Human Vitae

Discussion in 'Family, Relationships, and Single Life' started by bwallac2335, May 24, 2020.

  1. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    Just got done reading and wow it was great. I agree with it so much. It bases most of its arguments off natural law. What is the Anglican perspective on natural law?
  2. JonahAF

    JonahAF Moderator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Have been meaning to post a bunch of classic books on the subject. Here is a short list of books where natural law is a core of the argument; the list where it is discussed at length is vastly longer, and the list where it is at least mentioned is nearly infinite.

    John Fortescue, Opusculum de Natura Legis Naturae (1463)
    -translated into English as 'treatise upon the nature of the Laws of Nature'

    Henry Medwall, Nature: a Goodly Interlude of Nature (1476)

    Christopher St. Germain, Doctor and Student (1530)
    -"its enduring popularity into the 19th century was a result of its clear introduction to common law concepts. Until Blackstone published his Commentaries on the Laws of England in 1765-69, it was used as a student primer."
    -"was thoroughly annotated by Thomas Jefferson." --Charles F. Mullett, Fundamental Law and the American Revolution (1933), p.39,
    -"English lawyers generally don't use the phrase 'law of nature', but rather use 'reason' as the preferred synonym." (bk. 1, ch. 5.)
    -"law is an ordinance of reason made for the common good by him who has charge of the community, and promulgated"
    -"that doctors treat of four laws ... The first is the law eternal. The second is the law of nature of reasonable creatures, the which, as I have heard say, is called by them that be learned in the law of England, the law of reason. The third is the law of God. The fourth is the law of man." (bk.1, introduction)
    -"I have shewed thee whereupon the law of England is grounded (for of necessity it must be grounded of the said laws, that is to say, of the law eternal, of the law of reason, and of the law of God)" (bk.1, ch.4)
    -"the law of England is grounded upon six principal grounds. First, It is grounded on the law of reason. Secondly, On the law of God. Thirdly, On divers general customs of the realm. Fourthly, On divers principles that be called maxims, Fifthly, On divers particular customs." (bk.1, ch.4)
    "The first ground of the law of England is the law of reason" (bk.1, ch.5)

    Richard Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1590s)
    -the whole of Book I (nearly 1/5th of the whole) is given to a detailed exposition of Law, including the natural law

    "The Petition of Right" (1628)
    -"seen as "one of England's most famous constitutional documents", similar to Magna Carta, & 1689 Bill of Rights" (wiki)
    -prohibited "non-Parliamentary taxation, forced billeting of soldiers, imprisonment without cause, and the use of martial law"
    -"The existence of some fundamental rights of individuals was definitively established, and the scope of the Royal Prerogative was substantially reduced", (45:20)

    Edward Coke, Institutes of the Lawes of England (1644)
    -the legal magnum opus of the 17th century, chiefly grounding legal decisions upon natural law

    Richard Cumberland, De Legibus Naturae (1672)
    -the biggest Anglican work on NL in the 17th century, by a theologian and an Anglican bishop. Considered one of the most important NL works ever written.
    -here is the 1750 translation from the Latin: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Laws of Nature (Towers, 1750),

    "The Bill of Rights" (1689)
    -"a landmark Act in the constitutional law of England that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown"

    Samuel Clarke, A Discourse Concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religion: And the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Revelation (1708)
    -preached as sermons; NL by now has become part of the ecclesiastical and pastoral content of the Church

    William Wollaston, Religion of Nature Delineated (1722)
    -"It is in the main a popular rather than a scientific treatise upon the principal topics in Ethics and Natural Theology. The characteristic of this treatise is that it makes virtue to consist in acting according to the truth."
    -"Conybeare tells us what a great impression Wollaston's system of morals made upon the contemporaries; he himself speaks of it as though it were a discovery in morals 'fit to be placed beside the discoveries of Newton in astronomy' "
    -Clifford Thompson, The Ethics of William Wollaston (1922), google books

    Thomas Wood, An Institute of the Laws of England (1738)
    -"Upon the Law of Nature, though we seldom make Use of the Terms 'The Law of Nature:' But we say, that such a Thing is Reasonable, or Unreasonable, or against the Law of Reason"

    William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765)
    -the legal magnum opus of the 18th century, chiefly grounding legal decisions upon natural law
    -opening chapter: "Of Law in General", a famous natural law account
    -"This law of nature, being co-eval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original"
    ---"Articulates the two claims that constitute the theoretical core of conceptual naturalism: 1) there can be no legally valid standards that conflict with the natural law; and 2) all valid laws derive what force and authority they have from the natural law."
    -“This is the foundation of what we call ethics, or natural law ... demonstrating that this or that action tends to man's real happiness, and therefore very justly concluding that the performance of it is a part of the law of nature; or, on the other hand, that this or that action is destruction of man's real happiness, and therefore that the law of nature forbids it.”

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