Explain how a follower of Natural Law theory might approach the issues surrounding abortion. (25 marks)
Natural Law is an Absolutist and Deontological theory, meaning that it is correct for all people at all times wherever they are in the world and that it is a theory concerned with our duty in any given moral situation. A key philosopher heading Natural Law was Thomas Aquinas who believed that natural law is a moral code existing in nature which was created by God; it is concerned with both an action and the reason why a person carries it out. In natural law there exist both Cardinal values and Theological values that we should adhere to when carrying out actions, the Cardinal (of the foremost importance) are: prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice. The theological values are: hope, faith and charity. If a human being wished to adhere to Natural Law, they must develop these virtues. If the lady who decides to have an abortion whilst reasoning it with such values believes that she is making the correct choice in doing so, I cannot reason why a believer in Natural Law could disagree. For example, if she views the abortion as a ‘just’ act, as opposed to bringing a baby into a world where it is not wanted, then she is surely adhering to cardinal values, in respect of the theological values, she could be carrying out a charitable act as if she simply would not be able to look after the child correctly if she kept it, she would not be being charitable. The matter of abortion is confronted when we look at the issue of the ‘precepts’ both primary and secondary, a precept is a general rule intended to regulate behaviour or thought. Natural law states that an action leads to God if it fits the purpose humans were made for, if the action is in accordance with the precepts, then it is right and shall lead to God. Primary precepts are: to acquire knowledge, to reproduce, to live in an ordered society, to worship a God and to preserve the innocent and the...
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