Natural Law

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  • Natural Law
    • Thomas  Aquinas
      • (1225-1274)
      • Ideas can be linked to human rights today
      • 'Now a certain order is to be found in the things that are apprehended universally.'
      • Summa theologica
    • The four tiers of law
      • Eternal Law
        • absolute and eternal, it is part of the mind of God
        • this is the reason God's law is unchanging and universal for everyone at all times
        • Absiolute and not relative to different people or situations
        • the eternal law is in God and not a feature of nature apart from God
      • Divine Law
        • the commands and teachings of divine revelation that are usually found in the bible
        • include the ten commandments, the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount
        • Scripture that is sacred and revealed by God, where he is teaching us how to behave
      • Natural Law
        • We can perecieve God's eternal law without reading the bible, this is due to the Natural Law that we have
        • Allows us to perceive the ternal aw through the application of human reason
        • It makrs us apart from animals and makes Gos's eternal law accessible to the whole of humanity.
      • Human Law
        • Our response to messages from God
        • The customs and practices of society
        • Human law isonly proper law if it is good and in accordance with divine natural law
        • does nto have to cover all moral wrong,  only those that are more serious.
        • Not all aspects of morality require legislation.
    • The Synderesis Rule
      • Synderesis: Do good and avoid evil
      • 'law is an ordinance of reason for the common good.'
      • the divine reason or reason of Fod exists  but we cannot possible perceive it fully
    • Primary Precepts
      • 'the principle of primary reason is one founded on the notion of good.'
      • Worship God
      • Live in an ordered society
      • Reproduce to ensure that life continues
      • Learn (to teach people of God)
      • Defend the innocent
      • 'every substance seeks the preservation of its own being.'
    • Real and Apparent Goods
      • Evil is not desirable, 'no evil is desirable, either by natural appetite or by conscious will, it is sought indirectly, namely because it is the consequence of some good.'
      • apparent goods are things that will seem like they give pleasure and happiness but it is only short term gratification
      • real goods are things that give happiness and are good in the longterm
    • Doctrine of double effect
      • Doing something morally good has some morally bad side effects
      • Untitled
      • an action is able to have more than one consequence, this means that not all the outcomes are positive.
      • the action itself cannot be bad but good or neutral, the bad effect should not be the means by which the good effect is achieved. The
      • the motive for an action should be based on the good effect, meaning that we should not do something just because it could end badly. We should do it bec ause we believe it to be a good thing.
    • Telos
      • The ultimate end
      • Moral acts are free but they want to reach their end
      • Everything is trying to reach eudaimonia
      • properly moral acts are free acts that come from a freely acting rational person however they are al trying to reach their end.
      • The ultimate end cannot be found in this world
      • 'ultimate and perfect beatitude can consist only in the version of the divine essence, this is the very essence of goodness.'
    • Deontological ethical theory
    • Cicero
      • 'the law is right reason in agreement with nature, it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting.'
    • Secondary Precepts
      • deduced from primary precepts
      • theyh are applications of primary precepts to certain situations
      • e.g. human beings were made to live in society, so antisocial behaviour is wrong
      • e.g. human beings were made to live, therefore murder and euthanasia are wrong


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