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The Objective Norm of Morality The Notion of Law (The Objective norm of Morality) Law as defined by: St. Thomas Aquinas “Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good promulgated by the person who takes charge of the community.” A. Ordinance of Reason B. Common Good C. Promulgated D. Person – takes charge of the community Natural Law Divine Law or Eternal Law Moral Law Human Law Civil Law Church Law “ A law is valuable not because it is a law but because there is right in it. “ - Henry Ward Beecher- A. NATURAL LAW Refers to moral insights people are capable of knowing by means of their reason, and independently of the verbal revelation of God. “Natural” in Natural Law means: 1. Not supernatural 2. Not positive 3. Found in and derived from the nature of a person. Concept of Natural Law Natural moral law is the law of human conduct which arises from human nature as ordered to its ultimate end, and which is recognized by the natural right of reason. The objective ground in which the moral law is recognized and from which it is derived are man’s “natural ultimate end” and “human nature not elevated by grace.” Three essential characteristics of Natural Law Universality - it is for all individuals Unity and Invariability - possess equal basic rights Immutability - there cannot be any change in whatever is fundamentally good or evil. B. DIVINE AND ETERNAL LAW Divine law is deduced from the fact that the world is ruled by Divine Providence. Eternal Law is the plan flowing from God’s wisdom which directs all actions and movements. -St. Thomas Aquinas Eternal Law is the divine reason and/or the will of God Himself commanding the preservation of the natural law and forbidding its disturbance -St. Augustine Divine law is manifested in: Physical laws, which rule both non rational and rational creatures. Biological laws, which govern the development of living things. Mathematical laws, which govern abstract quantity. Natural law, which is the participation of the eternal law in the rational creature. “We cannot break the laws, but if we ignore them, they can break us. If we disobey the laws, even in ignorance, our nature is damaged for they are the laws of reality.” C. MORAL LAW Governs man’s/woman’s behavior Contains truth & ethical principles “guide on matter of what is right or wrong” “Directive ordering a person’s activity towards the ultimate end” - Karl Peschke The most “ordinary everyday activity” are expected to contribute to “the realization in the history of Divine Plan” Man’s Inclination Towards Goodness Found in the heart in the natural light of reason (What is good & evil?) Develop & enlighten the intellect (know the TRUTH) Cultivate & Motivate the will (Aim for the highest good) MORAL LAW AS REVEALED LAW Old Law – Ten Commandments “God wrote on the tablets the law of men did not read in their hearts” New Law – Gospel Law – work of Christ & Holy spirit LAW IN SACRED SCRIPTURES Law in the Old Testament – TORAH (Collections of Law) Law in the New Testament – Jesus instructions and parables being this message home in new forms & ways. OLD LAW – external written code LAW OF CHRIST – Law of the Spirit Teachings of Christ Love your Enemies “Even though the hardest thing to do, we really have to” Golden Rule “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so them” New Testament Law Summarized “ You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is similar to it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments the whole law is based, and the prophets as well” Matthew 22 : 34 - 40 BEATITUDES Blessings promised by the Lord to His Faithful Disciples in the Sermon on the Mount. “ To Love as Jesus Loves” 1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Beatitudes Continued… 4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. 8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Beatitudes with their corresponding gift of the Spirit - Germain Grisez 1. Poor in Spirit – Fear of the Lord 2. Meek – Piety or Godliness 3. Mourn – Knowledge 4. Hunger and thirst for righteousness – Fortitude 5. Those who are merciful – Counsel 6. Pure of Heart – Understanding 7. Peacemakers – Wisdom 8. Those persecuted for righteousness’ sake – Unique gift of one’s self. D. HUMAN LAW Human law is a written document which deals with the juridical order of a society but this does not mean that all human laws were written because in primitive societies human laws were not written. Characteristics which serve to further clarify the concept of human law: 1.Human law is enforceable. 2.It is concerned with external conduct only. 3.This law is limited to particular groups of people. 4.It is historically conditioned. 5.Human law has presumptive obligatory force. Necessity of human law: 1.Revealed law does not provide exact rules for every moral problem; 2.Frequently, natural moral law is not so evident in its particular requirement; 3.Often, there are several possible ways to comply with an obligation; 4.Human law, with its penal regulation is an indispensable means of education for people. CIVIL LAW vs. CHURCH LAW Civil Law is the particular application of natural law in a given society while Church law is the particular application of divine law to the Christian *Christian response is to obey all valid civil laws as we are bound by our conscience.
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