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Slide 1

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Evaluating Natural Law…read more

Slide 2

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The Natural Law Approach to Morality
Aquinas believed that humans were naturally
inclined towards a moral code ­ this is what
he meant by Natural Law.
He also believed that God had given further
specific instructions (in the Bible, in the
person of Jesus and in the Church's teaching)
that went not against, but further than Natural
Law and developed it.…read more

Slide 3

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The Natural Law Approach to Morality
Unlike atheist or agnostic Natural Law
philosophers Aquinas believed that human
beings were immortal.
The purpose of human existence for Aquinas
does not just lie within this life.…read more

Slide 4

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The Natural Law Approach to Morality
Aquinas argued that the first priority in Natural Law is to
preserve the self not just for this life but for life beyond the
He believed that it was possible to argue for the four cardinal
virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice by
reason alone. In other words they made sense even if you
don't believe in God.
These four virtues had been identified by Aristotle.
They are built upon by theological virtues of faith' hope, and
love which allow the believer to follow Natural Law with
greater obedience.…read more

Slide 5

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The Natural Law Approach to Morality
The starting point for all advocates of Natural
Law is to try and establish the purpose of
human life.
For Aquinas, this included...
Living life itself
Having an ordered society
Worshipping God
Learning…read more

Slide 6

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The Natural Law Approach to Morality
Aquinas did not believe that human nature was all
For him it was imperfect but quite a good guide
about the way things should be.
He believed that all human societies were made up
of people who shared a common nature.
Aquinas believed that from studying human nature
you can work out what Natural Law is and what the
goal of human life is.…read more


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