Revision Notes

This is a brief compilation of my notes for natural law.

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  • Created by: mabel
  • Created on: 18-11-10 12:09
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Natural Law
Revision Notes on Natural Law
Aristotle came up with the theory of causality which included
material cause, efficient cause, formal cause, final cause.
The final cause being an object of goal or aim- its purpose in
life. He explained that every object or action had a final cause
in other words aim or purpose.
Once we have figured an objects final cause we are aware of
what we need to do in other to achieve this, it is this which
further defines our actions as good or otherwise.
Therefore there is a final cause to every object or action.
Activity that brings about this final cause is good and activity
which doesn't is bad.
Aquinas on natural law
Aquinas had the perception that God created everything for a
purpose which meant therefore everything had a final cause
as Aristotle had earlier established.
God ultimate purpose is therefore that Final cause
Aquinas further explained that God ultimate purpose can be
revealed through the application of reasoning:
Application of reasoning= revelation of Gods ultimate purpose
or Final cause
This reasoning is Gods gift to humanity and it is the means by
which by which human beings can see their final cause and
choose whether to follow their final good or not.
Therefore we have Natural law which forms the basis of
Roman Catholic moral teaching.

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Sexual intercourse is the most obvious application as Roman
Catholics hold strong principles concerning contraception,
abortion, and so on.
Sexual intercourse is the means by which reproduction
takes place: it brings about the fertilisation an ovum
leads to pregnancy and ultimately childbirth.
The various machinations whereby sexual intercourse
gets going i.e. physical attractions, anatomy etc. were all
part of the purpose.
Thus on the basis of Aristotle theory of causation....…read more

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Natural law provides a framework in which `universal good' can be
defined, since no external reference is necessary.
Since an act is not deemed good or bad based on its effect, a person
can only be held accountable for the immediate consequences of an
action. Subsequent consequences are beyond the control of the
agent, who cannot be held responsible. This is sometimes called the
law of double effect.…read more

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Some scientists, who see a naturally developing design in the
universe, argue for a non-divine purpose in creation-Natural
law would therefore stand, without God to `endorse it'.
Using reason to determine God's purpose for humans does not
give consistent results ­ something might have a number of
functions or uses, so how can you determine which is its
God-given purpose?
Natural Law is supposed to produce objective moral principles,
but we would often be influenced by our society's morality.…read more

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Do men and women have the same ultimate purpose, or are
they intrinsically different?…read more


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