Natural Law pt2

What does deontological mean?
From the latin for 'duty'. Ethics focused on the intrinsic rightness and wrongness of actions
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What does telos mean?
The end or purpose of something
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What is the synderesis rule?
To follow good and avoid evil
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What are the primary precepts?
Protect life, Reproduce, Educate the young, know God, live in Society
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What are the secondary precepts?
The laws which follow on the primary precepts and we determine using reason
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What is eudaimonia?
Living well and fulfilment. It it the ultimate end/telos which all other actions should lead to
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Who came up with natural law?
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Who was it championed by?
Thomas Aquinas
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When was Thomas Aquinas born and when did he die?
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What is his work a major influence on?
Catholic moral thought and teachings
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What was his major work?
The summa theologica
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Natural law thinkers argue that we live in accordance with…
Our human nature
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What is natural law based on?
Our human nature
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Aristotle argues that every agent acts towards...
An end of some kind
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What is the end for human beings?
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He thought things were only good if they had been…
Fulfilled to their end
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What did Aristotle believe set things in motion towards their ends?
The Prime Mover
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Aristotle believed we could reach our telos if we…
Lived a life of reason
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Give a quote to demonstrate this?
'Reason is the true self of every man, since it is the supreme and better part'
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Aquinas belived we are only fully satisfied once we achieved...
The ultimate end
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Why can't the ultimate end be physical? Give an example
Only satisfies the body and not the whole person. Only temporary, e.g. thrill of one night stand replaced by loneliness the next day
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Aquinas concluded that the ultimate end can only be found where?
In the supreme and infinite God
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Give a quote to demonstrate this
'Ultimate and perfect beatitude can consist only in the vision of the divine essence, which is the very essence of goodness'
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What is it about humans that means we all seek this end of God and eudaimonia?
Reason and our human nature
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What did Aquinas think was important when making moral decisions?
The intention and the act itself
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Give an example of a good interior act and a bad interior act
Helping old lady to cross the street is a good exterior act but a bad interior act
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Good intentions don't always lead to...
Good actions
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Why is the only valued end God and not physical?
Physical goods only satisfy the body, they are temporary and animals can experience them
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Aquinas thought acts are...
Intrinsically good or bad
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What are the 3 ideas that underpin natural law?
1) Human beings have a rational nature given by God for us to live and flourish. 2) Even without knowledge of God's laws we can determine what leads to eudaimonia using our reason 3) Natural Laws are universal and unchangeable
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What God given tools should we use to determine whats right our wrong?
Our reason and purpose
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What shouldn't we let control us?
Non natural or non rational desires
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What are the four tiers of law?
The eternal law, the divine law, natural law and human law
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What is the eternal law?
The mind of God and his unchaining reason. It always remains the same. It is absolute and eternal. Aquinas thinks it is in God and not a feature apart from God
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What is divine law?
Commands and teachings of divine revelation that are usually found in the Bible. It is scripture, revealed by God, and God teaching us how to live
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Give some examples of divine law found in the Bible
The commandments, the Beatitudes, Sermon on the mount and the parables
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What is natural law?
Allows us to perceive eternal law through application of human reason. It sets us apart from animals and makes God's eternal law accessible to humanity
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What are human laws?
Our response to messages from God using reason and revelation. They are the customs and practices of society.
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What happens if a human law comes into contradiction with a divine and natural law?
Then it is not a proper law. Human laws should only be followed if they are good and in accordance with divine and natural law
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Which play can an example of this be found in?
The Greek play Antigone
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Who was this written by?
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What happens in this?
Creon (the ruler of Thebes) forbids the burial of Antigone's brother as punishment for treason. She breaks it and buries him anyway
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What is the key precept?
The synderesis rule- all other precepts flow from this
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What directs us to do this?
Do good and avoid young
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Aquinas says law is…
'an ordinance of reason for the common good'
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Give a quote from Aquinas relating to the importance of reason?
'To scorn the dictate of reason is to scorn the commandment of God'
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What are the primary precepts?
Protect life, Reproduce, Educate the young, know God, live in ordered Society
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What are the secondary precepts?
Applications of the primary precepts in certain situations. We must use our reason to figure these out.
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Give some examples of secondary precepts relating to each of the primary precepts
1) P= euthanasia is wrong R=contraception is wrong E=send children to school G=pray and go to church S=avoid antisocial behaviour
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What does Aquinas believe the conscience is?
Reasoning used correctly to find out what God sees in good. It is innate and God given to help us use our reason
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Whats the difference between synderesis and conscientia?
Syderesis is the repeated use of reason which leads people to the knowledge of basic moral principles and the importance of doing good and avoiding evil. conscienta is the actual ethical judgement or a decision a person makes
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What did Aquinas believe about the nature of every human?
It was good
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What did this lead him to believe about the pursuit of evil?
Because we are directed to do good it means that evil is not desirable, but we are tempted to it
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Give a quotation demonstrating this
'No evil can be desirable, either by natural appetite or by conscious will. It is sought indirectly'
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Give an example of real and apparent goods relating to adultery
One man doesn't lust after another mans wife because he wants to break up the marriage but because he is mistaken about what he truly desires
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What leads us to pursue apparent goods over real goods?
Faulty reasoning or lack of it
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What are the 2 types of virtues that Aquinas distinguishes?
1) natural/cardinal- e.g. prudence, temperance, fortitude, justice 2) theological values (faith, hope, charity)
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He believes we should seek these virtues until…
They become habit
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When does the doctrine of double effect occur?
When an action has 2 effects- one intended and on unintended
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For an action with unintended bad effects to be permissible it must be in accordance to 4 factors, what are they?
1) Bad effect foreseen but not intended 2) act itself not intrinsically wrong (not against primary precepts) 3)good effect produced directly from act not bad effect 4) good produced equals or is greater than the bad effect
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What is it always wrong to do?
A bad act intentionally to bring a good effect- both good exterior and good interior acts must be satisfied
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Give an example of the doctrine of double effect
Self defence- pushing away attacker who accidentally hits their head and their dies. This was for the intention of getting the attacker away, and had a negative unintended effect of him dying
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Give another example relating to euthanasia
Giving strong amounts of pain relief which has the unintended effect of killing the person earlier
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What is casuistry?
Refers to applying principles to individual cases
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What does this mean in terms of the Catholic church?
Applying the universal principles of natural law in order to know what to do in individual circumstances
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What does Hugo Grotius say about natural law?
Natural law are rationally discernible principles for all to follow
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What did the Roman lawyer Cicero say about natural law?
'one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times'
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What did Curran think?
We need a more historically conscious view which emphasises change and evolution. Natural law is too static
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What does Suzanne Uniacke say about the doctrine of double effect?
Uses the example of blowing somebody up and claiming there was no intention to kill
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What does G.E Moore say about natural law?
Depends on defining whats good. This is the naturalistic fallacy and there cannot be a way of defining good because it's unanalysable
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How does Aquinas form his argument for the primary precepts based on a human nature?
1) Humans are social animals 2) Animals want to live peacefully and care for each other 3) living in society must be part of human nature
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What does G.E Moore say about this?
We cannot form a rule from fact/observation, just because we have the ability to care it doesn't mean we have to
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What was G.E Moore?
An intuitionist
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What did Thomas Hobbes think?
Human nature is dangerous. We do not live in societies because it is our human nature but because we would become destructive if not
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Aquinas' view of human nature is unholistic and over simplified
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What does Jean Paul Sartre say about telos? What school of philosophy is this under?
We have no purpose unlike objects which are made for a purpose. We are free and can choose our own purposes. This is exitentialism and argues we have no fixed nature
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What does telos mean?


The end or purpose of something

Card 3


What is the synderesis rule?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What are the primary precepts?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What are the secondary precepts?


Preview of the front of card 5
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