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Natural law may be described as law whose content is set by nature and is thus universal. It is an idea that exists in most religious traditions; Hinduism, for instance, has the notion of dharma, an enduring moral order underlying all reality. In the West, a similar notion is known as natural law. The first developments related to such law can be found in the work of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (4 BCE), the Stoics (3 BCE to 3 CE), and Cicero (106–43 BCE). However, the works of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), a Christian philosopher and member of the scholastic tradition, were some of the greatest contributions to the development of a natural law doctrine. During the 17th century, a vivid debate emerged about natural law ...

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