Saturday, February 07, 2004

Rediscovering the Natural Law

The Pope has proposed a remedy for our troubled world--rediscovering the natural law as our common ethic:

People lack a common ethical foundation because of the rejection of the idea of natural law, said John Paul II as he proposed a remedy.

"The natural law, accessible per se to every rational creature, indicates the first and essential norms that regulate moral life," he said.

"Based on this law, a platform of shared values can be constructed, on which a constructive dialogue can be developed with all men and women of good will and, more in general, with secular society," the Pope continued.

"Today, as a consequence of the crisis of metaphysics, many spheres do not recognize any longer that there is a truth inscribed in the heart of every human person," he said.

The lack of recognition of the natural law leads to two serious problems, John Paul II said.

The first is "the spreading among believers of a morality of a fideistic character," he said.

Second is the lack of "an objective reference point for acts of legislation which often are based solely on social consensus," making it harder to arrive at a common ethical foundation for all humanity, the Pope said.

To help in the rediscovery of "the idea of the natural moral law," the Pope has written the encyclicals "Veritatis Splendor" and "Fides et Ratio."

"Unfortunately, it does not seem that these teachings have been received until now in the desired measure, and this complex problem must be further studied," he said.

Thus, the Holy Father asked the doctrinal congregation to "promote opportune initiatives with the aim of contributing to a constructive renewal of the doctrine on the natural moral law."

The answer to our problems with a judiciary that is increasingly at odds with our legislatures is for there to be interpretation of the law based on the natural law. The natural law does not find privacy rights which permit the killing of innocent life. The natural law recognizes the inherent dignity and infinite value of all persons regardless of whether any government or document does not.

Many conservatives call for a strict interpretation of the Constitution. While I understand that they are concerned about the judiciary's specious finding of justifications for support of abortion and sodomy in the Constitution, I cannot agree with a strict constructionist point-of-view which would support the Dred Scott decision. Natural law on the other hand is the bedrock of any human law. To the extent that laws are not in conformity with the natural law, they are not laws.

As has been said, the Roe versus Wade decision did not legalize abortion, it decriminalized abortion. Abortion can never be legalized because it is against the natural law.

Posted by David at 9:02 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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