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Flashcards in Natural Moral Law Deck (17):
1

Background

NML is a deontological ethic as it focuses on the duty.
Rooted in ancient greek and roman world.

2

Stoics

emphasised the importance of NML
- believing God is everywhere and in everywhere therefore enabling humans with the divine spark and the ability to live in accordance with God and nature.

3

Aristotle on NML

emphasised the stoics
natural justice was not always the same as that which was just by law.
He observed that laws vary from place to place but natural justice is independent and applies to all.

4

Aquinas

in the 13th century Thomas Aquinas developed NML.
NML as a moral code existing within the purpose of nature, created by God.
For Aquinas eudamonia wasn't fulfiling perfection but instead more as attaining eternal life with God.
This natural law exists to assist humans to direct their actions in such a way that they may reach their eternal destiny with God.

5

Reason

A moral life is a life lived in accordance with God.
Everything is created for a purpose and using our human reason we can work out what that is.
Reason determines the purpose for humans is fellowship with God.
Using our reason we can discover Gods intention

6

Primary Precepts

Aquinas said through the synderis rule we can work out Gods law.
We know the main purpose is to live in accordance with God, to do this Aquinas developed the primary precepts

7

Synderis Rule

Do good and avoid evil

8

the precepts?

WORSHIP GOD
LEARN
REPRODUCE
SELF PRESERVATION
LIVE IN AN ORDERED SOCIETY

9

secondary precepts

these are the commands developed from the primary precepts, they make the commands found clearer and more specific.
e.g. euthanasia = wrong as its against self preservation therefore doesnt uphold primary precepts

10

Interior vs exterior

for Aquinas both the intention and act are of equal importance.
To act in a good way for the wrong reason is to perform a good exterior but a bad interior act.
e.g. helping an old lady (good) to impress someone (bad)
God is the only end and acts are intrinsically good or bad because when humans act in accordance with these acts, god is glorified.

11

Strengths

- nml is universal and accessible
- enables flexibility with secondary precepts
- secular as it can go beyond any religion or culture
- not a set of rules but a way of living

12

Weaknesses

- not all humans have the same culture e.g. Dr KAI NELSON and the Scandinavians killing elderly as a sacrifice.
- flexibility may mean room for negative interpretation
- saw as a relativist theory = different reasoning meaning different responses

13

Cicero Quote

"true law is right reason in agreement with nature"

14

Aquinas quote on all men

natural law is the same for all men... there is a single standard of truth and right for everyone - known by everyone

15

Aquinas on ultimate end

our ultimate end is an unrelated good, namely God, who alone can fill our will to the brim because of our infinite goodness.

16

Aristotle quote

that which is natural is unchangeable and has the same power everywhere, just as fire burns both here and in Persia.

17

Aquinas quote on nature

Natural Law is the sharing in the eternal law by intelligent creatures