Explain how Aquinas' Natural Law theory works to solve ethical issues

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Explain how Aquinas’ Natural Law theory works to solve ethical issues (25 marks)

Sir Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century monk who created the Natural Law theory. He believed there were 7 things that humans needed to do in order to fulfil their purpose, he called these the primary precepts. The secondary precepts derived from these are absolute deontological laws that we should live by. He said that by doing these things we will fulfil our purpose and achieve happiness.

Aquinas’ studied Aristotle’s four causes. He especially focused on the final cause (purpose). Aquinas thought that the purpose of all humans is to lead a fulfilling life by following the primary and secondary precepts.

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The primary precepts are aspects of life and things that we naturally seek to fulfil as humans. They are as follows: preservation of life, living in an ordered society, worshipping God, education, and reproduction. So for example, killing someone is always wrong because it goes against the precept of preserving life.

Secondary precepts are deontological absolute rules derived from the primary precepts. For example, the secondary precept of preserving life would be not to kill, and the secondary precept of worshipping God would be to go to church every Sunday. So even in the case of suicide, it is wrong ...

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