Natural Law

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Natural Law

In philosophy, the idea that that right and wrong are fixed, immutable things that human reason can discern. Some natural law theorists base natural law on their ideas about God, but one does not need to believe in God in order to believe in natural law. It forms the philosophical basis for what are now called human rights and for that reason is an important contributor to modern liberalism.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The interpretation of the natural moral law has shaped much of moral theology after Vatican II.
So is there not a case for describing the founders' fundamental political theory not in terms of the social compact but in terms of natural moral law, natural rights, or natural equality and liberty?
The Catholic theologians who claim that it has already been infallibly taught by the "ordinary and universal magisterium" argue that if it has not been revealed, it belongs at least to this "secondary object."(21) It seems worthwhile to examine their thesis in the light of the documents which we have been reviewing, with a view to seeking some light on the disputed question regarding the nature and limits of this "secondary object" of infallibility--in particular whether it includes the norms of the natural moral law.
Yet, though it is unlikely all the bishops will concur, perhaps most of them could join other religious leaders and their followers in issuing a statement based on natural moral law decrying that dictatorship of relativism imposed upon us by our neo-pagan style Supreme Court.
It does not challenge a specific moral teaching but the very competence of the church to teach authoritatively matters of natural moral law."
While the Pope has a duty to expound the fundamental principles of the natural moral law, it's up to legislators like McGuinty to translate those principles into state laws and public policy.
However, the principles of practical wisdom and civil rights issues like abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, etc., are not properly speaking matters of faith, but matters of the natural moral law that require nothing more than reason in order to be understood.
If there is no universal natural moral law written into the heart of man to which all are subject, then there is no ultimate authority above that of the State.
It is of interest to note that some principle-based ethicists regard natural moral law, not as reason's understanding of divine law, but as analogous to the physical laws of science.
(Edit: Needless to say, moral questions are not just personal convictions; and the pluralistic society may not overrule the natural moral law.)
Not only has it presumed to read into the Charter of Rights the concept of "sexual orientation," and did so even though the term is undefined, but it then went on to create this concept into a human right, in defiance of the framers of the Charter, as well as of science, reason and the natural moral law.
However, on other questions such as abortion, there are universal moral precepts, binding always and everywhere which must be observed because of natural moral law and Revelation.