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Aquinas Identifies Four Types of Law

Autor:   •  November 6, 2018  •  Coursework  •  413 Words (2 Pages)  •  380 Views

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4. What four types of law does Aquinas identify? How does he define each?

Aquinas identifies 4 types of law:

a) Eternal: This law is what God created the universe by; it is the order of the universe and it is the ideal type that pre-existed in God’s mind.

b) Natural: This law is how we see eternal law from a human perception. It is written in our essence or hearts. Aquinas says, “It is evident that all things partake somewhat of the eternal law, in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them... Wherefore it (human nature) has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law” (Brauch, p. 25).

c) Human: This law is basically derived from eternal and natural law through human reason and it is applied to the society we live in by governments. Aquinas says, “It is from the precepts of the natural law, as from general and indemonstrable principles, that the human reason needs to proceed to certain particular determinations of the laws. These particular determinations, devised by human reason, are called human laws” (Brauch, p. 25).

d) Divine: This law is not discovered by reason, but by the will of God through revelations and the scripture (10 commandments, Jesus teachings, etc.).

5. Read Proverbs 2:1-9; 8:1-31; Romans 11:33-36. How do these passages on wisdom relate to the eternal law?

Aquinas believes God’s wisdom includes a sense of the proper ordering of the whole community of the universe. God’s Divine Reason must have a most perfect idea of how to order things. This wisdom is the eternal law. The passages speak about wisdom and directly correlate with eternal law because the beginning of wisdom is fearing God. The eternal law, therefore, is the


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