Natural Law and Ethics (2)

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  • Created by: oyinlola
  • Created on: 08-04-13 18:49

Explain Aquinas’ Natural Law Ethics.

• Some might refer to the antecedents of Aquinas’ NLE – Aquinas replaced Aristotle’s First Efficient Cause with the Christian God – fellowship with God being the only final cause available to all humans.

• The central point in Aquinas is the belief in a common human nature, so that ‘good’ actions are those which help us become ‘fully human’. 

• Some might refer to general points, such as absolutist/deontological status of Natural Law. 

• Expect reference to Aquinas’ 5 main principles: the role of reason, the confusion between real and apparent goods, the necessity to develop habitual virtues in support of reason, the emphasis on intrinsic as opposed to instrumental good, and the establishment of primary and secondary principles. 

• Most will probably expand on the primary and secondary precepts, for example the secondary precepts governing sexual ethics.

• Some might expand on the principle of Double Effect.

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