2. Law

  1. Moral law and eternal law

   The moral law is a rational command aimed at common good establish by the one who has the community care or its government (Saint Thomas). We can analyze it.

   - It is an order, a command, an imperative.

   It is rational, so it is not a capricious or arbitrary order, but it has to be in accordance with the reason.

   - It is aimed at common good, that is, for the benefit of all, for the good of society, not only advantageous for a few individuals or certain social groups.

   - It is established by the one who has the community care or its government. So, only who rules the society can make laws.

   - It has to be dictated or promulgated, i.e., it has to be made known so that everybody obeys it.

   The eternal law is the reason of divine wisdom as long as it rules every act and all the movements (Saint Thomas). We can distinguish its parts.

   - The eternal law stems from Providence who rules the world.

   - It is aimed at every act (of every man) and at every fact (of everything).

   - The man knows this law although in an incomplete way. The other beings do not know, but follow it necessarily.

  A. Choose the right letter: a, b, c. (If the letter turns into red the answer is correct)

  1. The law that looks for the common good is

    a. moral
    b. eternal
    c. physical

  2. The moral law looks for the common good of

    a. everybody
    b. a political party
    c. a trade union

 3. Who can make the moral law

    a. the trade union secretary
    b. an important businessman
    c. the one who runs the society

 4. A promulgated law is

    a. thought
    b. made known
    c. written

 5. The reason of divine providence is

    a. the moral law
    b. the physical law
    c. the eternal law

 6. The eternal law is known by

    a. amimals
    b. men
    c. vegetables

  2. The natural law

   The natural law is the part of the eternal law corresponding to the rational creature (men).

   A law independent of the human will has been recognized everywhere and anytime. There have been accidental but not essential variations in different countries. All men judge murder as a bad action.

   The eternal law spreads to all beings and as men are beings, they have to be subject to the eternal law, or it would be better to say to a part of it, the natural law.

   Little children, even though nobody shows them, can distinguish what is just from what is not, good from bad.

   The natural law includes the conservation of life, procreation and the dignity of the way of living. We have to use reason for social interactions and cooperation with each other. Procreation has to be made in a human way, i.e., within marriage and promoting the education of the children. The man has to look for the truth in all fields to scientific progress and his personal training.

   The natural law is universal and unchangeable, i.e., it is referred to everybody. Human species from different races and cultures does not change essentially and so does the natural law over time.

  B. Write one of these letters on the right: a, b, c

  1. The natural law is a part of other law

    a. physical
    b. eternal
    c. moral

  2. The natural law does not depend on

    a. governments
    b. legislators
    c. human will

 3. Who judges murder to be bad?

    a. some tribes
    b. some primitive men
    c. all men

 4. What sort of variations can the natural law suffer?

    a. only accidental variations
    b. essential
    c. important

 5. Who can distinguish good from bad?

    a. some children
    b. all children and men
    c. some men

 6. The natural law is

    a. universal and unchangeable
    b. universal y changeable
    c. characteristic of some peoples

  3. The positive law

   The positive laws are those enacted by governments in order to sustain and warrant social life. They stem from the natural law and have to be founded or agree with it.

   - The legislator must have the legitimate authority on persons and on the subject he legislates. For instance, the Head of State can make laws within their state, but not in another. Neither the legislator can legislate on private and intimate subjects of the individuals.

   - You have to be able to enforce the law physically. For example, there cannot be a law requiring to walk on the street upside down.

   - All men and not only a few have to be able to enforce the law. There can be a Law on Primary Education for every child, but it cannot oblige everybody to be a wise man or an inventor.

   - The law has to be honest and according to the natural law. For instance, the law cannot order a theft.

   - The law must be general and not directed towards a few individuals. For instance, the ruler cannot make a law to favor their relatives, being detrimental to others.

   - The positive law must be of some utility or for public benefit, promoting common good.

   - It has to be suitable and convenient to people in every time and place. There cannot be laws in favor of children and against elders. Laws must take into account the site and environment of citizens. It is not the same to legislate for tropical countries than for the Poles.

   - The law must be clear and published to let everybody know it.

   The moral law will have a reward or a sanction after death when everyone will receive what they deserve.

   Positive laws sanctions are penalized with fines and prison, whereas the exemplar observance of duty entails awards and prizes.

  C. Write one of these letters on the right: a, b, c

  1. To warrant social life, what kind of laws has to be enacted?

    a. positive
    b. natural
    c. moral

  2. The positive laws stem from law

    a. eternal
    b. moral
    c. natural

 3. The positive law must be able to enforce

    a. physically
    b. suitably
    c. morally

 4. The positive law must be

    a. unfair
    b. honest
    c. detrimental

 5. The positive law has to take into account

    a. family relationship
    b. place
    c. friendship

 6. What kind of law is penalized with fines and prison?

    a. moral
    b. eternal
    c. positive

 If you are registered, please enter your data:




Registration Information

| Educational applications | Philosophy |
For young |In Spanish | To print |

®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL