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Explain, with examples, Aquinas theory of Natural Law.

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Introduction

Thomas Hurley Ethics Homework Questions Explain, with examples, Aquinas? theory of Natural Law. Natural Moral Law is an absolutist and deontological ethical theory. This basically means the theory is set to one set of rules and is concerned with the actions themselves rather than the consequences. Humans have within them a divine spark which helps them to discover how to live according to nature. We all have options, we have choices whether to obey the laws that govern the world but they need to use reason to understand and decide whether to obey these cosmic laws. Aquinas linked this idea of a cosmic natural law with Aristotle?s view that people, like everything else have a specific nature, purpose and function. Aquinas used the ideas of Aristotle as a basis for Natural Law. Natural Moral Law would be seen as the highest in the hierarchy followed by the law that governs the country and us, the society who follows these laws. ...read more.

Middle

The last law that Aquinas used is human law, these are everyday rules that govern our lives. Aquinas saw that the fact humans do not always act in a way that strives towards perfection is explained by using the term ?apparent good?. This is the idea that we may have got things wrong and have followed something that we think is good but in reality does not fit into the perfect ideal. In order to work out what is an apparent food we need to use our reason correctly and choose the right thing to do, this is the real good. There is an ideal human nature that we can all live up to or fall away from and our moral inclinations determine whether we achieve this or not. Aquinas believed that god created us and he wants us to be with him but he also gives us free will. Therefore there must have been a set of rules that lead us to the path of god, these are the primary precepts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many people have different or changeable natures, for example somebody who has different sexual orientations. Homosexual men and women argue for recognition as normal human beings. Their acts are classed as unnatural by Aquinas because their actions will not lead to new life. They say that they find love and purpose in life through their expression in their sexuality. Maybe primary precepts differ in certain circumstances. However natural law may not be as rigid as it first appears, although primary precepts are unchangeable, the secondary precepts may change in some particular aspects. The conclusions of the Catholic Church regarding the prohibitions of artificial contraception and homosexual acts may be challengeable in certain special cases. Natural law is flexible enough to accommodate different cultures and people sexualities because the secondary precepts are reasoned by the society who can interpret the primary precepts in accordance with their time and practise. But natural law relies heavily on reason; this implies that human beings are capable of reasoning accurately on complex matters and decision making. ...read more.

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