THOMAS AQUINAS

NATURAL LAW

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ST THOMAS AQUINAS & NATURAL LAW - DEONTOLOGICAL, ABSOLUTE, OBJECTIVE.
St Thomas Aquinas believed everything has a natural purpose (telos).
He believed a humans' natural purpose was to be rational. The SYNDERISIS RULE - TO DO
GOOD AND AVOID EVIL is NATURAL to us.
Aquinas was very fond of Aristotle's EFFICIENT AND FINAL CAUSE. He believed our EFFICIENT
CAUSE was that we were made by GOD and our final cause is to BE AT UNION WITH GOD. Natural
Law is the way in which we can fulfil our ultimate purpose - to be at union with god.
THE FIVE PRIMARY PRECEPTS make up NATURAL LAW. WE MUST FOLLOW THE PRIMARY
PRECEPTS TO BE AT UNION WITH GOD, THEY ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Preservation of life
Order in society
Worship God
Education
Reproduction
We remember the anagram POWER.
However, there are also SECONDARY PRECEPTS which are attached to the PRIMARY
PRECEPTS.
Preservation of life - DO NOT KILL THE INNOCENT
Order in society - RESPECT THE RULE OF THE LAW
Worship God - PRAY, GO TO CHURCH
Education - PURSUE KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH
Reproduction - DO NOT USE CONTRACEPTION OR ABORT
Aquinas stated that once we had followed Natural Law, we would eventually EUDAIMONIA (flourish)
and then be allowed a place in Gods heaven. For the whole of society to be able to reach
EUDAIMONIA (flourish) the law must be in sync with the DIVINE LAW (the bible) and humans
should obey this NATURAL LAW to then all be allowed a place in heaven.
You may also use QUOTATIONS FROM THE 10 COMMANDMENTS when mentioning the
PRIMARY PRECEPTS when APPLYING NATURAL LAW. For Example, THOU SHALT NOT KILL
would go well with the PRESERVATION OF LIFE and DO NOT KILL THE INNOCENT.
CRITICISMS:
Not everyone believes in Natural Law or believes in God
There cannot be ONE NATURAL NATURE SHARED BY EVERYONE because for instance not
everyone is GAY. This indicates not everyone has the natural law within them.
If the SYNDERISIS RULE is INNATE, why is it not everybody does good to avoid doing evil? For
instance, going out for parties rather than studying for exams.
Laws such as REPRODUCTION and the secondary precept DO NOT USE CONTRACEPTION
has proved to be a bad law to go by such as situations in South Africa where AIDS is spreading vastly
due to their belief in CATHOLIC RELIGION and the following of NATURAL LAW.

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