Natural Law in Practice

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Natural Law in Practice
    • Basic features
      • Teleological in foundation
      • Aristotelian
        • In order to reach eudemonia (human flourishing) one must complete their divine telos
      • Faithful to the Primary precepts
      • Intrinsic, individual and inherent causality
      • Natural law is deontological in order to make teleological demands happen.
      • Foundational: There is a essence prior to existence which people may choose to fufill if they wish
    • Aquina's Five Primary Precepts
      • One must live in accordance to the cardinal virtues
        • Temperance
        • Prudence
        • Justice
        • Fortitude
        • Envy
      • Protection of life
      • Reproduction
      • Education of the young
      • God Worship
      • Society-ordered
      • As nature is created by God ex nihilo, it has an inherent design which reflects the will of the divine creator.
        • "In matters of action it is most shameful to act against things as determined by nature" Thomas Aquinas
    • Made in the image of God
      • imago dei
      • Temple of the Holy Spirit
      • We all have a soul (Latin= anima, Greek=psyche/
      • Looking at a person is looking at the image of God, therefore destroying a human life is wrong.
    • Historical Background
      • Aristotle (384-322BC)
        • Natural law first became prominent through the writing of Aristotle, which said that because reason is a distinctive feature of humanity, people are able to use their reason to discover the teleological (end purpose) goal of human nature.
      • Thomas Aquinas (13th Century)
        • Following the Crusades, many of Aristotle's works were translated into Latin which deeply influenced Thomas Aquinas' views.
          • Aquinas incorporated Aristotle's views into Christian teaching: while all people have access to natural law through their rational abilities, it was God who was the author of natural law and gave us this rationality imago dei.
      • Pope Paul VI (20th Century)
        • Condemned acts such as abortion and the use of artificla contraception as intrinsically evil as they are opposed the Primary Precepts.
          • "The direct interruption of the generative process already begun, even if used for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of procreation." Humanae Vitae
      • Pope John Paul II (20th Century)
        • Repeatedly rejected a 'western culture of death' with an emphasis on individual autonomy and quality of life and campaigns to leagalise abortion and euthanasia.
          • Veritatis Splendor (1993)
          • Evangelium Vitae (1995)
        • Maintained an approach of intrinsic goods and evils based on the unviersal and infalliable rules of natural law
    • Strengths of Natural Law
      • Appeals to both theists and atheists
        • Theists would appeal to the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, upheld by the Roman Catholic Church and featuring in recent Papal Encyclicals
        • Equally, atheists and agnostics are able to agree with Aristotelian teaching, where reason, the distinctive feature of human beings, enables humanity to engage with nature to discover natural rights.
      • Upholds intrinsic goods and inalienable human rights
        • Such a deontological foundation offers a basis for fundemental human rights.
          • Adolf Eichmann: Said he was simply following the civil law of Hitler's National Socialist Party, following his duty
            • However Adolf Eichmann had acted contrary to the basic law of natural law, that people have intrinsic rights that cannot be violated.
            • Crimes Against Humanity, Jerusalem 1961
          • Natural law teaching as intergrated into the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, based on the inalienable human rights and inherent justice of all human based of freedom, justice and peace.
      • "The rational ordering of a natural inclination"
        • Human beings have reason and are capable of direction their inclinations and establishing a moral code.
        • An appreciation of what people innately and ethically desire for living e.g. law and order, food, shleter, reproduction
      • A third way between capitalism and communism
        • Draws attention to the responsibilities have towards one another and upholds intrinsic values and liberties.
          • Pope John Paul II 1998 criticised communism as a political ideology
            • Oppression of civil liberties
          • Capitalism was condemned for it's financial oppression of developing countries
    • Weaknesses of Natural Law
      • Too biological and dualistic
        • Charles Curran: Natural Law places too much emphasis on biological inclinations to arrive at moral conclusions
          • Moral natural law cannot be observed by observing purely biological structure
          • Rather a holistic approach which respects the persons entire rationality and ability to interact with the natural world order should be considered.
          • Untitled
          • In medival times we conformed with nature as we felt we could not control it, so reason was synonymous with the order of nature.
            • However in a scientific and technological world, we know that the natural world constantly changes and we may intervene with natural processes to maximise human happiness
      • Too deontological regarding artifical contraception
        • Pope Paul Vi, Humanae Vitae: The use of artifical contraception is an intrinsic evil as it is contrary to natural law
          • Primary Precepts: Reproduction, Preservation of Life
          • 1994: Cairo Conference highlighted the issue of world overpopulation
            • Aldous Huxley, The Human Situation: Took fifteen centuries for the world to double between the 1-15th century, now will only take 50 years
          • Denies women the personal autonomy to control their own fertility
            • Humanae Vitae observed much of the church leity leaving the Catholic Church for this oppressive morality.
      • The Enlightenment and Darwinism challenges Natural Law
        • Natural law states that there is one ideal view of creation exisiting in the divine mind before creation.
          • Darwinism rejects this, "design occurs through a process of step by step evolution guided by non random survival"
            • The idea of design is not pre-conceived in the deities mind, but is consistently evolving.
              • Post enlightenment society is primarily Darwinian.
    • Applying Natural Law to Christian Teaching
      • As God created the world there must be an inherent design in nature, which can be discovered through human reason.
        • Orthodox Christian teaching believes that before the world and humans were created ex nihilo by God, there existed an idea or essense within the divine mind of what it was to be human.
          • "I knew you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart for me before you were born; I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations."
            • Jeremiah 1:5
        • Humans realise the 'image and likeness of God' when they fufill this essence by living life according to God's plan
          • Through nature guided reason
          • Being guided by the 'revealed word of God'
            • The Bible
            • Teachings of the Decalogue, Papal Encylclicals
          • 'Sin' is when we fall short of our divine telos, or misuse our free will.

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Christianity resources »