12 December 2013, The Tablet

Natural law: a flawed concept?

A reading of recent articles and letters in The Tablet shows one thing very clearly. Although everyone is very careful to say how important they think that the natural law is, there are a great many hesitations and also a great deal of vagueness about what it is.This is not surprising, because, in spite of the Church’s insistence, the “natural law” is not a law at all, but a theory. It is not biblical, it is not one of the commandments, it is not in the gospels and it is not engraved on stone somewhere.Natural law is a philosophical theory introduced by the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and taken up hundreds of years later by St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. Because the words are similar to “the law of nature”, it sounds like the same thi
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