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Explain how Aquinas' Natural Law theory works to solve ethical issues

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain how Aquinas? Natural Law theory works to solve ethical issues (25 marks) Sir Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century monk who created the Natural Law theory. He believed there were 7 things that humans needed to do in order to fulfil their purpose, he called these the primary precepts. The secondary precepts derived from these are absolute deontological laws that we should live by. He said that by doing these things we will fulfil our purpose and achieve happiness. Aquinas? studied Aristotle?s four causes. He especially focused on the final cause (purpose). Aquinas thought that the purpose of all humans is to lead a fulfilling life by following the primary and secondary precepts. ...read more.


For example, the secondary precept of preserving life would be not to kill, and the secondary precept of worshipping God would be to go to church every Sunday. So even in the case of suicide, it is wrong because killing yourself would go against preserving life. The Catholic Church uses Natural Law. Catholics are not allowed to use contraception. This is because using contraception is not a secondary precept of reproduction, it goes against it. An aspect of Natural Law theory which allows for some flexibility is the Doctrine of Double Effect. This states that as long as breaking a primary precept is not an intended effect of an action, it is acceptable. ...read more.


This is an acceptable act as the intentions are not evil, the ending of a life is not intended by the doctor. In conclusion the Natural Law theory was written by Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was a 13th century monk who studied Aristotle?s four courses. He used the idea of the final cause, or purpose to come up with 5 things that humans need to do in order to fulfil their purpose. He called these the primary precepts. Secondary precepts are absolute laws that are derived from the primary precepts. Although the theory is absolute, the doctrine of double effect allows for some flexibility in certain individual circumstances. ...read more.

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