Natural law- St Thomas Aquinas

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Natural Law- St Thomas Aquinas

Natural Law- St Thomas Aquinas- "Natural law is the sharing in the eternal law by intelligent creatures" NL- Is the rational understanding and following of God's final purpose

  • Deontological theory- Concerns with the means to the end 
  • Absolutist theory- Assists humans to direct their actions, to reach eternal destiny with God
  • Aristotelian philosophy- NL is routed in the philosophy of Aristotle- Believed that everything in life serves a purpose& has a efficient and final cause
  • Faith& reason- The world is the creation of God, thus can rveal his purpose through reason and intellect
  • Humans Natural Purpose is to be rational. Following the synderisis Rule. 'Do good and avoid all evil'
  • Aquinas said humans are made in the "image and likeness of God" so the supreme good is a development of this image of perfection. 
  • Eudaimonia -Our ultimate aim
  • PROPORTIONAL NATURAL LAW-  Action not allowed if unintened action had a devastating effect
  • Apparent goods-Doesnt help achieve eudaimonia, Appear to correspond but don't RG=NL
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Natural Law- St Thomas Aquinas

  • Primary Precepts- The purpose of humans= "Do good, avoid evil" - POWER
  • Secondary Precepts- Morals which exists because they uphold the primary precepts

1.Presevation of life- Do not kill the innocent

2.Ordered life- Respect the rule of the law

3.Worship of God- Pray

4.Education- Pursue knowledge& truth

5.Reproduction- Don't abort

Strengths- Autonomous="The theory of NL suggests morality is autonomous,has it's own questions, its's own method's of answering them"-Rachels. Flexible= PP are unchanging, but SP can change. "The natural is that which everywhere is equally vaild"-Aristotle. Aquinas- There is an "ideal" human nature, humans have ability, using their will& reason, to make delibrate moral choices- "Human acts"

Weaknesses- " The universe is there& that is all"-Russell= Wrong to conclude that it has a purpose. Purpose is not self evident. Diffulcult to separate what is truly natural from what's culturally acceptable 

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