A Critique of Natural Law Essay

2522 Words Nov 8th, 2005 11 Pages
A Critique of Natural Law

Essay #2
Barbara Palombo
256 Pinevalley Crescent
Woodbridge, Ontario
L4L 2W5
Email: palombo5152@rogers.com
Student #: 923621220

Phil 1002 6.0 Q
Class ID: 1227265
Team Instructor: Carol Bigwood

Natural Law is a concept that has caused ambiguity throughout the history of Western thought. There is a multitude of incompatible ideas of natural law that have caused even those who are in basic agreement on natural law theory to have opposing notions on the particulars. In spite of this confusion, there have been enough advocates among natural law thinking in Western society to make it possible to identify its major criticisms:
1. Natural law is immutable and is rooted in nature. This
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"There is in fact a true law – namely, right reason – which is in accordance with nature, applies to all men, and is unchangeable and eternal." (Cicero) Cicero successfully argued before a Roman court that a particular Roman law was unjust, because it conflicted with natural law. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the medieval Catholic Scholar, sought to reconcile the Greek concept of natural law with Christian theology. Aquinas began by speculating that God governs the universe and that humans are equipped with divine reason and by it derives the natural inclination to proper acts and ends. (Einwechter, 1999, p.2) Aquinas believed that revelation through scripture which came through mediation of the church, was suitable for church/religious matters, while with natural revelation man is predisposed to rely on his reason which becomes the true source of law. If one introduces Scripture, then he is appealing to a source outside of himself, and is giving up natural law and reason. According to the Scripture, God reveals himself to man through natural revelation, which includes the knowledge of God's existence and power, and man's responsibility to worship God and live according to His moral law. (Ps.19: 1-6) Thus, it condemns man if they fail to worship God (Rom. 1:18, 20, 25) His preservation of the essence of naturalistic reasoning, contained in Aristotle's works, lead to the revitalization of reason over dogma

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