Natural Law Essay Plan

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 23-03-14 17:35

A Questions (25 Marks)

Explain the strengths of Natural Law theory. January 2010

  • Introduce the theory
    • Aristotle wrote in Nichomachean Ethics that the Natural is 'that which everywhere is equally valid'
    • Cicero 'True law is right reason in agreement with nature'
    • Stoics emphasised the importance of Logos, or rationality, that governs the world and said that Natural Law is a law of right reason
    • St Paul wrote in his letters to the Romans about a law 'written in the hearts' of the Gentiles
  • St Thomas Aquinas developed the theory of Natural Law and its primary and secondary precepts. 
    • He said 'Good is to be done and pursued and evil is to be avoided. All the other precepts of the law of nature are based on this.'
    • The theory he developed was absolutist and deontological, concerned with the intrinsic goodness or badness of actions and not with their consequences. It applied to everyone, everywhere at all times.
      • This gives reason to be moral and absolute about everything - therefore no exceptions can be made and there is a sense of justice.
      • It enables people to establish common rules to structure societies.
      • Natural Law provides justification and support for core ideas that are popular in modern times, such as human rights and equality
      • His first primary precept was 'Self Preservation and Preservation of the Innocent' and the other four primary precepts aim to ensure this goal
      • They are
        • Educate Children
        • Worship God
        • Live in Society
        • Continuation of the Species through Reproduction
    • By following these precepts, humans direct their actions towards reaching their eternal destiny with God. 
      • A considerable proportion of the human population still believes in God, which makes Natural Law something many can relate to in its


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