What Natural Law Is Not

It appears that there is a great misconception about what natural law is, so let me try to clear this up. Natural law does not mean that whatever happens in “nature” is morally good. Such assertions equivocate on the term “nature.” Natural law has more to do with final causes. What is the purpose or proper function or said thing acts as the determiner of the proper use. Calling natural law anything less than this oversimplification is deceptive and a gross misrepresentation.

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2 thoughts on “What Natural Law Is Not

  1. You make a good point here Ryan, in that Natural Law does not mean that “whatever happens in nature is good and/or moral”. I’m not sure if, however, natural law has more to do with final causes. It is true, indeed, that final causes, purposes, teleology, etc are very important for natural law and, as it were, give it direction 🙂 However, natural law is fundamentally “natural” in two senses: firstly a metaphysical or ontological sense and secondly an epistemological sense. For an explanation of those two senses, see my blog posts on the subject under those headings.

    • I figured my description was, as stated, oversimplified. I’ll have to re-read your posts to try to get a better grasp on what natural law is beyond teleology.

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