Natural Law

Samuel von Pufendorf
By ourselves we are vulnerable but we live in societies and communities to survive
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Who came up with natural law?
Thomas Aquinas
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What are the dates of when he lived?
(1225-74)
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What was his major work?
Summa Theologica
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What is he a major influence on?
Catholic teachings
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What does deontological mean?
From the latin word for duty, focuses on intrinsic rightness and wrongness of actions
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What does telos mean?
The end purpose of something
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Whats the synderesis rule?
To follow the good and avoid the evil
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What is eudaimonia?
Living well, ultimate end to which all other actions should lead to. Its the ultimate happiness
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Moral acts are free and are aimed at achieving what?
The ultimate end which is euidamonia
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Where is eudaimonia found?
Not in this world
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For Aristotle something is good if it is...
Fulfilled to its end
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Why is the ultimate end for us not physical? Give an example
Because it is only temporary, eg the thrill of a one night stand is replaced with the loneliness the next morning
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Where did Aquinas conclude that the ultimate end could be found?
In the supreme and infinite God
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Give a quote to demonstrate this found in the Summa Theologica?
"ultimate and perfect beatitude (happiness) can consist only in the vision of the divine essence, which is the very essence of goodness"
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What means that all human beings seek this ultimate end?
The natural light of reason
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What matters when carrying out actions and give an example?
The intention behind it eg helping somebody cross the road to impress boyfriend. The good exterior act is compromised by a bad interior act
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What are the four tiers of law?
Eternal law, divine law, natural law and human law
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What is eternal law?
Unchanging and universal reason of God, God plants the eternal law in everyone's rational soul. It is absolute
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What is divine law?
God sends information concerning eternal law through commands and teachings of divine revelation which are usually found in the Bible and sacred scripture. It is God teaching humans how to live
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What is natural law?
Allows human beings to perceive the eternal law through the application of human reason. It separates humans from animals
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What is human law?
Response from messages of God through reason and revelation- it is only proper when in accordance with divine and natural law
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What is the synderesis rule?
reason directs us to do good and avoid evil. It is the key precept which all other precepts follow
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Give an Aquinas quote relating to both reason and the four tiers of law?
"To scorn the dictate of reason is to scorn the commandment of God"
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What does the synderesis rule entail?
The primary precepts
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What are the primary precepts?
Preservation of life, reproduction, educating the young, living in a society, worshipping God
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What are the secondary precepts?
Interpreting the primary precepts using reason. Eg euthanasia is wrong because it is not preserving life
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Explain real and apparent goods and give an example
Humans do bad things because they are mistaken by apparent goods. Eg someone who steals a neighbours car has made a mistake about the pleasure gained from acquiring a new car
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Give a quote to demonstrate how Aquinas thought evil was not desirable
"No evil can be desirable, either by natural appetite or by conscious will. It is sought indirectly, namely because it is the consequence of some good"
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What causes people to do evil by striving for an apparent good?
Faulty reasoning, they are mistaken about what they really want. They cannot tell the difference between real and apparent goods
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Aquinas and Aristotle thought that reason identified some 'natural' or 'cardinal' virtues eg...
Prudence, justice, fortitude
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What should be done to make these habit?
Should be disciplined because if we are not careful the opposite of these can happen
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Explain the concept of the doctrine of double effect?
Some actions have 2 effects, one upholds a precept and one doesn't. If the person intends the good effect it's justified
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Give an example and a quote to demonstrate it
Self defence to preserve life, "therefore, this act, ince one's intention is to save one's own life, is not unlawful'
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Interior and exterior acts are about what?
Interior is about motivation and intention and exterior is the act is visible
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Whats the best way to act?
If both interior and exterior acts are good
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Under what circumstances is self defence permissible?
Proportionate force used, good motive, good effect has to be at least as importance of the bad effect
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What is somethings telos?
Its purpose
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How are things being good usually measured and give an example
Usually based on its telos, eg good knife cuts well, good wheel turns smoothly
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Samuel von Pufendorf
By ourselves we are vulnerable but we live in societies and communities to survive
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Give some advantages of natural law
Rational, objective, flexible (second precepts), shows the world has purpose, double effect allows for a few circumstances
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Give some disadvantages of natural law?
Leads to immoral outcomes, assumes everything has a purpose, there is no divine part of laws, double effect can justify anything, too optimistic
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Who came up with natural law?

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Thomas Aquinas

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What are the dates of when he lived?

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What was his major work?

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What is he a major influence on?

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