Philosophy

Summary Against Modern Thought: Laws Are Divinely Given To Man

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Very simple Chapter this week. Notice that we don’t say here what the law is, merely that is exists.

THAT LAWS ARE DIVINELY GIVEN TO MAN

1 It is apparent, next, that it was necessary for law to be divinely given to man. Just as the acts of irrational creatures are directed by God through a rational plan which pertains to their species, so are the acts of men directed by God inasmuch as they pertain to the individual, as we have shown. But the acts of irrational creatures, as pertaining to the species, are directed by God through natural inclination, which goes along with the nature of the species. Therefore, over and above this, something must be given to men whereby they may be directed in their own personal acts. And this we call law.

2 Again, the rational creature, as we have said, is so subjected to divine providence that he even participates in a certain likeness of divine providence, in so far as he is able to govern himself in his own acts, and also others. Now, that whereby the acts of such agents are governed is called law. Quite appropriately, then, law was given to men by God.

3 Besides, since law is simply a certain rational plan and rule of operation, it is fitting that law be given only to those beings who know the rational character of their work. Now, this is proper only to a rational creature. Therefore, it was appropriate that law was given to the rational creature only.

4 Moreover, law should be given to those having the ability to act and not to act. Now, this is true of the rational creature only. Therefore, only the rational creature is capable of receiving law.

5 Furthermore, since law is nothing but a rational plan of operation, and since the rational plan of any kind of work is derived from the end, anyone capable of receiving the law receives it from him who shows the way to the end. Thus does the lower artisan depend on the architect, and the soldier on the leader of the army. But the rational creature attains his ultimate end in God, and from God, as we have seen in the foregoing. Therefore, it is appropriate for law to be given men by God.

Notes Truly, there is a hierarchy in all things. Individualism is false.

6 Hence it is said in Jeremiah (31:33): “I will give my law in their bowels”; and in Hosea (8:12; Douay modified): “I shall write my manifold laws for them.”

Categories: Philosophy, SAMT

2 replies »

  1. Individualism is false.

    What does *that* mean? Hierarchy doesn’t negate the individual, it organizes collections of individuals, naturally by the inherent design in all systems. If individualism is false, why are we not a colonial organism like slime molds or jellyfish or bees? Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

    I imagine you meant the authority of the individual does not rank higher than a hierarchical superior. But you didn’t say that. “False” is the wrong word here.

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