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Flashcards in Natural Moral Law Deck (14)
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Give the context to NML?

- absolutist, deontological normative ethical theory

- developed by St Aquinas in the 13th century based upon Aristotle's work.

- works on the premise that it is in human nature to have a guide for what is good for us.

- works along the terms of ‘do good avoid evil.’

- Aquinas sought to present a rational basis for Christian morality.

- especially prominent among the Stoics, who believed God is everywhere and in everyone.


Name each tier of the four tiers of law and what they state?

- Eternal Law
the absolute part on nml
part of the mind of God

- Divine Law
refers to any law that, instead of a man-made, is from the will of God. revealed through scriptures/bible

- Natural Law
God eternal law revealed in nature and accessible through reason

- Human Law
our response to the messages from God.
practices and customs in society


What are the primary and secondary precepts?

p: Preservation of life
s: do not have an abortion

p: Ordering of society
s: do not act out

p: Worship God
s: pray

p: Education of children
s: teach from right and wrong

p: Reproduce
s: do not use contraception


What is the synderesis rule?

- the natural human capacity to apprehend intuitively the universal first principles of human action.

- reason directs us to do good and avoid evil


Explain the idea of telos from Aquinas

- outlines in his '5 ways' that the universe shows evidence that we have a purpose or telos.

- like aristotle, he believed we have an 'ultimate purpose'


Explain the link between Aquinas and Eudamonia

- Aristotle beleived that the greatest good for humans, or the final purpose or telos that we should strive for, was Eudamonia.

- Aquinas saw people as fulfilling their perfection not simply as eudamonia but rather as attaing life with God after death. This is what humans should strive for


Does natural law provide a helpful method of moral decision making?


- Offers a legalistic way of working out what is morally right
- Provides moral rules which can be applied to different situations and circumstances
- Gives clarity and consistency in a world which some believe has become relativistic and has lost a sense of moral direction

- Precepts inspired by religious beliefs so could be unhelpful to those to don't believe in God
- Some people might not believe in the idea of purpose


Does human nature have an orientation towards the good?

- Arguably for a community or society to get along surely some common morals are needed
- Aquinas thinks we have a natural response to do good

- Human development is damaging the natural world (pollution, overpopulation) where is our natural response to do good here?
- Hobbes, philosopher saw human nature as dangerous and murderous


Can a judgement about what is good, bad, right or wrong be based on its success or failure in achieving telos?

- It can be argued that a good person is the person who fulfils his or her end purpose like how the good hammer hammers the nail in well.

- But the analogy could be seen as an inductive leap


Has the universe as a whole been designed with a telos?

- Natural Law assumes a fixed, immutable, unchanging end for all things that has been created, part of a universe that is intended and designed
- Natural law works if the order as found to link to the kinds of societies where human beings flourish

- However some people don't see the world as having intention, natural law seems impossible if the is no creator God or order to things


Can the doctrine of double effect be used to justify an action, such as killing someone as an as of self defence?

- Self defence might be allowed if the intention is correct is attempting to prevent life
- Distinctions can be identified between intention and actions

- How do we agree when intention is to save life?
- Some find these fine distinctions implausible.


Describe real and apparent goods

Real goods
- those which are in accordance with the primary precepts and God's wishes for humanity

Apparent goods
- are things which tempt us because they seem enjoyable but which do not furthers the aim of promoting human flourishing


Describe natural or cardinal virtues?

Aquinas identified four N/C virtues discovered by reason
- prudence
- temperance
- fortitude justice


What are the virtues found in the Bible?

- faith

- hope

- love