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Explain what is meant by Natural in the Natural Law Tradition.

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a) Explain what is meant by Natural in the Natural Law Tradition. The Natural Law Tradition generally believes that reason can discover an eternal, absolute moral law by examining human nature. We know certain things because we accept that there are certain rules, which are part of the universe and we work out answers with our reason, and find that other people, too, have reached the same answer. Natural Law is an objectivist approach, therefore it's a moral value and is the same for everyone at all times, and the main Christian proponent was Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas argued that God created a rationally ordered world where everything has a purpose determined by its nature. Thomas Aquinas showed how different ways of thinking could be brought together and his writings were so full of insight that they became the official views of the Roman Catholic Church. ...read more.


As well as reproducing, human beings fulfil their purpose by learning, having a role in an ordered society and to worship God. These specific purposes are purposes which we naturally tend to fulfil. General purpose of human life by the Natural Law is blessed immortality. These are known as primary principles. Reason can determine the means required to fulfil purposes of human life and there is a specific way of fulfilling these principles, so we make up rules that try to fulfil the primary principles. These are known as secondary precepts. Natural means that you find objective values by examining human nature. Everything had got a design and to fulfil a purpose, for this order and purpose is natural and for people to fulfil this nature is considered as good.. b) Natural Law is a fair way of making moral decisions. ...read more.


Thomas Aquinas took it for granted that God created the world for a purpose, but not everyone would agree with this. It assumes a lot of things that people may disagree with, such as the existence of God. Many modern thinkers such as Camus and Dawkins claim that the universe is 'absurd'; it does not have a reason and that it came by chance and not because of any particular reason. Aquinas claims that humanity and the world was created for a purpose, but even if it was, it is not self-evident what this purpose is. There is no actual proof of these purposes Aquinas tells us. Ideas about what is and is not natural change between generations, and are different in different cultures. Peter Vardy tries to see the Natural Law as something we can work with, but he says if you want to apply it to problems, its difficult. From a religious perspective, theologically, the natural law tradition has always been criticized by Protestants, it over estimates reason and under estimates revelation. ...read more.

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