Explain Natural Law

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By cc543
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Part A) Explain, with examples, Aquinas’ theory of Natural Law (25 Marks)
The theory of natural law has been around for over 2000 years. Natural law believes that every person/thing has a purpose. It is an absolutist law; this is because the rules are set for everyone and need to be followed at all times. It is also deontological as natural law defines what is right and gives us moral rules. Aristotle believed humans were born into knowing how to act morally, as it was written within us. Aristotle believed that if people would follow laws it would lead to eudemonia. Aquinas was heavily influenced by Aristotle’s belief that all people served a purpose. Aquinas went on to believe that all of us have a ‘god given’ purpose. Soon enough Aquinas had created natural law. Natural law was influenced by Aristotle and created by Thomas Aquinas.
Natural law is the idea that there is a natural order to the world that should be obeyed. This is determined by God. God made us with a purpose; natural law directs us on the purposes that we need to fulfil and natural law can be applied universally. Aquinas stated that there were four types of law: Eternal law, the perfect, complete set of God’s law that had created the universe. Humans have only partial knowledge of this. Divine law, the sacred teachings and texts of the church - that had come from God’s law written in the bible. Natural law, the human ability to know what is naturally right from our own reason. And finally, Human law, the interpretation of divine law. For example, a speed limit would be a human law, slower driving will result in less deaths, which relates to ‘though shalt not kill’ in the 10 commandments (divine law).
Aristotle and Aquinas both believed that humans would not deliberately do evil acts. It was believed you had to follow the synderesis rule, to ‘do good and avoid evil’. Aquinas believed that all…...

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