is it that makes law?
seems that everyone’s reason makes law:
In Romans 2:14 the Apostle says, “For when the Gentiles,
who do not have the Law, do by nature those things that
are of the Law, they, not having the Law, are a law
unto themselves.” But he says this in general
about everyone. Therefore, everyone is able to
make law for himself.
As the Philosopher says in Ethics 2, the lawmaker’s
intent is to lead men to virtue. But every man
is capable of leading another to virtue. Therefore,
every man’s reason can make law.
Just as the ruler (princeps) of a city is the
one who governs (gubernator) the city, so too
every father of a family (paterfamilias) is the
one who governs the household. But the ruler of
a city is able to make law in the city. Therefore,
every father of family is able to make law in his own
contrary to this:
In the Etymologia Isidore says (and Decretals,
dist. 2 repeats this), “A law is an ordinance (constitutio)
of the people, by which the elders (maiores),
along with the common people (plebes), have sanctioned
something.” Therefore, it is not just anyone’s
function to make law.
Law has to do properly, primarily, and principally with
an ordering toward the common good. Now to order
something toward the common good is the role either
of the whole multitude or of someone who is acting in
the place of the whole multitude. Therefore, establishing
a law is something that belongs either to the whole
multitude or to a public personage who is in charge
of (habet curam) the whole multitude. For
in all other cases as well, ordering something to an
end is the role of one for whom that end is his own.
to objection 1:
As was explained above (a. 1), when law exists something,
it exists not only in that which regulates, but also,
by participation, in that which is regulated.
And everyone is a law unto himself in the sense that
he participates in the order of that which is doing
the regulating. This is why the Apostle adds immediately
in the same place, “... who show the work of the law
that is written in their hearts.”
to objection 2:
A private person cannot efficaciously lead anyone to
virtue. For he can only issue a warning, and if
his warning is not heeded, he does not have the sort
of coercive power (vim coactivam) which, according
to the Philosopher in Ethics 9, law must have
in order to lead someone efficaciously to virtue.
Now, as will be explained below (q. 92, a. 2), this
coercive power is had by the multitude or public personage
whose role it is to inflict punishments. Only
someone like this is in a position to make laws.
to objection 3:
Just as a man is part of a household, so a household
is part of a city and, as Politics 1 puts it,
a city is a complete community (communitas perfecta).
And so just as the good of a single man is not the ultimate
end, but is instead ordered toward the ultimate end,
so too the good of a single household is ordered toward
the good of the a single city, which is a complete community.
Hence, one who governs a family can, to be sure, make
certain precepts and statutes, but these do not properly
speaking have the character of law.