As people live within the society, they are governed by the societal ethics and regulations. These lead to the acquisition of the morals by an individual. At times, the societal morals tend to overlap with the religious beliefs of an individual. Below is a discussion of such a scenario in greater detail.
Moral Concepts and Religious Beliefs
According to Magee (1999), Aquinas argued that the natural law sprouts from the eternal law. The Eternal law is created by God who in his intellect rules the world. The eternal law is imprinted on the human beings through their nature of essence. This eternal law, inherent by the individuals, is exhibited by the natural law. The practice of the natural law tends to agree with my religious beliefs as indicated below.
First of all, Aquinas (Magee, 1999) argues that the practice of the natural law comes through free will. That is, humans have their reason and intellect and they have to choose the way they want to handle life’s issues. They humans act in what they believe is the best for them, the people around them and for the nature. The idea is to make sure that the outcome is good; hence the people are given a choice to do what is right. This totally agrees with the Christian beliefs. The teachings have it that God has given man the freedom of choice. It is upon man to choose what to do, but with an understanding that whatever is done – whether in secret or in the open – has consequences. The Aquinas argument and the Christian teachings agree in that in both, humans act out of free will but there are consequences for whatever they do.
The Natural law also tends to guide humans on how they should act. It has it that “Good is to be done and pursued and evil avoided” (Magee, 1999). This goes for everyone and for everything. Of course, different philosophers have different understanding of what is good and what is bad. Whichever the case, there is the need to do what is good and avoid what is bad. The same ting applies to the Christian teachings. Christians believe that the devil is the father of all evils which are orchestrated in hell, and whoever follows the evils is destined to end up in hell with him. However, people are advised to do what is good. It goes that people should do whatever is noble, worthy of price, good, and just. This indicates another area in which the Natural Law as indicated by Aquinas and the Christian teachings intersect. They both encourage people to be more inclined towards doing good than evil.
The last area of intersection that will be addressed in this section is the sanctity of life. The Natural Law has it that individuals should preserve themselves in their being. That is, they should have a respect for life and should not take it. The law is so much against suicide and murder. The Christian teachings could not agree more. They have it that God is the giver of life, and as such, He is the only one who can take it away. The teachings condemn any acts of murder or suicide as well, since this is going against the will of God.
In conclusion, the above paragraphs have looked at the areas of intersection between the morals of the Natural Law as suggested by Aquinas and how they relate to the Christian beliefs. It can be seen that the two agree on three main issues; the freedom of choice, sanctity of life and the doing of good and avoidance of evil. These correlations explain why Aquinas is seen as the father of Christianity.
Magee, J.M. (1999). St. Thomas Aquinas on the Natural Law. Retrieved on 21st Sept. 2012 from http://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/natlaw.html