Aquinas and Natural Law

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What is Eternal Law?
God's will for how the universe is to be. God could have made the universe differently but willed that it and its occupants are of this type.
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What is Divine Law?
That which is revealed by God, such as the Ten Commandments. For Aquinas, divine law teaches what our natural reason is capable of knowing.
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What is Natural Law?
'Right reason in accordance with human nature'. This can be worked out by considering what is good for human flourishing.
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What is Human Law?
As humans are social animals, they need to make regulations for society to be orderly so that people can flourish, for Aquinas, Human Laws must not dictate anything contrary to Natural Law.
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Is the universe purposive?
Yes, we all seek to achieve our goals. (Telos) We need to live faithfully to God.
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What is a primary precept?
These primary precepts are fundamental principals revealed to us by God.
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What are the five primary precepts?
Self preservation. Reproduction. Education, worship of God and ordering of society.
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What are our Secondary precepts?
Precepts which we use our reason to establish rules that will fulfill the requirements of the primary precepts.
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What does John Finnis add to Natural Law?
He added basic forms of human flourishing and our duties. Natural rights are the follow-up of natural law theory.
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What is the principle of double effect?
An act may have more than one effect and be known t have more than one. An example might be an action to save one persons's life, which means harming someone else's. What matters is the intention.
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Objection 1?
Natural law does not allow us to be precisely certain what to do in significant cases.
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Objection 2?
It is may be possible to construct natural law arguments that point in opposing directions.
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Objection 3?
It is an unbiblical theory.
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Objection 4?
If it is accessible to all, we would expect people to accept the teaching more widely.
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Objection 5?
It assumes that everything in the universe is purposive and so human nature has a purpose.
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Card 2

Front

What is Divine Law?

Back

That which is revealed by God, such as the Ten Commandments. For Aquinas, divine law teaches what our natural reason is capable of knowing.

Card 3

Front

What is Natural Law?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Human Law?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Is the universe purposive?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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