Thomas Aquinas Theory Of Law

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St. Thomas Aquinas believes that a law is nothing other than an ordinance of reason to show that the law is for the common good, and it is executed by one that cares for the community, and that it must also be clear to those that are under that law (Adams 85). Law is said to bind one to act; therefore, a law is a rule and measurement of acts by which one is either induced to act or restrained from acting (Adams 85). Aquinas discusses four laws; Eternal Law, Natural Law, Divine Law, and Human Law. Eternal law is God’s plan for the universe; natural law is what one ought to do or ought not to do; Divine Law is laws revealed in scriptures or religious writing; and Human Law is man-made. Aquinas states that laws that breaks the moral order of natural …show more content…
Treaties and alliances are created between countries to maintain peace and order; as well as, it is a preventive method to try and ensure that countries do not plunder each other. It is for the common good of the universe at large, and in order to guarantee the safety of their nation, leaders make alliances just in case. International law is concerned with protecting basic human rights, which are, life, freedom, and happiness. When international laws are being created, leaders must determine how they can safeguard the well-being and the common good for their countries without invading the rights of others. Thomas Aquinas states that a law is unjust if it is against “human good” (Adams 83) and when a law has been separated from laws of nature. Although critics say “it is not possible for a sovereign state to be obligated to follow any law other than its own” (Adams 19); I believe that once human rights are being infringed upon, there is an obligation to protect those that are vulnerable, and that is why there are laws that protect citizens within other …show more content…
This lack of moral guidelines places the well-being of each individual that falls subject to these laws at risk. Whereas, for natural law theory, there is no physical legitimacy to it. One can argue that morality differs depending on the location and culture. If it’s not enforced by man, but by God, those that do not believe in God or have other beliefs could argue that they are not subject to these laws. Many have challenged legitimacy of laws that are not imposed by those in power, but the advantage to natural law theory is the fact that it protects the rights of those under the law, which would be everyone on the earth since it universal. And it relies on morality to help form

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