Natural Moral Law: Strengths and weaknesses

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Advantages Disadvantages
Deontological, provides clear and fixed rules Can lead people to do evil things or permit evil consequences
Laws are objective Counter-intuitive, contrary to intuition or to common-sense
Allows people to establish universal ideas e.g. human rights Idea that there is a common human nature can be challenged
Avoids the relativist fallacy, claiming that something is true for one David Hume: Commits the naturalistic fallacy; you cannot get an
person but not true for someone else ought from an is
Has an empirical basis, therefore can be verified Strict applied results in casuistry
Does not reply on a consideration of consequences thus, avoids Imposes one purpose upon body parts where they may have many
calculations and quantities of good/happiness
Takes account of reason not functioning properly Relies on an individual's ability to reason their purpose in life
Reasonable as principles are common features of all societies Science suggests the world has no rational system of laws
Considers the purpose of humanity and how to achieve this Consequences can be morally questionable due to the slavish
adherence to dogmatic beliefs
Concentrates on the human character and potential to flourish Kai Neilson: As essential human nature isn't as obviously self-evident
Gives a concrete reason to be moral Vardy and Grosch: View on human nature is unholistic, too simple
view of human nature
Provides justification and support for core ideas e.g. free education Fletcher: Jesus opposes legalistic morality in the New Testament
Gives guidance on day-to-day questions and links them to Kevin Kelly: Identified two traditions in Christian morality, one centre
fundamental principles of life on acts other on dignity of the human person
Humans are placed at the centre of this approach rather than rules People have different of unchangeable natures
The use of reason allows us to feel in control of the secondary Contradicts traditional notion of human sinfulness and creation
precepts falleness
Aquinas himself lived a celibate life,
In modern forms NML does not allow for negotiation because the
Church has made the secondary precepts in absolute rules
Can be argued that we gained our natural instincts through evolution
not from God

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