Analyse the important features of Natural Moral Law

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Analyse the important features of Natural Moral Law (18)

Natural Moral Law was established by Aristotle in his book ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ and further developed by St Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. Natural Law defines good as doing what is natural. This is an example of moral realism which explains that what you see is what is real. It is a deontological ethical theory focussed on the actions themselves, rather than the consequences of that action.

Natural Law’s basic premise is to do good and avoid evil. This is believed to be innate within human beings and humans are able to execute this through their ability to reason. Also, some people may recognize that everything has a purpose and look to the natural world to see this. Therefore God is revealed to us through the natural world and its design. For a Christian, the Bible offers a greater understanding of this purpose, for example in Romans, St Pauls says “ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature... has been clearly perceived in things”. Overall, Natural Law looks to nature to see the good in the world and it can also be illustrated as a deductive argument where good is the only possible conclusion from Natural Moral Law.

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A famous example of Natural Law from ancient Greek and Roman times is from the play Antigone. The burial of Antigone’s brother was forbeyed, however Antigone argued ‘the state cannot overrule the immortal laws of the God’s’ which was that the dead must be buried. Therefore Antigone buried her brother regardless of breaking the law. It was concluded that Natural Law is considered a law of right reason.

St Thomas Aquinas developed Natural Law further and described it as ‘a moral code existing within the purpose of nature created by God’. His primary and secondary precepts are a basic ...

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