Natural Law

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  • Natural Law
    • Absolute theory that is not rooted in external laws or duty
    • Found in our search for genuine happiness + fulfilment; there is an order in our world that should be followed
      • It is a moral code that humans are naturally inclined towards
    • A moral life is one lived according to reason
      • By discovering our end telos we can work out how to achieve this
    • Hierarchy of the Moral Code
      • 1.Eternal law
        • The mind of God which humans cannot know. In it are the laws which govern the universe/ existence. We cannot fully know it however we can get glimpses.e.g physics
      • 2.Divine Law
        • The law God revealed through the Bible
      • 3.Natural Law
        • Everyone has a sense that you should do good and avoid evil
      • 4.Human Law
        • The law of our countries
    • Origins: The Stoics
      • God is everywhere
        • We posses a divine spark
          • Free will allows us to choose whether to follow natural
            • Reason enables us to understand + decide whether to obey these cosmic laws.
    • If we plant seeds + water them etc because in this way they become plants it is because there is something within the nature of the seed that responds to these conditions
    • For Aristotle the inner purpose of human nature is reason
      • A good knife is one that cuts well
      • Human Purpose
        • Human's ultimate purpose is to achieve eudiamonia
          • A life of reason/ living well with others in society
    • Thomas Aquinas
      • People naturally inclined towards natural law
      • God's commands develop natural law
      • A moral life is one lived according to reason
    • The purpose of human beings
      • Aquinas believed God created the world with a sense of order + purpose that reflects his will
        • Although eudemonia is part of our human nature we are made in the image of God
          • Our human purpose is perfection
            • This can only be fulfilled in the afterlife
              • Morality enables us to fulfil our nature


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