There is a dilemma at the heart of the moral life, in that we often appeal to the Decalogue as being the basis of a common morality, yet it is impossible to justify these precepts as self-evident. I resolve this dilemma in light of Aquinas’s analysis of the relation between the self-evident precepts of the natural law and the Decalogue. The self-evident precepts follow directly from human nature. The precepts of the Decalogue indicate how those goods are to be pursued in the context of just social relations. It is this contextualization in terms of just relations that prevents them from being self-evident and, correspondingly, requires their revelation. Since the commandments act as invitations to pursue the good without the defects of injustice, they are the most manifest condition for achieving the end of human happiness
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq20074742
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