Natural Moral Law outcomes The origins of Aquinas' Natural Law in Aristotle's theory of causes and how Aquinas developed this. The use of reason to discover Natural Law Biblical foundations of Aquinas approach The four tiers of law The synderesis principle The primary and secondary precepts Further adaptations = propotionalism Strengths and weaknesses of the theory
Key points Absolutist Deontological But also considers the telos (end purpose) of humans Deductive Aquinas developed Aristotle's ideas Laws of Nature = universal laws of science
e.g. gravity Natural Law = moral laws known through reflection and rationality and that uphold our purpose 'True law is right reason in agreement with nature.' Cicero, 106-43BCE
But what is natural? Is there a natural 'good'? Is it natural to be homosexual? Is it natural to be prejudice? Is it natural to be violent? Is it natural to be monogamous? Is it natural to commit suicide? Is it natural to eat meat? Is it natural to use contraception? Who was Aristotle? Born in 384 BC in Stagyra,
Macedonia. Son of a wealthy court physician. Studied in Platos Academy for nearly 20 years. In 343 became tutor to the young Alexander the Great. In 335 founded his own school in Athens. Died in Chalcis in 322 aged 62.
Aristotle Writings lost in Western Europe but preserved in East by Islamic scholars Rediscovered in West just before Aqunias took up his professorship at Paris University Aristotle said humans have a specific nature, purpose and function
Aristotles four causes Material cause (matter) Potential to change Formal cause (form essence) Efficient cause Final cause Actuality Telos achieved
What is it made out of? Wood What are its characteristics/ function? How does it happen/come to existence. What is it for? table
A carpenter Used to eat dinner on REASON Aristotle divided the human into 3 distinct parts: a.Material substance, i.e. skin, bone, blood. b.Form or soul = gives shape, purpose and direction to our life. c.Reason, the supreme human virtue.
REASON IS NEEDED TO BE FULLY HUMAN. How did we happen? Efficient cause What's our purpose? Final cause For Aristotle the inner principle of human nature is reason. Our ability to reason is the driving force of human development. It's what
separates us from animals. What is the purpose of a knife? It is a good knife when it does what? Something is good when it fulfils its purpose
(telos) Good = fulfilling telos Ask Aristotle's questions of the following.. What is the purpose of human life? On a slip of paper, write your answer and stick it on the board! Eudaimonia Flourishing/
happiness/living well/thriving We do this by leading a virtuous life What virtues do you think are needed to lead a 'good' life? What is happiness? Therefore, for Aristotle, happiness is not simply the same
as pleasure. He claims there are three types of life. a. a life of gratification b. a life of politics c. a life of study. He shows contempt for a, recognises the need for b, but says c is the most important. One thing leads to another....
'I am sitting in this lesson studying Aristotle in order to....... Make the reason the beginning of your next question Keep going.... Do you agree with Aristotle's idea about the purpose of our lives? Quick Review Who are the 2 scholars that propose natural law?
What are the 2 causes? Give an example What is the purpose of life according to the first scholar? Something is............when it fulfils its purpose Lesson 2 - Aquinas Learning outcomes: To know how Aquinas developed Aristotles ideals Explain his theory of NML with reference to precepts and goods
Quick discussion What type of theory is NML? What does it mean if it deductive? What are Aristotles 4 causes? Aquinas, 1225-74CE Aquinas built on Aristotle's ideas and combined them with Christianity For Aquinas what do you think the efficient cause of
humans was? 'Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause to which everybody gives the name of God' Aquinas - purpose and perfection An object achieves its final cause (it's telos) when it does what God intends it to do For humans 'made in the image of God'
means seeking union with God Happiness in this life and in particular spiritual happiness in the afterlife are the goals! Aquinas, 1225-74CE NL centres around this idea that humans have a natural purpose and this can determine what's right and wrong Be perfect, therefore, as your
heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:48 The ultimate purpose (goal) and destiny of humans is fellowship with God and development of humans 'in the image of God'
What does Aquinas mean by Natural Moral Law? Aquinas believed there are basic common moral principles which are divinely inspired and underpin all laws and guide us towards what we should do. This moral law is revealed to humans in different ways.... through the natural world order
through the Bible by using our reason Task Give some examples of moral beliefs held by many people which might indicate common principles? (or we might say a 'common moral law') Can you give come examples of differing moral beliefs that counter the suggestion of a
common moral law? Good is to be done and evil is to be avoided The Synderesis Rule - this is the key principle of NL and all humans strive for this. So...according to Aquinas
The universe was created by God Everything has a design and purpose This purpose can be known through examining the natural world, studying the Bible and using our reason NML = the rational understanding and following of God's final purpose (to become virtuous people and achieve harmonious relationship with God) What gives law its authority? Eternal Law - the principles by which God made and
controls the universe and which are only fully known to God Divine Law - the law of God revealed in Scripture particularly the 10 commandments and sermon on the mount Natural Law - the moral law of God within human nature that is discoverable through the use of reason Human Law - the above becomes established in human, civic laws through the use of practical reasoning and experienced judgement (PHRONESIS). Just laws are rooted in NL. The Primary Precepts
Aquinas believed that there were certain 'ends' or purposes for which By living in a way that fulfills To preserve life these purposes, we will fulfil the To live in an ordered and harmonious in society ultimate purpose of To reproduce
union with God. To learn and seek truth and educate Living in this way leads to To worship God human flourishing If you live your life in a way that fulfills these 'ends' then you are living all humans had been created... a good life e.g. providing food to someone who is hungry, having sex with your spouse to have children, praying to God, studying philosophy!
Should humans seek to follow these primary goods? What would you add to the list? What would you take away? Why? The Roman Catholic Church bases it's theology on Natural Law Based on Aquinas' ideas certain actions are not acceptable, as they are thought to go against the principle of Natural Law e.g.
Homosexuality Contraception Why do you think this is? Therefore some actions, because they are contrary to these fundamental principles will always be wrong even if done for the greater good. The Secondary It is the job ofPrecepts the secondary precepts to set
out the way in which the primary precepts can be implemented. Primary precept Secondary precept Preserve life Don't commit suicide Reproduce No to abortion
Applying Natural Law If the purpose of humans is to reproduce (the primary precept), what conclusions can we come to about the what is right and wrong within sexual practices? Make a table of the primary precepts and come up with as many secondary precepts as you can Are there any issues?
Aquinas believed that everyone has a sense of Natural Law within them which inclines them towards doing good and seeking union with God BUT Things go wrong when a person's reason is faulty
and they misunderstand the Divine Law (Bible) We have a fundamental inclination to act in such a way as to achieve good and avoid evil However Aquinas
recognised that humans don't always behave like this! Real 'goods' Using reason to make decisions that will lead us to our purpose, union with God
vs Apparent 'goods' Decisions that may seem pleasurable but it is actually taking us away from out purpose. Make a list of 3 for each Motives Matter
Interior Acts Exterior Acts An act may be good in itself but done for a wrong intention - for instance giving to charity may be good in itself but if it is done in order to attract praise - it has be done from a bad intention. INTENTIONS are very important. The rightness of the act springs from the inner motive
What would Aquinas say to the leader of a country that introduced a law forbidding a particular tribe from receiving higher education? What would Aquinas say about Hitler or IS? Aquinas and Reason For Aquinas an action is good if it furthers God's purposes for creation If we observe the world around us and consult scripture, we can work out
what behaviour most closely fits God's purposes We need our reason to work out these natural laws! If we use our reason correctly we can decide on the right course of action when confronted with a moral dilemma By employing reason, a human is putting themselves in touch with NL
For Aquinas our conscience is using our reasons in the right way to make right judgements What if you don't know God? Human's rational nature is given by God so that we can flourish Even if you don't know God, Aquinas says that human reason can discover the natural laws and thus it is possible to lead a good life. But it's easiest if you
are a Christian! Why? Romans 2:12-16 The Natural Laws are universal and unchangeable The Doctrine of Double Effect This importance of interior acts has led to the acceptance of the doctrine of double effect in the Catholic Church. If you do something with a good intention and there is an unintended secondary outcome
then that act is acceptable. DDE - criteria The bad effect must not be intended for itself, only permitted There must be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the bad effect How could the DDE justify the removal of a cancerous womb if the women is pregnant? Try it for deciding to
go to war 7 deadly sins Pride, considered the worst as it leads one to commit other sins Greed, immoderate desire for earthly goods Gluttony, over indulgence Lust Sloth, laziness Envy Wrath, anger The Virtues
Aquinas believed that there are Natural virtues that come through out reason these are: Fortitude, courage Temperance, moderation/self control Justice Prudence, wisdom He also thought there are virtues revealed through the Bible not through reason these are: Faith, charity and hope Exam Question Explain the concept of reason in Aquinas
natural moral law Wide range of specialist language K+U of religious beliefs detailed+ fully developed Broad range of religious ideas fully linked to references from the extract Later Developments of ProportionalismNML - Bernard Hoose (rejected by the Catholic Church as consequentialist)
Situation Ethics Natural Law The action is good if it produces the most loving result The action is good or bad according to the law of nature Teleological
Deontological Proportionalism combines elements of both. 'It's never right to go against a principle unless there is a proportionate reason which would justify it' Proportionalism 'Proportionalism' (the title of a book by Brtitish philosopher Bernard Hoose) accepts, as Natural Law does, that certain acts are wrong or evil acts in themselves. However, it says that it might be the right thing to do, if there is a proportionate reason, to perform such acts.
The arguments here get quite tricky, and proportionalism ends up looking a lot like situation ethics. Proportionalists claim that doing a 'bad' action out of love makes an action morally good but not morally right. A 'bad' action is only morally right if it is proportionate.
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