For the sake of avoiding distrrrbance the citizen

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For the sake of avoiding distrrrbance, the citizen shoulC'yield. his right'. In modern parlance, naw and order take prececlence over rnattels of-justice. On the other hand, if tl-re state makes a lalt' tirat 'is opposecl to the divine law'- the content of rvhich it is the Chr-rrch's fttnction to d..r"u - then man is freecl from ttre obligation to obey. (\&rhether or not a man-rnade lart' cclnflicts rvitlr c1irrine la"rv is a qlrestion for the Church to determine.) Thus if the state rrrakes a larv that the citizen regarcls as lln-just he should obef it. trf the state rnakes :r larry that lhe Churcir orcl,ains to be unjllst, he shoulctr not. (The value of this conclttsion for the Church in conflicts lvith state will be appreciated. ) St Thornas's ccntrii:utior] \4/as to provide a svnthesis between theJudeo-Christian uncXerstanding of trarv and jrttice, rvith its vielv of larv as derived fi om revelation of Cocl's intention for the wor-ld, and the Greco-Roman rrielv of Xart' as being interctrepenclent rvith reason. St Thomas's integratirln of Aristotle's pirilosophf into the structures of Christian theologv.uainecl olficial acceptance in 1270. His view of natural law llas corrtinrred to proviCe the founclation of the thinking of the Catholic Church until our own cJAv.:"' i 30 For one of tire nlost concise, r:onrple r"e ancl corrfident statrments <lf the doctrine irr recent times, see.i M:rrit:lin t\4an rut.ri tlrc ,\tnte pp 90-9"l. See also ] M Finnis 'Natural Lan' in llrurliln:re \/itae' ( 1968) 8+ LQ,R 467.
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70 Chapter 5 lt stands to reason The seveillteem'th century Nthough it has been within the theology of the Catholic Church that the doctdne of natural law has found its fullest expression, the seeds of the d.octrirle, as we have seen, were so\rll before the Christian era. It was politic for Christianiw to absorb the doctrine. But the doctrirle was not (and is not) depenCent on Christianity. This bein$ so, did the d.octrine conlinlre in its original non-Christian forrn? During the Dark and Middle Ages, to the E,uropean itr,vas not conceivable that the world was other than the creation of God. But b1z the seventeenth centur;z there carne to be a realisation that natural law, as a system from which r-ules of conduct could be deduced' 'vas not logicallv dependeut on the existence of a supelior being. The rnost famous asserticn of this view is that bv Grotiussl who" in 1b25, tn DeJtt're Belli ac Pacis,3z rtter a dissertation on various aspects of naturirl law, wrote: 'And what we have said wourld still have great r,veight, everl if r,ve were to granl, what we cannot grzrnt withor-Lt great r,vickedness, that thene is no God.' By the inclusion of lhe word.s '... what uie cannot grant without great wickedness', Grotit-ts protected himself against the charge of heresy.
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