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Natural Law Reconsidered

The Ethics of Human Liberation

Stephen Theron

The natural law reconsidered here is the Thomistic theory previously defended by the author. It is argued that Aquinas removes the legal vocabulary, convenient in view of the Biblical pedagogy, to such an analogical plane that it forms no essential part of his vision of the good life, open to creativity and individual vocation. The thesis of love as the »form of all the virtues» is tested against concrete topics. Ultimate happiness is a unifying human goal and the Gospel beatitudes are, in Aquinas, here and now the charter for this. Natural and hence common human inclinations originate and order ethical imperatives, which thus stem from biogenic roots. Creativity is the sign and effect of such love, integrating ethical and aesthetic motivation. Inert moralism is thus superseded.
Contents: Natural law – The new law – Moralism – Modernity – Creativity – Vocation – Love and justice – Eros – Respect for life – Happiness – The beatitudes – Inclination and ethical imperatives.