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Natural law explanation and analysis

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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