Divine Essay

300 Words2 Pages
Eternal law is identical to the mind of God as seen by God himself. It can be called law because God stands to the universe which he creates as a ruler does to a community which he rules. When God's reason is considered as it is understood by God Himself, i.e. in its unchanging, eternal nature, it is eternal law. Aquinas’ celebrated doctrine of natural law no doubt plays a central role in his moral and political teaching. According to Aquinas, everything in the terrestrial world is created by God and endowed with a certain nature that defines what each sort of being is in its essence. A thing’s nature is detectable not only in its external appearance, but also and more importantly through the natural inclinations which guide it to behave in conformity with the particular nature it has. As Aquinas argues, God’s authorship and active role in prescribing and sustaining the various natures included in creation may rightfully be called a law. After defining law as “an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by someone who has care of the community, and promulgated.” (ST, I-II, 90.4), Aquinas explains that the entire universe is governed by the supreme lawgiver par excellence: “Granted that the world is ruled by Divine Providence…the whole community of the universe is governed by Divine Reason.” (ST, I-II, 91.1). Even though the world governed by God’s providence is temporal and limited, Aquinas calls the law that governs it the “eternal law.” Its eternal nature comes not from that to which it applies, but rather from whom the law is derived, namely, God. As Aquinas explains, “the very idea of the government of things in God the Ruler of the universe, has the nature of a

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