Ethics concerned w/ what is good and bad -either hedonistic for pleasure or absence of pain, or in alliance with God's will -through scripture etc. Natural Law originally explored by Aristotle but championed by Aquinas.
Aristotle- men desire happiness or eudaimonia (for Aquinas this was fulfilling our purpose as a human
"Whatever man desires, he desires under the aspect of good" Aquinas- fulfilling our purpose is the only good.
Purpose of humans
Aquinas explores what is human nature and what our purpose is- derived from nature
"True laws is right reason in agreement with nature" Cicero
Arrives at the primary precepts:
To preserve and protect our species
To reproduce and to educate our offspring ("which nature has taught to all animals")
A desire know God and to further our own knowledge and to live in a harmonious society
Ultimately this is what is good.
Type of theory
We see in Natural Law that as C.S Broad said about most ethical theories when trying to categorise into teleological and deontoligical theories that they are "actually mixed"
E.g the Primary precepts are "self-evident principles" universal and absolute -deontological (taken from influence of St Paul that even the non-gentiles applied…