Natural law revision

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What is Natural Moral Law?

  • Originates from Aristotle and was later developed by Thomas Aquinas.
  • It is an absolute theory of ethics, which is rooted in our human nature and out search for genuine happiness.
  • By using our reason we are able to to reflect upon human nature, we could discover our specific end telos/purpose.
  • It is based on nature interpreted by human reason.

The origins of Natural Law

  • earliest theory appeared among the Stoics. (Founded by Zeno of Citium) Who believed that God is everywhere and in everyone.
  • humans have the choice whether to obey the laws that govern the universe which they use there reason.
  • the natural way to respond is to act though reason rather than emotion
  • Aristotle view that people like every other natural object has a specific purpose/function

The supreme good is not found until until the object fulfils its function of purpose.

Example: the purpose of a knife is to cut, the supreme good is the knife cuts sharply.

The supreme good for humanity it's eudaimonia - which means happiness and flourishing .

''Reason is the true self of every man" - Nichomachean

The Natural Law of Thomas Aquinas

Aquinas used the ideas of Aristotle and the Stoics as basis for natural law

1- humans have essential rational nature which is a gift from God.

2- this works without God because we can still discover the laws that lead to human flourishing.

3- natural laws are universal and unchangeable

Aquinas believed…


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