Explain the theory of natural law

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AO1 Explain the theory of natural law

Natural law is a theory that stretches across all cultures and ways of life. It is a universal theory that says there are definite rights and wrongs. For instance; taking human life is definitely wrong. In this respect, Natural Law is the parallel of Moral Relativism, as if you live by a Moral Relativism approach to ethics, then no actions are always right or always wrong. That is to be decided by the outcome of an action. This quote from Cicero may help explain Natural law:

 “True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting” This means that ‘true law’ or Natural Law is in harmony with nature. E.g., do not have sexual intercourse with those of the same sex or from the same family, as both these things go against nature.         

The most famous advocate of the Natural Law ethic was the Christian theologian St Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas developed Aristotle's ideas and argued that the natural purpose of the world is found in God. Humans are free and are capable of choosing to follow the 'natural law' of God, which is understood through reason. He believed the human purpose was, 'to reproduce, to learn, to live harmoniously in society and to worship God'.

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 In this way, Natural law describes not only how things are but also how things ought to be. When things are fulfilling their natural purpose they are good, are unnatural when they are not, and therefore go against the wishes of God. For example; genitals are only good when they are fulfilling the reasons God made them – to reproduce and to get rid of urine. If this is the case then most types of sex are wrong including masturbation, homosexual sex, sex with contraceptives, oral and anal sex. All of these do not lead to a woman becoming pregnant, and ...

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A basic but well written response. As ever, answering the specific question set would ensure higher marks. 3 Stars.