Unlocking the Secrets of Natural Law Theory by Thomas Aquinas.

Theory of Natural Law by awurii laws

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Theory of Natural Law by Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas, a prominent theologian and philosopher of the medieval period, developed a profound theory known as the Theory of Natural Law. This theory is a significant contribution to moral and legal philosophy, and it continues to influence scholars and thinkers to this day.

Understanding The Theory.

According to Aquinas, natural Jurisprudence is a moral theory derived from the principles inherent in human nature. It postulates that there exists a universal set of ethical principles that are accessible through reason and can guide human behavior. Natural law theory suggests that these principles are not contingent upon any man made laws or social constructs but are intrinsic to human nature itself.

The Divine Origin in Theory of Natural Law.

Aquinas viewed natural law as having a divine origin. He believed that God, as the creator of the universe, imbued each individual with an inherent moral code. Through reason, humans can discern this code and understand what is morally right and wrong. In this sense, Aquinas’s theory distinguishes itself from other ethical frameworks by its religious foundation.

The precept of Theory of Natural Law.

Aquinas identified several fundamental precepts that he considered to be intrinsic to human nature and universally binding. These precepts form the basis of moral reasoning and guide human action. They include:

Preserve life & philosophy of Natural Law.

The instinct to preserve one’s life and the lives of others is central to human nature. Thus, the principle of respecting and protecting life lies at the core of natural law.

Seek knowledge and truth.

Albeit, human beings possess a natural inclination to seek knowledge, pursue truth, and understand the world around them. This precept emphasizes the importance of intellectual growth and rationality.

Promote good and avoid evil.

While, Aquinas argued that individuals have a moral duty to seek the common good and promote actions that are beneficial to society. Conversely, they should abstain from actions that can bring harm or undermine the well-being of others.


Natural law recognizes the natural inclination for human beings to engage in procreation and propagate their species. This precept encompasses the importance of marriage and the family unit.

Live in society.

Humans are inherently social creatures, and the principle of living in society emphasizes the significance of human relationships, cooperation, and the formation of communities.

The Relationship Between Natural and Positive Law.

Aquinas believed that positive laws created by humans should align with natural law principles. Positive laws, which are man made legal systems, should be in harmony with the moral principles derived from natural law. If positive laws conflict with natural law, Aquinas argued that individuals have a moral duty to follow natural law instead.

Contemporary Significance

According to Thomas Aquinas natural law continues to influence both ethical and legal debates in the modern world. Scholars and philosophers often refer to the inherent principles derived from natural law when discussing moral dilemmas and questions of justice. Additionally, the idea that positive laws should conform to higher moral standards remains an ongoing discourse in legal philosophy.


In conclusion, Thomas Aquinas’s Jurisprudence of Natural Law provides a framework for understanding moral principles that are derived from human nature. By combining reason and divine origin, Aquinas argued for a universal set of ethical guidelines that should govern human behavior. This theory’s enduring legacy can be witnessed in its continued relevance to contemporary discussions on ethics and law.

Reading sources

  1. Investopedis
  2. haslawbook about Islamic jurisprudence
  3. Kelson theory of law
  4. stanford encyclopedia the natural law ethics
  5. Natural law Definition & Jurisprudence by Britannica

Theory of Natural Law
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