Explain the strengths of natural law

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Ben Parker 12TH

Explain the Strengths of Natural Law. [25]

Natural Law is the ethical belief that if you follow something’s natural purpose then it is fulfilling its goal and is right and just. It is believed that natural order is determined by some supernatural power and therefore you must follow this. It originated in ancient Greece and was developed much later by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). He was a priest of the  in the Dominican Order from Italy.

Aquinas thought that God had instilled in all humans, inclinations to behave in a certain ways. This meaning everyone had the capability to strive to the good, using our reason we could follow God’s laws that are set down for us. By looking closely at our nature we can define our laws. With the use of reason this becomes a very changeable theory which means that it could develop and adapt to different cultures and changing times. This is a strength which is shown through the secondary precepts, explained later. It gives a human element to the rules and allows for interpretation.

The laws that Aquinas believed were of God’s order are called primary precepts. He worked these out from our nature and looking at what was around us and what strived for and looked for. These are five rules that everyone should or does strive for and have been written into our nature:

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  1. Preservation of Life
  2. Reproduction
  3. Educate and Nurture the Young
  4. Living in a society
  5. Worshipping God

These are classed as always true they are the intrinsic principles that are instilled into everyone, which gives the theory its absolutist view point. Natural law, being absolutist means that it you can have a very simple approach to ethical decision making. It takes the view that there are common rules that apply to all people in all communities and there for is easy to follow as a rule is a rule and should not be broken. This is very strong ...

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