Many of the modern moral debates stem not only from a rejection of Scriptural teaching but also from a rejection of the natural law. But many today are not even sure what is meant by the phrase “Natural Law.” I hope to give a brief, not too philosophical answer to this question.
We live in a world governed by many laws and principles. For example, there is the Law of Gravity, the speed of light, the fact that some elements are poisonous to our bodies and so forth. To attempt to deny these laws is not only absurd but usually brings grave consequences. Try denying that gravity exists and then try stepping off a ten story building. The denial lacks substance and gravity takes a deadly toll. Try denying poison exists and then swallow drano, the deadly results belie your denials.
So, the natural order has things to teach us. Refusing this teaching usually ends badly. Our bodies too are part of the natural order. When it comes to sexuality, the fact that men and women were made for each other is quite obvious. Without getting too anatomical the very physical structure and design of men and women make it clear that they are meant for one another sexually. Such is not the case with homosexual activity. Again, this is a family blog and we can’t get too specific but anatomically things are just not meant to be in this manner. Break this natural law and the consequences of disease announce the wrong-doing. However, it also seems clear that heterosexual promiscuity is against the natural law. Why? Sexually transmitted diseases that can be quite deadly run through the population if we allow widespread promiscuity.
Now the Natural Law also points to the need for lasting, stable marriage. How? It is clear enough that to engage in heterosexual activity tends to result in children. Children require 18-20 years to raise and need a stability to be raised well.
So, briefly, the Natural Law manifests order to which we must be submitted or risk the consequences. Notice here, I did not even quote the Bible. What makes the Natural Law is that it provides some basis to discuss things with non-believers or to address a secular world that demand secular answers. Even here the Natural Law is not a slam dunk since many have had their minds darkened even to what is right in front of them. We have these slippery minds that can slither out or any argument if we simply refuse to acknowledged the truth.
Although I said I had not quoted scripture, you know me too well by now and understand I can’t resist SOME reference there. The Natural Law is referred to by St. Paul in the First Chapter of the Letter to the Romans: For what can be known about God is evident to them [The Gentiles who have not Scripture], because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools
The Natural Law, it’s right in front of me, if I have eyes to see it. Now please understand this is very short, many more things can and will be said about Natural Law, but this is a start.
The following video briefly defines Natural Law and why our culture tends to resist it.