Aquinas's Thoughts On Society
tells us that all humans are naturally social and also related to other humans as well as God.
These relationships, however, are governed by laws, and are not arbitrary. "Law is
a rule and measure of acts, whereby man is induced to act or is restrained from
acting." Aquinas gives us a definition of law in general when he says that, "Law is nothing
else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by him who has the care
of the community."
Aquinas explains natural law as a special way in which humans share God's eternal law, "and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law." Aquinas states that all human beings, in all places, under all circumstances know "at least the common principles of the natural law."
Aquinas shows us another type of law, the human law. He states that if all people obeyed natural law, there would be no need for human laws, "But since some are found to be dissolute and prone to vice, and not easily amenable to words, it was necessary for such to be restrained from evil by force and fear, in order that, at least, they might desist from evil-doing, and leave others in peace, and that they themselves, by being habituated in this way, might be brought to do willingly what hitherto they did from fear, and thus become virtuous."
Aquinas quotes Aristotle's opinion that "the female is a misbegotten male." However since, to Aquinas, God cannot make a mistake, Aquinas says that the creation of the woman was "necessary...as a helper to man; not, indeed, as a helpmate in other works, as some say, since man can be more efficiently helped by another man in other works; but as a helper in the work of generation."