QUESTION: Define the origins of natural law and the contributions of
the following theorist.
Â· The idea that law should strive to reflect certain universal, absolute, and eternal truths or virtues.
Â· The Republic (famous treatise), Plato portrayed an idealistic or utopian society governed by philosopher-kings.
Â· His followers believe in the existence of certain ideas that are universally and eternally good, and w/which all laws should be consistent.
Â· He believed that humans could never fully achieve certain universal, absolute, and eternal truths or virtues, but that their laws should attempt to do so.
Â· He is credited with bring the founder of contemporary thinking about natural law.
Â· In his theory, the belief that the gods gave humans their laws was weakened. Instead, the origin of law could be found in nature.
Â· The true meaning of law as an ideal or perfect standard would ultimately be revealed through the exercise of human reason, guided by observation. This process of human analysis later came to be known as rationalism.
Â· RATIONALISM a The principal upon which modern scientific thinking is structured.
Â· Romans saw the theory of natural law as a means of justifying and consolidating their authority in their expanding empire.
Â· Cicero (Roman statesman, lawyer, and legal philosopher) stated that natural laws are “universal” and “unchanging”.
... to human law. Thus, Human law is derived from natural law, according to St. Thomas. This means that we as humans act towards the natural law by way of human laws ... the part of the rational creature.” (McInerny, 620). Natural law is the most universal of universal standards of judgments in which the act of ...
Â· QUOTE: “Law is the mind and reason of intelligent man, the standard by which justice are measured.”
Â· He advocated that civil or human laws should be set aside or disobeyed if the laws were deemed in conflict w/those of nature.
Â· He was the first of naturalists to propose the use of civil disobedience to compel law-makers and statesmen to reform laws that failed to conform w/the laws of nature.
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Â· He was a Dominican monk and defender of Roman Catholicism against the spread of Islam and Greek philosophy in Europe.
Â· Aquinas believed that law was the mirror of a natural world order that was made known to humans but their own process of reasoning and by divine revelation through Christian prophets.
Â· According to him, justice sprang from natural rights; human laws did not create rights.