Textual Explication Of Thomas Aquinas Question 95

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Cate Tringali Dr. Gossiaux Thomas Aquinas 22 March 2015 Thomas Aquinas Textual Explication of Question 95 Thomas Aquinas’ understanding of law is highly unique and famous. Aquinas argues for a multi-layered law structure that ultimately informs the best structure for human laws and governments. Aquinas’ argument in Question 95 of The Treatise on Law in the Summa Theologiae sets the groundwork for the creation and execution of laws. Aquinas creates clear guidelines for what a just law is, who should make it, and what shall become of an unjust law. The goal of a just law, According to Aquinas, must aim for the common good of the people. Furthermore, Aquinas’ explanation of human law begins with his explanation of the necessity of law,…show more content…
Eternal law is only knowable by God, thus it cannot be understood by humans because we cannot understand the essence of God. Moreover, humans can understand general moral principles given by god through our understanding of reason. Through reflection of what is virtuous and good, we can understand natural law, more specifically when we begin to differentiate between good reasoning and poor reasoning. Aquinas’ argument for the harmony between faith and reason allows us to more fully understand our governments. Aquinas argues that our use of faith and reason allow us to understand what is good for humans, thus what is natural for humans (Question 94). Therefore, virtuous actions align with natural law because people, by nature, are inclined to virtue because they are inclined towards what is good for them. Because everyone is subject to truth, everyone is also capable of engaging in practical reasoning, thus they are subject to natural law. Therefore, all humans should act according to practical reasoning, thus in accordance with the natural…show more content…
While God is the only true perfection, humans reflect aspects of God’s perfection in that they are rational beings with souls. Animals and plants, while still a reflection of God’s perfection, are less perfect than humans because they have less similarities to God in that they lack reason. Similarly, eternal law is the most perfect sort of law because it is God’s law. Natural law, while not entirely perfect, is more perfect than human law because it is a law determined by God in reflection of human nature. Finally, human law is the least perfect form of law because it is a reflection of natural law, made by humans. It is important to note that each sort of law builds off one another in that human law acts in accordance with natural law, which acts in accordance with eternal law because it is God’s will. Aquinas’ explanation of eternal and natural law create a foundation on which proper human law can be

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