The Natural Law Is Not The Sharing From Within Of The Eternal Law

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Aquinas defines “Natural Law” as the sharing from within of the Eternal Law. “The natural law” is just the rational person’s involvement in the eternal law. This involvement is available to all persons independently of any belief on their part in God. The natural law is observed whenever people both engage in correct practical reasoning about what is good and best for them in any given situation and when they act in accordance with that natural inclination. The natural law, according to Aquinas, has certain basic and self-evident ideas that would be known to any human with a properly functioning intellect and a little experience of the world. What St Thomas says first and foremost, is the idea that, “anything good is to be pursued and…show more content…
The goodness of the will 's acts depends on the goodness of its term or object. Since the will is a rational concept, inclining toward objects presented to it by reason, it makes sense that "goodness of the will depends on reason, in the same way that it depends on its object." Thomas teaches that practical reason should be measured by its first principles. Such principles are the primary ideas of the natural law, which is the rational person’s unique way of participating in God 's eternal law. God 's eternal law is received in or communicated to human beings through their natural tendency and their reason. Rational people participate in God 's eternal law not simply by being ruled and measured by it but also by actively measuring and ruling their own actions in accordance with its truth. People participate in the eternal law by coming to know the truths of the eternal law and expressing these as ideas of the practical reason; and there is, Thomas says, “an ordered progression in this active participation in the truths of the eternal law. For the natural law consists of an ordered series of "precepts" or ideas of practical reason.” (May, 1992) Thomas then lists some of these natural tendencies and the human goods to which they direct us and which reason is naturally understood as goods to be pursued and done such as the tendencies to preserve one 's life, to bear and raise children, to live in society with others, and to come to a
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