Explain the Theory of Natural Law

Topics: Natural law, Thomas Aquinas, Meaning of life Pages: 4 (1800 words) Published: March 10, 2013
January 2001
Explain the theory of Natural law (25 marks)

The theory of natural law originates from Aristotle’s idea of goodness as fitness for purpose and stoic’s concept of a universal law of reason which is in agreement with nature. What we now call human nature. This point is then furthered by Aquinas who agrees with the argument but furthers it by linking it with his Christian belief by saying following this law is equivalent to following the command of God as human nature is in us inbuilt into us from when God created us. Aristotle believed that every object has a specific purpose and function and that its supreme good is to fulfil that purpose. This includes humans, Aristotle believes that humans also have a purpose and function so when it fulfils it then it reaches supreme good like other objects. He believes that the supreme good for humans is to reach eudaimonia which is to live a good life to help you flourish. He saw this as the final goal is to flourish so all the actions they do is to help them reach this in the end. This is where natural Law comes in. Aquinas took this belief and linking it with his religious belief he came to the conclusion that as human’s goal is to flourish God gave us a rational nature when he created us which would help us reach this. He gives us a universal and unchangeable law on how to live so we are able to reach supreme good, to reach perfection. However he didn’t believe that it was possible for us to reach this is this life; we begin now and continue into the next life. He believes our natural law and divine law are equal in importance as natural law is the law God built into us when he created us and divine law is the law we read in the bible where we can learn further laws God teaches to help us flourish. He believes these both derive from Eternal Law, the law in which God created the universe and everything within. Aquinas focused on the fact that as humans goal is to reach perfection their actions would...
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