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Reason, Morality, and LawThe Philosophy of John Finnis$
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John Keown and Robert P. George

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.001.0001

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Natural Law and the Transcendent Source of Human Fulfillment

Natural Law and the Transcendent Source of Human Fulfillment

(p.443) 27 Natural Law and the Transcendent Source of Human Fulfillment
Reason, Morality, and Law

Grisez Germain

Oxford University Press

This chapter, in agreement with John Finnis and Joseph Boyle, argues that the moral ought emerges when practical reason's principles, working together, direct one to choose an alternative to any promoted by feelings unintegrated with reasons. The moral ought's inherent force comes from basic goods toward which practical principles direct. What agents ought to do becomes obligatory when it pertains to cooperation. It is argued that reason can establish the existence of a Creator of everything, including practical reason's prescriptivity. That metaphysical knowledge intensifies the force of the moral ought and grounds general moral obligation. People would gratefully fulfil every obligation if they shared the Creator's will to realize all the goods that contribute to integral communal fulfilment. In our world, however, living uprightly is difficult. But Christian faith reduces that difficulty by offering the hope of an everlasting kingdom of God wherein all human goods will be salvaged and perfected.

Keywords:   moral ought, reason, cooperation, Creator, moral obligation, Christian faith

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