In What Way Did Natural Law Theory Adapt Under St.

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Introduction Natural law theory is a philosophical as well as a legal belief that all humans are governed by basic inherent laws, or laws of nature, which are separate and distinct from laws which are manmade and drafted by the various legislative authorities. Natural law theory has heavily influenced the laws and governments of many nations, including England and the United States, and it is also reflected in publications like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The origins of natural law theory lie in Ancient Greece. Many philosophers of that era, such as Plato, Aristotle as well as Cicero in ancient Rome, discussed and attempted to explain the concept of natural law. Later philosophers such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, built on the work of the ancient philosophers in natural law theory treatises of their own. They all suggested that natural laws are built into the fabric of the universe and therefore guide human reason, they are universal and therefore should apply everywhere. Natural law as a framework for criticizing and reforming positive laws, arguing that positive laws which are unjust under the principles of natural law are legally insufficient. In this report I will evaluate how natural law theory adapt under the works of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas with reference also to the work of the previous philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. St. Augustine’s City of God The original sin plays a significant role in St. Augustine’s views on the natural law theory. Evil is considered contrary to nature and since God did not create man with evil in mind, before the Fall, men lived in harmony with natural law and enjoyed immortality and peace away from evil. After the Fall, however, men became mortal and vulnerable to evil. Men are separated in to two main groups by St. Augustine; those who chose to live by the
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