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What would Aquinas say is the
meaning of life?
The five proof for the existence of God we
looked at last lesson suggest a number of
questions that we will look at this lesson.
Make some general notes and try and
understand some of the issues with natural
law and how Aquinas attempted to deal with
them.…read more

Slide 3

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1 ­ What is the Purpose of Life
Everything done by an individual or group aims at some purpose or
another.
There are higher and lower aims. We undertake an act with a lower
aim in order to fulfil a higher aim. For example we learn to use a
computer (lower aim) to be able to write a book (higher aim)
The ultimate aim is to fulfil the highest good. Aristotle said that
happiness is the best definition of this highest good.
A distinction should be drawn an efficient and final cause. If you
break your leg, the efficient cause is because you were carrying a
heavy parcel, the final cause is God's will to learn a lesson.
Greater priority should be given to the highest good of a community
that the individual.…read more

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Development
Thomas Aquinas then developed this further. As a
Christian theologian and philosopher he believed that for a
Christian, God who created all things and have everything
its pattern and purpose is the highest good. God therefore is
the goal and destiny of every human being even if they do
not acknowledge this.
He also believed that every human being willed what is
good, since every human being has a human nature ­
created by God. This s an ideal human being to which each
human can be true to or can decide to rebel against.…read more

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2 ­ How can we discover the highest good?
Through human reason. Human nature given
to us by God enables us to experience and
understand what is right. The moral life,
therefore is life lives according to reason.
Acting according to reason is the same as
acting a Christian.
The key question throughout life is ­ does this
act aim at achieving the highest good or not?…read more

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3 ­ Is there a place for revelation.
Traditionally Christians believe that through
revelation God makes himself known through Jesus
Christ. We cannot find God by searching, God finds
us.
It is possible to accept the principle of natural law
while also believing un God's revelation. God who
created the world gave to humankind the one ideal
human nature and gave us the ability to use our
human reason. God has also revealed the being of
God to us.…read more

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