Natural Law

Topics: Morality, Human, Religion Pages: 2 (596 words) Published: March 22, 2007
Natural Law

1. The "order of nature" interpretation of natural law is also known as "generic natural law". This interpretation of natural law is influenced by Ulpian's idea of ius naturale, which is what man shares in common with the animals. The "order of nature" emphasizes human physical and biological nature in determining morality. This theory of natural law supports physicalism over personalism and is strictly biological. Physicalism understands nature as the viceroy of God and that the structures and actions of nature are the expressions of God's actions on humankind. Physicalism does not take into account the human intervention that takes place in natural law. Physicalism instead focuses on studying human functions in their natural, or "God-given", states before any type of human intervention. Physicalism is the dominant interpretation of natural law in the Catholic Church and allows moral positions to be taken with question in every scenario where the action is the same.

2. The "order of reason" interpretation of natural law is also known as "specific natural law". This means that the person participates in natural law according to the way proper for a human, according to reason. In this interpretation of natural law, reason, not the physical and biological actions taken by a person, becomes the standard of natural law. In Thomistic school, reason is defined as the dynamic tendency in the human person to know the truth, to grasp the whole of reality as it is. This means that humans should use observation, research, analysis, logic, intuition, common sense, etc. to give themselves knowledge of the whole of reality. A morality that uses reason must be a morality based on reality. Under this interpretation, natural law can be defined as reason's reflection on human experience that leads to discovering moral value. This understanding of natural law has implications on moral norms. As reality continues, these moral norms must be open to some type of...
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