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Explain Aquinas' Natural Law Theory

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´╗┐Lauren Smith 12M/S4 Explain Aquinas' Natural Law Theory Natural Law is many things, for one it is universal; another it is accessible through the natural order. It is also perceived by all humans, although only believers in God acknowledge that it has implications for them beyond death. This Law was given by God to human, so it gives them reason to accomplish 'good'. The Law has precepts that if followed correctly will allow humans to achieve perfection. Aquinas Natural Law is based on the conviction that of created the world, establishing order and purpose that reflects his (God) WILL. Human's reason is to achieve ultimate happiness, therefore anyone can discover Natural Law by reason whether religious or not. ...read more.


Aquinas came up with four Laws that all interlink with each other, the first is Eternal Law- God's will and wisdom, which is revealed in, Divine Law- given in scripture and through the church, made know in, Natural law- from which, Human Law is derived. All laws echo each other, so without one the rest would not be possible; this comes to reason that everything in nature must have a purpose. One part of Natural Law is the precepts, Primary and also Secondary which derives from the first Primary precept. There are five Primary precepts, which are written in descending order. ...read more.


However Natural Law does make allowances for differences in situations. Another argument is the double effect. This is when an action has more than one effect, which one is the real motive. For example if there was a terminal ill patient who required a strong pain-killer such as morphine, a measured does is given to end suffering, this is the real motive/first effect, however the does hastens death instead, this would be the secondary effect. This would not be classed as murder because this was not the first and real motive of the doctor, therefore the doctor would not be breaking the Secondary precept of Natural Law. So he would still be on the way to achieving perfection. ...read more.

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