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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies


Ethical Theory
Absolutist & Deontological theory- it prescribes fixed morals and real duties.

Natural Moral Law; (NML);
NML can be traced back to Aristotle, who believed we as humans have an
inherent sense of right and wrong. Also, Cicero said that "True law is right
reason…

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All of these assumptions can be disputed, does this mean that NML is not a
successful theory? If they are disputed, it NML still remotely applicable to the
world and ethics?

Aquinas' real and apparent goods;

If humans are naturally inclined to be good, why do…

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5. Worship God- Once ordered society is established humans must turn to
their ultimate creator and worship him.

Aquinas' Secondary Precepts;

From the basic precepts first proposed, Aquinas suggested that secondary
precepts would emerge out of these. For example, that suicide is wrong
because it breaks…

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All those things that we require for happiness ­ health, friends ­
are morally good. The purpose of morality is the fulfilment of our
natures.

Weaknesses of Natural Moral Law;
No agreed moral law: a relativist objection. The world is full of
different moralities, not clear…

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3. Narrowly directed; directed at the agent's actions as opposed to the
consequence.

The third distinguishes between acts and omissions. If you act and it breaks a
rule- you are wrong. But if you fail to act and something bad happens, you
haven't done anything wrong.…

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which he calls the Categorical Imperative. This is the fundamental test of
maxims. Kant formulates the Categorical Imperative in three ways:

1.) For any maxim to be true, you must be able to allow that it could become a
law for everyone.

2.) Never treat people…

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argued that the idea of motivation determining our actions is incoherent
because cannot choose why we act, can only choose how we will act
(goodwill is not enough)

However, did not believe the consequences are the only way to judge
behaviour, other ways can be used…

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For Aristotle, lifes purpose was to become happy and perfect the skill of virtue.
The ultimate aim (or telos) is eudaimonia (well-spirited), so the person who
practises virtue feels happy and content.

Aristotle understood the problem with `happiness', that it means different
things to different people,…

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willed to put such virtues into practice in our lives, it could give morality a fresh
start.

Strength of Virtue Ethics;

Can be used by people both secular and religious
Relistic- suggests we learn about ethics over time
Flexible- doesn't prescribe absolute duties
Allows the ideas…

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