Natural law can be considered to be the root of human morality and Aquinas’s idea of a Natural law implies that it is divine, immutable and eternal, but also very general with many grey areas. The fact that natural law is very general causes us humans to create human laws that are created to handle specific cases, which natural law may not be able to find a just solution. According to Aquinas Natural law is to “general” to handle the many different situations that can be found in the legal system and human law allows us to find a clear and just answer with minimal errors; which is not the case with natural law. Aquinas also believes that for a human law to have a binding force so that people actually fallow the law, is to have the law promulgated or advertised, so people are actually aware that this law does exist.
Natural law defined by Aquinas has four parts, one; that is an ordinance of reason, two; the end goal is common good, three; the person who makes the law has the “good” for the community as top priority, and finally four; that it must be promulgated. This basically means that law must be made by a being of reason with an end or goal in mind. The law must also be directed towards the common good, so the law cannot help a specific group or community but must be good for everyone. Also the law maker or in Aquinas’s case God, must put the community’s needs above all when making the law, rather than making a law that will only benefit only themselves or a small part of the community. Finally the law must be promulgated; this means that a secret law cannot be made if you wanted it to be considered a law, real laws must be advertised or well known throughout the entire community for it to be a law.
Human law defined by Aquin...
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... we must be aware of how or when we could break it. Without promulgation it is as if that the law itself does not truly exist and does not have that ‘binding force’ that a promulgated law would.
In conclusion, natural law can exist and work with society today, but as we humans have evolved so have our problems and because of that we require laws that can also adapt and handle the different types of situations. Natural law cannot handle them, since it is to general we need human law to supplement natural law, to address these complicated situations. Since natural law is to general we have human laws that are derived directly from natural law to guide us when we encounter specific situations. Finally for a law to bind people to obey or comply with it, they need to be aware of the laws existence, and if someone is not aware of its existence then it cannot ‘bind’ them.
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