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"Aquinas places human law in the framework of the plan of God, who wants man to achieve eternal happiness by choosing to love and obey him. Human law and the state exist to promote the common good and thus to help manage achieve his end of eternal happiness with God. The state is not a necessary evil, nor is it a mere contrivance of the majority or of a mythical social compact. Rather, it is good because it is an integral part of God's plan, with the objective of promoting the common good. But the state is not an end in itself; it is rather an instrument to help man achieve his end. Although Saint Thomas did not experience the modern state, his discussion of the human law provides principles to govern the state in any age. Aquinas directly contradicts the secularist and the positivist by grounding his theory of law on the reality of God. Only in this way can human law be limited. Otherwise, if God is not recognized, the state becomes god."

~ Charles Rice
From "Question 12. Am I bound in conscience to obey the human law? What if that law is unjust?"
of 50 Questions on the Natural Law: What It Is and Why We Need It

 


Course Plan Week 4 of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's GOVT & NATURAL LAW A (GNL-A)

 

 

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