Natural Moral Law

Contents

Origins of Natural Law - Stoics & Aritotle

Thomas Aquinas- three laws, natural inclinations. primary and secondary precepts

Strengths and weaknesses 

Moral dillemmas

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  • Created by: Anobi
  • Created on: 06-04-13 21:10
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Natural Moral Law
THE ORIGINS OF NATURAL LAW
Stoics: God lives within humans; divine spark which teaches them how to live
according to God's will (aka nature)
Humans have a choice through free will whether to obey rules but must use
reasons to determine why
Aristotle: The Four Causes; efficient cause
Everything has a purpose and its supreme good is reached when its
purpose is fulfilled
Humans reach eudemonia when purpose is fulfilled; this goal could be
achieved by living a life of reason
Purpose - the idea that the rightness or wrongness of an action can be
discovered by looking at whether or not the action agrees with human
purpose
AQUINAS' THEORY OF NATURAL MORAL LAW
Disagreed with eudemonia
Humans are made in the image of god; supreme good would be perfection; not
achievable in this world; purpose of human morality is to help us reach fulfilment in
the afterlife
Summa Theologiae ­ what is perfection?
Eternal Law - the principles by which God made and controls the universe which are
only fully known by God
Divine Law ­ the Bible which reflects eternal law and can only be seen by those who
belief in God if he chooses to reveal it
Natural Law ­ the theory that an eternal absolute moral law can be discovered by
reason; can be seen by everyone irrespective of their beliefs; reflection of eternal law;
can be revealed through reason

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Natural Inclinations
Precepts are natural laws instilled in humans by God which can be discovered through
reason
Most fundamental inclination do good avoid evil; supreme good is perfection
therefore cannot pursue evil
Humans lead astray by apparent goods but reason can show us the right thing to do
Apparent good ­ something that seems to be good or the right thing to do but
which does not fit the perfect human ideal
Real good ­ the right thing to do which fits the human ideal…read more

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Reproduction Do not use contraception
Don't have an abortion
Educating the Young Free education
Making school compulsory
Same standard of schools throughout the country
The Doctrine of Double Effect
Absolutism ­ an objective moral rule or value that is always true in all situations and
for everyone without exceptions
Moral dilemmas; cannot do good without doing bad
Wrong to do bad to bring about good; but may be justified to do good where they are
possible bad scenarios but they are not intended
Pregnant women…read more

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It allows people to do good in life, and not to Atheists will natural moral law can oppose
always act in self-interests but knowing their common good e.g. biblical story of Abraham and
goal is to do good by society, others. Isaac. God order Abraham to kill his son as a
sacrifice to him, although God commanded the
act of killing to be wrong.…read more

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