Natural Law (Includes Aquinas, Aristotle and the Primary Precepts)

Natural Law, Includes Aquinas, Aristotle and the Primary Precepts. Helped me with my revision and hopefully it will help you with yours, it will need some expansion if you intend to put it in an essay.

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  • Created on: 10-10-13 15:12
Preview of Natural Law (Includes Aquinas, Aristotle and the Primary Precepts)

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~Two of his causes were the `Efficient Cause' and the `Final Cause'
~ Aristotle questioned why things exist, this question concerned the Efficient
Cause, the answer to an objects existence is usually that someone made it.
~ The Final Cause, Aristotle said, was the best explanation of an object.
~Aristotle believed that the purpose of humans was to seek happiness through
all round wellbeing, Eudaimonia.
~Everything we do is aimed towards achieving Eudaimonia.…read more

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Used Aristotle's ideas as his basis for Natural Law;
1) Human beings have an essential rational nature given by God in order
for us to live and flourish.
2) Even without knowledge of God, reason can discover the laws that
lead to human flourishing.
3) The Natural Laws are universal and unchangeable and should be used
to judge the laws of particular societies.
Aquinas concluded that humans have some goal or purpose , however
he does not see at as Eudaimonia.
Aquinas did not believe that perfect happiness was possible to achieve
in this life, but it continues into the next life.…read more

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Aquinas said that the purpose of morality is to enable us to arrive at the
fulfilment of our natures and the completion of all our desires.
In the Summa Theologiae Aquinas attempted to work out what perfection
actually is by examining reflections revealed by;
Eternal Law- the principles by which God made and controls the universe
and which only God knows. We only know these `reflections' , we only have
partial and approximate understanding of the laws which govern the
Divine Law- The Bible, which Aquinas believed `reflects' the Eternal Law of
God. However, this `reflection' can only be seen by those who believe in God
and only if God chooses to reveal it.
Natural Law- Refers to the Moral law of God which is in human nature; a
reflection of the Eternal Law of God. It can only be seen by everyone as it
does not depend on belief in God or God choosing to reveal it ­ we simply
need to use our reason to understand human nature.…read more

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The world is the creation of God and this can reveal his
purpose through reason and intellect.
It allows faith to be combined with reason and appreciates
the human ability to reason, whilst it can still be adopted from
a Christian perspective.
Reason is used in order to establish how we should live our
lives. We use our reason to fulfil the requirements of the
primary precepts and therefore to achieve our aim of doing
good and avoiding evil.
Humans use their reason incorrectly because they are
following apparent goods rather than real goods.…read more

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Primary and Secondary Precepts
Primary- the fundamental Secondary- The rules that are
principles of natural law. developed from the primary precepts,
using practical reason.
Direct reflection of God's
eternal law. An example is `Do not murder' (fulfils
the primary precept of preserving life)
Always true and applies to
everybody without Depends upon our own judgement on
exception. what should be done in a given
`A certain order is to be
found in those things that Requires experience and the use of
are apprehended wisdom.
PREGS; Protect and preserve human life. Reproduce and Educate your
offspring. Know God and live in Society.…read more


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