more from St Paul

Single Idea 5052

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 3. Innate Knowledge / a. Innate knowledge]

Full Idea

When the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves, which shew the works of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.

Gist of Idea

When Gentiles follow the law, they must have the law written in their hearts


St Paul (06: Epistle to the Romans [c.55], 02.15)

Book Reference

'The Bible', ed/tr. the Church [Collins 1950], p.541

A Reaction

This passage was used by theologians as proof of innate ideas, which are, of course, divinely implanted (in the guise of doing things 'by nature'). It is quoted by Leibniz. Thus Christians annexed credit for pagan morality to God.