Thomas Hobbes ' Theory Of Natural Law

Better Essays
For many years now, political philosophy has been dealing with ideas on how to make society more moral, unprejudiced and just. Within this concept is whether laws and rules created in society are moral and fair and how these can vary between human beings and traditions. Therefore the whole notion of Natural Law governing society has been reached from different conclusions, which in turn sees Thomas Hobbes’ social contract theory as opposing to St. Thomas Aquinas’ theory of natural law. Yet this does not change the fact that many Western democracies base their moral decision-making within Hobbes’ concept. (Kenney, 2005)
The theory formulated by Hobbes, argued that the laws of nature are to be seen as divine law, in which all human beings are bound by these basic natural laws of self-preservation which directs them to the way of the good. (Murphy, 2011)
Hobbes rejected the concept of higher law and argued that the citizens ought to accept the traditional laws and principles of their state even if they were oppressive in order to keep peace and security. (Kraynak, 1990)
In contrast to this, St. Thomas Aquinas, who was heavily influenced by Aristotle’s ideas of ‘universal’ and ‘conventional’ law and expanded and developed them. (Vieru, 2010)
His ideas centre his notion of natural law, with his knowledge of God. He bases his theory of natural law in the concept of an eternal law, which is in God. For Aquinas, law is an order of reason from God for all of the community. (Summa
Get Access