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Unformatted text preview: One omniscient God created all races. This singular statement forms the basis for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In it, he defends his call of nonviolent direct action using Thomas Aquinas’s natural law theory. Natural law theory is a reflection of God’s eternal law. God created mankind with specific ideals in mind, so any man-made laws must agree with God’s ideals. The arguments made in King’s letter have as their foundation Christian ethics and the very nature of God himself. Aquinas’s natural law theory applies to everything. It stems from an omnipotent God’s ideal for the universe. Human laws are to be established by natural laws which should directly reflect God’s eternal law. If human laws are set in this way, men have a moral responsibility to obey human laws, for these are just laws. In contrast, as King observes in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” human laws that contradict eternal law are unjust laws and “an unjust law is...
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- Spring '07
- Natural Law, United States Declaration of Independence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., nonviolent direct action