St.-Thomas-Aquainas-Natural-Law.docx - St Thomas Aquina...

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Page 1 St. Thomas Aquina Natural Law Through his wisdom God is the founder of the universe of things . . . .And so, as being the principle through which the universe is created, divine wisdom means art, or exemplar, or idea, and likewise it also means law, as moving all things to their due ends. Accordingly the Eternal law is nothing other than the exemplar of divine wisdom directing the motions and acts of everything. St. Thomas Aquinas, ST Q. 93,a.1 Best Known Works (two systematic treatises): (a) Summa Contra Gentiles (A Summary Against the Gen-tiles): an apology for the Christian faith; aims was to show that the Christian faith rests on a rational foundation and that the principles of philosophy do not necessarily lead to a view of the world which excludes Christianity either implicitly or explicitly. (b) Summa Theologica (A Summary of Theology): a sys-tematic and summary exposition of theology for "novices" in this branch of study; divided into 3 parts; but the second part is itself divided into 2 parts, known respectively as the Prima secundae (first part of the second part) and the Secunda secundae (second part of the second part): Theory of the Natural Law Metaphysical world-View Neo-Platonic Theory of Participation – Where many beings are found to be – intrinsically similar in that they share some one perfection common to all yet are diverse (dissimilar), this common perfection of similarity cannot find its adequate sufficient reason in these many participants precisely as many and diverse. The only adequate sufficient reason for this common sharing must be some one unitary source from which this common perfection derives. What all beings share in common is the act of existence itself. Hence, all beings necessarily point back to one single ultimate source of existence itself. Thomistic Synthesis: - Aristotle’s concern with change, Aquinas transformed into the question of existence: God is both efficient and final cause of all beings. - Relation between beings and Being is conceptualized in terms of the Neo-Platonic theory of Participation. Aquinas existentialized both Aristotle and Plato to show that all beings not only come from God as their First Cause but also return to Him as to their perfection as the Final Cause. The Great Circle of Being: The Universe as Journey. But no sooner has the outgoing journey begun than it pivots upon itself and starts back on a journey home again to its Source ( reditus ), drawn by the pull of the Good in each being. This pull arises as the inner act of being of each thing pours over into its characteristic goal-oriented action, seeking the fullness of its own perfection, and drawn to this goodness ultimately, through the channels of participation, by the same Infinite Goodness from which its original act of existence flowed in the first place, but this time as Final Cause.
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