Thomas Aquinas on Morals Handout

Handout to be used with the presentation of the same name.

Includes crossword puzzle, fill-the-blanks and summary notes.

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THOMAS AQUINAS: NATURAL LAW
CROSSWORD: ACROSSES:
2. A temporary pleasure mistook for true good.
DOWNS: 4. The outward view of an act (Why we do it).
1. The idea that morals are necessarily right or wrong in all situations 5. The inward motive of an act (What we do).
3. Ethical theories based on obligation or rules/laws. 8. He developed the Natural Law theory of ethics.
6. Five common rules that all humans must follow. 10. The ideas and theory of Aquinas.
7. The application of Natural Law to specific situations/examples. 11. The ultimate aim of life and basis of Aquinas' theory.
9. One way we identify true goods. 12. Ethical theories based on consequences/outcomes.
STRENGTHS: WEAKNESSES:
1. Enables people to establish common morals/rules when 1. Aquinas has no proof of the primary precepts as
structuring a community. our intended purpose and therefore secondary laws
2. Judges actions on intentions rather than consequences (althoughare equally weak.
it is arguable whether this is a strength). 2. By disputing absolute natural law or a single human
3. Very useful for statesmen wishing to impose their authority on nature
a the theory becomes useless.
conforming society since the 5 precepts ensure a harmonious 3. Aquinas does not follow the precept of
society with educated children, a sustained population, etc. and reproduction because he is celibate.
allows the ruler to do what he pleases with those who do not 4. His theory is based in God, however Christian
conform to these rules as they are considered less than human scripture regarding God is less then reliable.

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