Catholic Natural Law

Is Catholic Natural Law (or just any natural law) based on anything other than just what people want it to be?

Well theoretically, anything the Catholic (or any) church holds as the way things are, they believe because God said. So from the vantage point that it’s God’s word, it isn’t just what people want to believe.

Whether there is a God, whether he did actually ever give us his word, and which parts of which bit of writing might be that word is of course unknown. But the safe bet is still probably that most of Catholic (or any) beliefs are based on what people thought sounded good or was the most practical at the time.

IIRC a fair amount of it was based on the studies of animals during a period of enthusiasm for “natural theology”, when they thought they could understand God and his will by studying nature. Specifically, I recall reading that the idea that sex is only for breeding came from studying herd animals like cattle, which don’t have a very human pattern of sexuality.

For an understanding of Natural Law, in Catholic thought and elsewhere, I suppose you could start with the Wikipedia article, and then check out the other sites it links to.

It’s been ages since I read Aquinas, but I think he was highly influential in developing Natural Law. I could be totally wrong though. My memory likes to play tricks on me with things like this.