Natural Law

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What is Natural Law?
Theory that an eternal, absolute moral law can be discovered by reason.
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Who did the idea of Natural Law originate from?
The Stoics
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What did the Stoics believe about God in relation to humans?
God is in everywhere/everyone - humans have divine spark which helps them discover how to live acc. to will of God
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When did Aristotle believe that supreme good is found?
When purpose is fulfilled
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What idea about Natural Law did Aquinas take from Aristotle and the Stoics?
Human beings have necessary rational nature given by God – helps us to live and flourish
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What idea about Natural Law did Aquinas take from Aristotle?
Even w/o knowledge of God, reason can discover laws which can lead to human flourishing
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What is eternal law?
Principles God uses to control universe. We will never know fully.
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What is divine law?
The law of God, e.g Bible. Only visible to those who believe in God, and only if He chooses to reveal it.
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What is natural law?
Moral law of God. Built into human nature; can be seen by everyone. Involves using reason.
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What is human law?
Rules of diff. cultures. Linked to other Laws.
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What did Thomas Aquinas believe about natural inclinations?
God instilled inclination to behave in ways leading to highest good
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What did Aquinas believe about how humans were designed?
Humans designed for perfection - wouldn't knowingly pursue evil
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What did Aquinas believe people were doing when they acted in ways that were morally wrong?
Following apparent good (as opposed to real good)
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What are primary precepts?
Absolutist, fundamental principles of natural law.
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What are the five primary precepts?
Preservation of life, order in society, worshiping God, education, reproduction
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What are secondary precepts?
Rules/laws created by societies to enc. pursuit of primary precepts.
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What is the doctrine of double effect?
If doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect it's ethically OK to do it providing the bad side-effect wasn't intended
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What did Aristotle believe was the purpose of man?
Eudemonia (human flourishing). Reachable in this life through living in ordered society + self-development
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What did Thomas Aquinas believe was the purpose of man?
To better develop form in image of God. Only reachable in afterlife.
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Give one strength of natural law.
Primary precepts common in all cultures - reasonable.
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Give one weakness of natural law.
G.E Moore argues that good cannot be defined - naturalistic fallacy
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How would a follower of natural law respond to voluntary euthanasia?
Prohibits it, as it rejects prservation of life and God's purpose for life ("be fruitful")
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Card 2

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Who did the idea of Natural Law originate from?

Back

The Stoics

Card 3

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What did the Stoics believe about God in relation to humans?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

When did Aristotle believe that supreme good is found?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What idea about Natural Law did Aquinas take from Aristotle and the Stoics?

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