Clearly identify a passage or passages in Augustine's The City of God that describes what Augustine believes the role of law in earthly society is. How are earthly laws and natural laws different, and how are they interwoven?

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A passage that describes Augustine's idea of the role of law in earthly society is book 4, section 4, of The City of God. Here, Augustine writes:

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, "What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor."

The role of the law, therefore, is to regulate a just society and to prevent it from becoming tyrannical and rapacious, with the rulers acting like gangsters.

In order for this to happen, Augustine argues, the temporal law must reflect the eternal law, which is the will of God. The temporal law is the law imposed by the state, which may be wrong and which changes over time. However, if the temporal law is completely divorced from the eternal law, then it becomes corrupt and worthless.

Mediating between the temporal law and the eternal law is the natural law. This is the human notion of the eternal law, which one might think of as conscience, or a sense of right and wrong. People use their sense of natural law to interpret the temporal law and decide whether it is worth following.

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