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Article 2. Whether the natural law contains several precepts, or only one?
I answer that, As stated above (Question 91, Article 3), the precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason, what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason; because both are self-evident principles. Now a thing is said to be self-evident in two ways: first, in itself; secondly, in relation to us. Any proposition is said to be self-evident in itself, if its predicate is contained in the notion of the subject: although, to one who knows not the definition of the subject, it happens that such a proposition is not self-evident. For instance, this proposition, "Man is a rational being," is, in its very nature, self-evident, since who says "man," says "a rational being": and yet to one who knows not what a man is, this proposition is not self-evident. Hence it is that, as Boethius says (De Hebdom.), certain axioms or propositions are universally self-evident to all; and such are those propositions whose terms are known to all, as, "Every whole is greater than its part," and, "Things equal to one and the same are equal to one another." But some propositions are self-evident only to the wise, who understand the meaning of the terms of such propositions: thus to one who understands that an angel is not a body, it is self-evident that an angel is not circumscriptively in a place: but this is not evident to the unlearned, for they cannot grasp it.
PONCE: Mr. Keyes, on the Channel 7 debate last Thursday night, you said, and I'm quoting you, "Where procreation is, in principle, impossible, marriage is irrelevant." You went on to say it was irrelevant, and not needed. What about marriage between people that are well beyond their child-bearing age? "Irrelevant"? "Not needed"?
KEYES: No, it's simply a misunderstanding. The word "in principle" means, "relating to the definition of." Not, "relating to particular circumstances." So, if an apple has a worm in it, the worm is not part of the definition of the apple. It doesn't change what the apple is, in principle. So, the fact--
PONCE: It retains its "appleness."
KEYES: Can I--can I--
KEYES: It pertains, it retains--no. To act as if concepts are laughable means that you want to be irrational. Human beings are--
PONCE: No, I'm asking you, sir. You said--
KEYES: Excuse me. Let me finish.
PONCE: You said, you said it was "not needed."
KEYES: Human beings reason by means of concepts and definitions. We also make laws by means of definitions. And if you don't know how to operate with respect for those definitions, you can't make the law.
An individual who is impotent, or another who is infertile, does not change the definition of marriage in principle, because between a man and a woman in principle, procreation is always possible, and it is that possibility which gave rise to the institution of marriage in the first place as a matter of law--
PONCE: To eighty-year-olds, it's still possible, "in principle."
KEYES: But when it is impossible in principle, as between two males or two females, you're not talking about something that's just incidentally impossible. It's impossible in principle.
And that means that, if you say that that's a marriage, you are saying marriage can be understood, in principle, apart from procreation. You have changed its definition in such a way as, in fact, to destroy the necessity for the institution, since the only reason it has existed in human societies and civilizations was to regulate, from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.
So, when you start playing games in this way, you are actually acting as if the institution has no basis, independent of your own arbitrary whim. And, if you don't mind my saying so, that's what we just heard.
We heard something that wasn't based on reasoning. It wasn't based on logic. It was based on vague feelings--
I argue.... in the definition of marriage there contain the union of sexual act by man and woman. Thus it's a self evident truth known to all (SETKTA) per St. Thomas definition of what a SETKTA is. It's predicate is contain in the notion of its subject.
Those who argue for same-sex marriage are either unable to use his reason or insane.