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Natural Law Theory is too rigid. Discuss

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Introduction

The Natural Law Theory is too rigid. Discuss. Aquinas' Natural Law Theory explains that the truth (morality) is revealed through nature and that everything has a purpose (telos). For example the telos of an acorn is to become an oak tree. Aquinas believed that through reason and scripture, Humans know what is right and wrong. He thought that, using Aristotelian theories, Humans are both the Efficient and Final causes, and it is our own responsibility to reach our summum bonum (greatest good) by carrying out God's will and spending an eternal life with him. Humans are also the only beings that can hinder telos, either their own or something else's, for instance treading on an acorn prevents it from becoming an oak tree. ...read more.

Middle

But is everyone inclined towards the good? Many people do wrong despite knowing it, for instance vandals. Another point criticising the Synderesis rule is that Darwin's theory of 'survival of the fittest' implies that Humans are self-interested. One major criticism of the Natural Law Theory is that Aquinas presupposes that God created the world and humanity and that they were created for a purpose. There is no proof that God create the world and humanity, but there is a possibility, God is at an epistemic distance, he is close enough for people to believe but too far away for people to know him. According to Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins, the universe is random. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are some advantages of Natural Law. There are clear guidelines and is a fixed moral code, therefore it can be applied universally and Aquinas believed it was innate. This Divine Command theory is easy to follow as it is centred on human nature and it is deontological so people can make judgements regardless of situation. When the Natural Law Theory is compared with more relativist ones, it appears to be weaker as it uses objective truths and so what may be considered wrong may have so many benefits, for example an abortion for a rape victim. A relativist would allow the abortion, as they'd understand that the mother may not be able to provide for a child. ...read more.

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