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Explain the theory of natural law

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TOM MORGAN 12RK AO1 Explain the theory of natural law Natural law is a theory that stretches across all cultures and ways of life. It is a universal theory that says there are definite rights and wrongs. For instance; taking human life is definitely wrong. In this respect, Natural Law is the parallel of Moral Relativism, as if you live by a Moral Relativism approach to ethics, then no actions are always right or always wrong. That is to be decided by the outcome of an action. This quote from Cicero may help explain Natural law: "True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting" This means that 'true law' or Natural Law is in harmony with nature. E.g., do not have sexual intercourse with those of the same sex or from the same family, as both these things go against nature. ...read more.


Moral laws are also grounded in Natural law. Aquinas believed God created all humans, and that each one of us has a particular purpose that we are potentially capable of achieving. Aquinas also believed in real and apparent goods. If someone helps a sick child, then they are doing good, as they are preserving the innocent. If a man has sexual intercourse with a married woman, then he is seeking an apparent good. To him the situation looks and feels good, but this is only an apparent good as it is not what God would have wanted and goes against the Natural Law theory. AO2 'The strict application of Natural Law goes against common sense' Discuss The pope is a strict upholder of Natural Law. It is an absolutist theory. This can be a good thing as it enables communities to be structured and the law upheld. People know what is wrong and what is right so can easily arrive at the 'right' decision. ...read more.


Natural Law singles out many different types of people and says they are not fulfilling their potential and are therefore bad. The theory says that homosexuals go against nature as they do not fulfil their potential and reproduce. Some recent research suggests that homosexuality may be genetic, and so natural for those involved. Under the reproduction part of natural law all those who for some reason do not have children are not fulfilling their potential and are therefore bad. Those who wish to live outside society are bad, Those who wish to take their own lives are bad, even if the quality of life they are living nowhere near fulfils their potential. Those who help the defenceless, only have sex to create children, educate those children, and live in society without harming anyone are still bad if they do not worship God, so any people who live by a religion that is not the Christian faith (about 3/4 of the world) are bad as they do not fulfil the potential. So when tested against real life situations I feel that Natural Law does indeed appear to go against common sense. ...read more.

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