Thursday, 7 March 2013

Natural Law Critique

Looking at a lot of the reaction to David Bentley Hart’s note on Natural Law I find that James Chastek on his estimable blog
natural law critique
makes many important points. Natural Law theory as a basis for the arriving at moral judgments will perhaps issue in several differing judgments. 'Prelest’ as Hart might put it will ensure this. No single view is sure to issue from the use of unaided natural reason even with the soundest of foundations. You may bring natural law to the ‘public square’ but you can’t make it speak with a single voice.

A commenter gives a very pertinent quotation from St. Thomas Aquinas:
“Although the eternal law is unknown to us according as it is in the Divine Mind: nevertheless, it becomes known to us somewhat, either by natural reason which is derived therefrom as its proper image; or by some sort of additional revelation.”

Here in an ironic form, that ‘somewhat’ is the reflection of the Doctors of the Church, the opposite numbers of those Saints and Sages of the Dharmasastras and scripture itself.

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