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What is Natural Law (Religious Studies A Level 30 Marks)

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Introduction

´╗┐What is Natural Law? Natural Law can be seen from two different perspectives. The first being a deontological ethical theory, this is concerned with inherent worth of action. According to this theory, it is our duty to follow the law. It is when an action is wright or wrong regardless of the consequences. There is no flexibility for certain circumstances; moral duty has priority over moral value. The second perspective to Natural Law is the absolutist ethical theory; this perspective focuses on there being no exceptions or hesitations at all. It holds the moral value of actions and principles in account. Natural Law originated from Ancient Greece and later the Stoics. The belief was that God is everywhere and in everyone. Also, humans have a divine spark inside them to find out how to live according to God?s will. ?True Law is right reason in agreement with Nature?? According to Cicero Natural Law is what is morally right according to natural thinking. Aristotle, an Ancient Greek philosopher, writing in approximately 350BCE had an ethical called the Virtue theory. It focused on people?s character rather than their actions. ...read more.

Middle

Specifically this goal would be achieved through the beatific vision, an event in which a person experiences perfect, unending happiness by comprehending the essence of God. Aquinas also believes in Aristotle?s uncaused cause, but in this case, Aquinas considers the uncaused cause as God. Aquinas uses Aristotle?s belief in the causes to explain what is good. He also believes that everything in life serves a purpose and has an efficient and final cause. Aristotle?s theory that natures part in things was for a purpose is apprehended differently with Aquinas, he believes that nature is ordered by God. If something is used for the right purpose then it is good or right but if not then it bad. Aquinas considered that there were ultimately four types of Law: Eternal, Natural, Human and Divine. The Eternal Law is the ?mind of God?. It is ?that rational plan by which all creation is ordered?. We only partially know because it is the mind of God. The Divine Law are simply those instructed in the Old and New testaments of The Bible. It helps us to be certain about issues as we often fail in concluding right from wrong through the use of our unique ?reason?. ...read more.

Conclusion

Using the charity example, you have to genuinely want to give to charity because you want to help the less fortunate and do something about it. If you do not really have any feelings towards the less fortunate and just want friends and other people to notice your act and be praising you then it can?t really be a good intention? Because you are doing it for self-gain and personal benefit, which is an action without intention. The fundamental principle of Natural Law is to Do Good and Avoid Evil. This if the first precept of the law, that good is to be done and promoted, and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the natural law are based on this. Aquinas argues that the use of his reason, he can conclude primary precepts that will achieve the ultimate aim. These are: Preservation of Life (self-preservation and preservation of the innocent), procreation, and education of children, living in an ordered society and worshipping God. Any rule that helps mankind live up to a primary precept can be a secondary precept, for example: Drunkenness is wrong because it injures one?s health and worse, destroys one?s ability to reason, which is fundamental to man as a rational animal (i.e. Does not support self-preservation). Struggling with Conclusion ? assistance required! ...read more.

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