Date of Award
Rev. Patrick Murray
From the beginning of time man has realized that he has been endowed with a special gift, that of freedom of choice or free will. But upon reflection or examination of that free will man sees that there are many things that he should do and others that he should not do. In arriving at this man sees that there is something basic in acting this way. This "basicness" is morals or that code of principles and rules to be followed to do good and avoid evil. Morals are not concerned with irrational being since its primary objective is human action or actions resultant of a free will. One who denies the existence of the free will freely chooses to deny it and therefore he is exercising his own free will in denying its existence in man. The existence of free will cannot ever successfully be denied.
Men have always seen that the way they act is determined by some law which is enforced. But to add to their confusion they see that these laws seem to change from one type of people to another and from on time to another. But there has always been an evident permanence mingled with the changing laws. This permanence is that justice must be done and evil must be avoided. The laws which change are the human laws. But their basis, the justice, is what is called the natural law. In other words, human law is the determination or exposition of the justice contained in the natural law with regard to particular circumstances. Human law binds only our external actions; it cannot positively legislate our internal actions. These latter are only for the natural law.
Reynolds, James, "A Code Of Medical Ethics" (1957). Philosophy Undergraduate Theses. 46.