Natural moral law

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  • Natural moral law
    • Aquinas
      • God is immutable (changeless)and therefore consistent
      • God is absolutely good and the purpose of creation was to reflect the goodness
      • Laws of nature reflect God's nature and regulate the created world
      • Everything has a final cause (goal) and the final cause of humanity is eudaimonia
    • Primary precepts
      • Derived from the main guiding principle- "good is to be done and evil is to be avoided" POWER
        • Ordered society
        • Worship of God
        • Education
        • Reproduction
        • Preservation of life
      • Universally and absolutely binding
      • Teleological- concerned with our final end
    • Secondary precepts
      • Rules that show humans how to apply the primary precepts to specific situations
      • eg contraception is wrong as it stops reproduction and doesn't preserve life
    • Real and apparent goods
      • Humans fall short of God's intentions for them
        • This is because they confuse what they seems to be good with what is actually good
        • Real good is reached through the practice of the virtues
    • Cardinal virtues
      • Selected from Aristotle
      • Prudence
      • Justice
      • Fortitude (courage)
      • Temperance (self control)
      • Attained through human ability
      • Added theological virtues
        • Faith
        • Hope
        • Love
        • Taken from 1 Corinthians 13, they are gifts of God's grace
    • Principle of double effect
      • Difficult and exceptional situations
      • Four conditions
        • Principle of the act= morality of the proposed action must be good or neutral
        • Means-end= bad effect must not be the means by which the good effect is achieved
        • Proportionality= good effect must be at least proportionate to the bad effect
        • Good intention= intention must be the good effect, the bad can be foreseen but not intended
    • Proportionalism
      • The moral principle arising out of NML should be upheld unless there is proportionate reason no to do so
      • No intrinsically evil acts
      • Two things must be taken into account:
        • Intention of moral agent
        • Value of good effect against bad effect


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