• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Natural law explanation and analysis

Extracts from this document...


Natural law explanation and analysis Natural law states that the moral code of humanity is defined by the nature of things thus can be induced by observation and is both objective and universal. This theory, purportedly originated by Aristotle, has been a central part of the philosophy of the Catholic Church most famously used by St Thomas Aquinas. Aristotle postulated that the nature of things could be broken down into four "causes", the last of which he called the final cause or telos. The telos of a being is achieved when it has fully fulfilled its purpose and once fulfilled the being can be considered good. In the case of humans the telos is to become fully human or as it is sometimes known to achieve a state of eudemonia (happiness) he came to this conclusion by observation of the nature of humanity. He also hypothesised that everything is drawn to its telos by the prime mover (God) ...read more.


4. Human law - The laws created by the current earthly authority. As shown Aquinas held Eternal law and Divine law in higher regard than Natural. This was however only because natural law is known by human observation and rational which is imperfect in relation to the mind of God. Although fully comprehended natural law has the same level of importance because it should reflect the will of God as he himself created it. This also solves the Euthypro dilemma because our moral inclinations are objective and also natural. As such God could not do anything arbitrarily in conflict with those moral inclinations because the natural is a reflection of him. An important aspect of natural law is that of exterior and interior motive. This means that an action must only be in itself moral (E.G. Charity) but the intent must also be moral (E.G. ...read more.


Assuming that human reason can be correct who is to say how to calibrate it? How can we know if one is reasoning excellently if we have no standard to compare it to? Aquinas answers this by saying that we can compare it to the reason of God as he is the ultimate rationality but this again relies on the assumption that such as god exists. As hinted previously not only does most of natural law rely on the premise of the existence of God it also relies on very specific attributes which that God must have. This God must; * Be good * Have created nature * Sustain of nature These assumptions are fairly demanding and will, I believe, need to be tacked further before Natural Law can hold as much weight as it deserves as an appealing logically consistent theory. It is important to note however that if this argument is considered in the context of faith. as opposed to a secular framework, that these assumptions become substantially more reasonable or even necessary. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Situation ethics. Joseph Fletcher developed the idea of making a moral decision for a ...

    He argues that Fletcher is unrealistic about how far humans should have freedom from the guidance of law and suggests that law ensures that humans do not make an artificial distinction between public and private morality.

  2. Compare and contrast the key features of Natural Moral Law & Virtue Ethics

    Virtue ethics is focused on our growth, being virtuous needs practice to control our behaviour as we can be deficient and excessive in our actions. This is our spontaneous behaviour or automatic behaviour, we need to train it so our spontaneous behaviour goes straight to the golden mean.

  1. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    His hat is drawn over his eyes as it conceals his face. Even though it covers his face, we can tell that he is pale and weak. Roxane is so busy and attentive towards her work that she does not even turn to welcome Cyrano.

  2. AS level coursework

    She thought about that voice all the way home, was it real? Did she imagine it? When she talked it over with Henry, his reaction was to go in faith he said. Rowena went in faith and the pain has gone away for the first time in 27 years, the joy of waking in the morning with no pain.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work