Sexual Morality: A Natural Law Approach to Intimate Relationships

By John J. Piderit | Go to book overview

6
Moral Guidance in Human Nature

THIS BOOKEXPLORESAN understanding of morality consistent with the Christian tradition of morality. Yet the premise of the book is that this approach to morality can help all young adults, no matter what religious group they indentify with, figure out how to lead the kinds of lives they want and truly deserve. How is that possible? How can a moral framework be both broadly appealing to all who believe in God and at the same time consistent with the revelation of Jesus Christ as the center of all history?

Natural law does assume a person believes in God, but it does not rely on belief in the divinity of Christ. God is the creator and God places us in the world in a framework by which we can know what God wants us to do. However, the natural law conviction is that by our human nature, we know what it is that we are supposed to strive for and what we are supposed to avoid.

The moral standards in a natural law approach are built on human nature (which is part of the larger “book of nature” r eferred to earlier). But human nature includes the world in which a man or woman exists. So, for any person, “human nature” includes not just the person, but the community in which he is raised and in which he now lives. It also consists of his relationship to the physical world and includes whatever knowledge he has of himself, society, and science.

Natural law uses as its norm the “plain man” or the “plain woman.” The person need not be particularly well educated. She just has to be raised in a community and do the normal things that people do when they are young.

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