It is a philosophical statement that acknowledges the connection between law and morality. Theory of the natural law is quite basic. According to the Roman constitution, the Civil Law Body, natural law is a human and animal law. We humans are also tuned so that we are directed by our humanity and comply with those laws. It is important that we remember our intent because every action against it is unnatural. Thomas of Aquina argues that natural law is a reality of human reasoning which needs God’s divine supplement. This paper seeks to unravel the moral standards that govern human behavior when considering the natural law.
Aquinas identifies four types of law that governs human’s action for the common good of the whole community by incorporating vital scrutiny of established legal ethnicity. He eludes that, divine law is the unique revelation showing the will of God as revealed in the readings of both the Old and the New Testament (Hoffheimer & justice, 27). On the other hand, he portrays the eternal law as the ultimate type and array of the universe pre-existing in Gods mind. Natural law is denoted as the general participation by all creatures in the eternal law where human nature inclines to its proper act; Aquinas portrays the human law as the most specific willpower of particular issues derived by logical rationale. In other words, eternal law is the superior law since it gives rise to the natural law. Nevertheless, divine law references aspects of natural law as revealed in the scriptures along with revered history and civil law.
Aquinas synderesis principle states that we should always do things that are favorable to our proper end while avoiding things that are not favorable to our fitting end. Therefore, humankind can deduce the two parts of this principle as that we should perform and that we should avoid that is always to do good and avoid evil. When it comes to morality, use of human inclinations is vital for rational thought because man has an affinity towards doing good and truthful to God and thus should order other precepts (Cornell & Caleb, 54). Aquinas portrays several propensities which humanity should adhere to such as; self-protection whereby people have an obligation of preserving life, should educate their children, having a comprehensive understanding of God, involvement in the community, have coherent thought and avoid ignorance, and finally heterosexual education to offspring.
In his argument, Aquinas deduces primary moral principle from the secondary moral law basing on the synderesis principle. The central ethical rule states that we should not harm others and every human being has to protect life. On the other hand, Aquinas deduces secondary principle of ‘’human law” that no one should kill not unless the action is justifiable. Suarez argues that natural inclination is natural and human beings should consider it as animalistic and more so strive to mend it by use of the natural law (Wayne, 112). Hume’s idea on the issue of morality is that it’s not possible to deduce moral conclusions by featuring right words such as ‘ought’ through surveillance. However, most philosophers deduce it by deriving ought from is through mere observation.
According to Grotius, the most superior of ” natural law” is to be sociable. Furthermore, he also gives the rules governing his various principles. He deduces that: one should resist acquiring what not theirs, always stick to your promise, compensate any loss that you might have caused, only punish people if it’s justifiable, and finally one should always return what is not theirs (Lee & Daniel, 191). Thomas Hobbes states that the law that governs nature is the beginning of developing peaceful environments in the community and also a way of preventing conflicts from the society. Furthermore, he continues to presume the first law that governs the natural law is self-preservation, and every human being should strive to preserve life.
In conclusion, natural rights, responsibilities, and ultimate ethical principles are the theme that governs our natural law in today’s world. Thus according to natural law, humankind has an obligation of developing excellent moral standards to guide their behavior towards others and also nature.
Hoffheimer, Michael H. Justice Holmes and Natural Law: Studies in the Origins of Holmes Legal Philosophy. Routledge, 2013.
O’Connell, Mary Ellen, and Caleb M. Day. “Sources of Natural Law Theories: Natural Law as Source of Extra-Positive Norms.” (2016)