Final - AQUINAS.doc

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Political Science
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Andy Lee

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ST. THOMAS AQUINAS THE SUMMA OF THEOLOGY 3 Requirements of Law  “Law is nothing else than an ordination of reason for the common good promulgated by the one who is in charge of the community.” 1. must be based in ‘reason’ - “Law is a rule or measure of action by which one is led to action or restrained from acting… The rule and measure of action is the reason.” - “In order for an act of will…to have the character of law, it must be guided by some reason.” 2. must concern ‘common happiness’ (felicitatem communem) - like eudaimonia - “Law must concern itself in particular with the happiness of the community” 3. must be authorized and enforced by proper lawmaking ‘authority’ - “Prince in a state” and “any father of a family…in his household.” Types of Law: Eternal Law - based in divine reason - concerns eternal bliss (beatitudo) - created by God as ruler of the whole universe - “the rational plan of divine wisdom considered as directing all actions and movements” Natural Law  nature/God endowed humankind with an essential nature = entails humans to abide by certain rules of conduct - humans (rational creatures) participate in God’s eternal law - “Nothing else than the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law,” where the eternal law is God’s plan for the universe - in material universe, God’s eternal law applies deterministically: God intends universe and its components to move towards a particular end, he directs it to do so through the laws of nature - epistemic access to content of natural law is unique to man, unlike mere material objects/animals who follow natural inclination - act in conformity with our God-intended nature/ ‘real human nature’, actions = moral and right Human Law  based on human reason  concerns the good of civil peace: “most important social good”  created by temporal ruler who “discipline through fear of punishment…to bring about peace and virtue among men.”  to qualify as
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