Is Natural Law an adequate basis for moral desicion making?

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  • Natural Law: Is it an adequate basis for moral decision making?
    • Yes
      • 1) Derives from God
        • Aquinas recognises 4 forms of law, eternal law being the highest. Natural Law is derived from eternal law
          • God's will is everlasting and unchanging meaning that regardless of the times, God's plan for humanity will stand
            • This means that Natural Law is adequate for any culture or time
      • 2)  Provides clear cut, unambiguous laws
        • Aquinas' natural law is absolutist meaning it applies to every situation at every time.
        • In times of moral uncertainty, Natural Law will provide clear answers to what your actions should be.
        • This means that Natural Law allows you to easily fulfil your purpose- to gain a 'right relationship with God'
    • No
      • 1) It's outdated
        • Natural Law was written in by a 13th century monk
        • In the 13th century, society and moral norms were completely different.
        • For example, pleasure is a part of today's society therefore to do something for the pleasure of yourself and others is the norm
          • Rather than to do something to gain a 'right relationship with  God'
      • 2) Ignores situations
        • Aquinas' natural law is legalistic and absolutist meaning the laws apply to every situation
        • However situations vary greatly meaning that the consequences of actions within those situations vary greatly
        • If natural law is followed to the letter, the best consequence may be avoided
          • For example, to steal to feed a starving child brings a loving consequence


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