The Natural Law is Nature aided by Reason
My pear tree
“For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.” (Romans 1:20)
There is something quite important we moderners forgot about which our forefathers knew by heart. The Greeks, the Romans, and the West understood the Natural Law like it was inscribed in their hearts, because it is.
The Natural Law is Nature aided by Reason. Humans must use their reason to understand nature, to unlock its guidelines of right and wrong. All principles of good and evil, excluding Divine Revelation, can be derived from observing nature.
The Natural Law can mend Reason and Nature because both are from God, both are compatible. St Thomas Aquinas says that “The entire community of the universe is governed by divine reason.”
So it is nature, ordered by God, aided by man’s reason, which can inform man of what virtue and vice are, by revealing to him what is in line and what is out of line in nature. The great St Ambrose once stated that “The natural law is in the heart…[and] All men are under the natural law.” Again, The Dumb Ox says “… the light of reason is placed by nature [nature being placed by God] in every man to guide him in his acts.”
Referring back to The Angelic Doctor once more, in the Summa Theologica, Aquinas speaks of inclinations, or natural tendencies: “Since the rational soul is the form of man, every man has a natural inclination to live according to reason.” And: “All the things to which man has natural inclination, reason naturally apprehends as good, and consequently as things to be pursued by action, and their contraries as bad and to be avoided.”
One feels a natural resistance when he stands by the edge of a cliff and ponders a jump. One feels a natural relief of an urge when he sips water. The first example, suicide, is against the Natural Law, and is thus evil nad disordered. The second example, nourishment, is in accordance with the Natural Law, and is thus good.
The next thing the Natural Law tells us is to use things according to their purposes. One doesn’t use their hands to walk. Hands weren’t created to walk with. And one doesn’t use their feet to grab. Things used contrary to the purpose are disordered. We can determine if something is disordered by observing nature with our reason.
Naturalists (atheists) will say that if it can be done it is “natural”, which makes it moral to do.
World Economic Forum Agenda Contributor Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, said that:
“Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behavior, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition.”
This, however, is not the case. Animals, without reason, rape and murder, but that doesn’t make rape or murder morally right. Anyone with reason knows this innately. Humans must use their reason and impose it upon nature to discern true morality. A lack of reason is what leads people like Harari to say such preposterous things.
True morality is virtue. Virtue is moral excellence. “The virtues therefore are engendered in us neither by nature nor yet in violation of nature…” Aristotle declares. Natural inclinations, which are ordered by nature and informed by reason, guide us to virtue, which in turn guides us to God, who is the source of these things, the summit of all.
Intelligence moves the eyes, but reason opens them. Animals have intelligence, but they do not have reason. We do. And with Reason, who is Christ, the Logos, we can see God.
“To be able to see something of the loftiest realities, however thin and weak the sight may be, is …. a cause of the greatest joy,” says Aquinas.
It was the greatest joy in me when I observed a pair tree in my own yard, overflowing in abundance. A tree such as this is reflective of God’s love. Love is freely giving. God’s love is a fount of food for all, as all seek it with hunger. This pair tree asks nothing in return — it offers. It exists, it was created, to feed many creatures; birds, bugs, and me. It is not indifferent to me. It is loving.
Creation reflects a loving God, not a cruel and selfish Fate, as proponents of evolution proclaim.
Richard Dawkins, in River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, wrote:
The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
Does a simple pair tree not have a design and purpose which is selfless love? Is it not good? And does it not care for others more than it cares for its own self and its survival or dominance? Does a simple pear tree not prove a loving Creator, a providential God who created a world to support us and for us to enjoy as it catches His rays of light briefly so that we can see them reflect back to Him?
Making pear sauce