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Why do we need the natural law?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016  
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Constitutional law professor addresses the importance of the classical worldview

SAN FRANCISCO – The “natural law” worldview developed over the course of almost 2,000 years, beginning with Plato and Aristotle and culminating with St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. But what, exactly, is the natural law, and why is it important for us to have a renewed appreciation of it to retain our hard-fought and highly prized liberty? Constitutional law professor John Lawrence Hill addresses the history of the natural law and why it’s a necessary foundation for our most important moral and political values — freedom, human rights, equality, responsibility and human dignity, among others — in his new book, AFTER THE NATURAL LAW: How the Classical Worldview Supports Our Modern Moral and Political Values.

Natural law tradition holds that the world is ordered, intelligible and good, that there are objective moral truths that we can know and that human beings can achieve true happiness only by following our inborn nature, which draws us toward our own perfection. But modern philosophers such as René Descartes, John Locke and Thomas Hobbs began to chip away at it. Hill, an atheist-turned-Catholic, argues in AFTER THE NATURAL LAW that without a theory of natural law, modern Western values lose their coherence: We literally cannot make sense of them. Thus, we see in our jurisprudence the tendency either to dilute the meaning of such terms as freedom and human rights or to abandon them altogether.

Hill further explains that even the philosophical assumptions of the natural law depend on a personal God, who is the touchstone of the classical understanding of the human condition and the foundation for what remains our most important moral and political ideals, even today.

“With clarity and force, Hill demonstrates how a teleological understanding of nature makes sense of the moral and political principles dear to the modern heart,” says Michael Augros, Ph. D., author of Who Designed the Designer? “A much-needed book restoring a neglected truth to its rightful pride of place.”

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with John Lawrence Hill, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or of Carmel Communications.



Kevin Wandra

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