nature and order of Creation. Therefore, the natural law is also universal and immutable.
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Old 23rd August 2009, 11:34 PM
VKallin VKallin is offline
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Default An Example

No one needs to teach me that it is wrong to steal the property of another. And I would know instinctively that it is wrong to take the life of another. These things are written in our hearts and we know them to be true without benefit of the church or any human legal system.

Would these be examples of the moral law?

Does the human conscience play a role here as well?
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Old 23rd August 2009, 11:49 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by VKallin View Post
No one needs to teach me that it is wrong to steal the property of another. And I would know instinctively that it is wrong to take the life of another. These things are written in our hearts and we know them to be true without benefit of the church or any human legal system.

Would these be examples of the moral law?

Does the human conscience play a role here as well?

Those are examples of the moral law expressed in natural law.
The human conscience is part of our human nature, so that is also part of natural law.
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