St. Thomas' Natural Law and Laozi's Heavenly Dao: A Comparison and Dialogue

Philosophy and Culture 38 (4):85-105 (2011)
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This article aims to explore the concept of Heaven and St. Thomas Aquinas I "Summa Theologica" explained the basis of natural law and metaphysics. The philosophy, the I's "Road" was opened on their own, said that the ultimate reality itself; second source that can be raw, such as "Dawson, one two, two three, three things," a phrase below; again , then follow all the rules change. In this regard, I tend to "Heaven", "heaven" statement, basically all things to follow the law is. I focus on is that all things are to follow the law is. As for the man-made law, I tend to be severely criticized, such as saying "Fa Wu Zi-chang, way more than a thief," and the like. Having said that, by Taoism Taoism Taoism and Legalism affect the development of the legislation is still based on natural law is human law theory. Thomas Aquinas's natural law, is given in accordance with the rational nature of God and the law of action, we can see, St. Thomas Aquinas's natural law focused on people, not only contains a real natural , but also ought to include , two related but different. There are words on the surface, natural law is that "people according to their nature are looking for is good." However, the surface should be made, the principle of natural law is: "People should do good to avoid evil." In this paper, to compare the Heaven and the ultimate source of natural law, I inquire of the non-personal God of the Trinity Road and Thomas Aquinas on how chemical and biological weapons or to create things, by the generosity or wisdom and love of order and law generated. Then, on the Heaven and the natural law itself for comparison. Finally, the two can be dealt with through the office, and, and related concepts in Taoism. The basic concern of this paper is to compare Laozi's Heavenly Dao and St. Thomas' natural law for the purpose of bringing them to dialogue. Philosophically speaking, Laozi's concept of Dao means first, the ever self-manifesting and creative Ultimate Reality; second, the Origin giving birth to all things; third, the law of becoming of all things in the universe. For this last meaning, usually Laozi uses the term "Heavenly Dao" to represent laws of nature that all beings in the universe, including human beings , must comply with. As to human laws, he takes a critical position, to the point of saying that "The more legal objects multiply, the more robbers and thieves there will be." Nevertheless, under his influence, Huanglao daoists and legalists have developed their philosophy of positive laws.In Comparison, St. Thomas' natural laws are principles of human action according to human rational nature. The emphasis of St. Thomas is put therefore on the rational nature of human beings, which includes both the aspect of "to be" and that of "ought to be," both being closely related yet distinct. Seen from "to be," the natural law says that all human beings desire goodness by their nature; while as their "ought to be," all human beings should do good and avoid doing evil.This comparative study will focus first on how the generosity of Dao's giving birth to all things in Laozi and the wisdom and love of God in St. Thomas become order and law. Then we will compare Laozi's laws of nature, to which human beings should also live accordingly, with techniques inspired from them, and the principles of St. Thomas' natural laws. We will discuss the possible compatibility and dialogue between St. Thomas thoughts, which are essential to Catholicism , and those of Laozi as followed by lluanlao Daoism and Religious Daoism



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From Gift to Law: Thomas’s Natural Law and Laozi’s Heavenly Dao.Vincent Shen - 2013 - International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):251-270.
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Vincent Shen
Last affiliation: University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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