Natural Law Essay

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Religion Pages: 2 (886 words) Published: December 1, 2014
A) Explain how a follower of Natural Law might approach the issues surrounding abortion. [25]
Natural Law is a set of principles regarded as a basis for which all human beings should live their lives. It originated from the Greek philosopher Aristotle and was finished off by Thomas Aquinas. Natural Law is based on the idea that everyone has the same opinion on what is morally right or wrong - this allows Natural Law to be applied universally. It is an absolutist approach - meaning that there are no exceptions to the Primary Precepts. There are five of these Primary Precepts, all of which are in accordance with the main human purpose. These five precepts are: to worship God; to live in society; to educate children; the continuation of the species through reproduction and the self-preservation and the preservation of the innocent. Natural Law is also based on the idea that God created everything for a purpose, allowing Aristotle's Four Causes theory to be applicable here.

Based on Natural Law, a moral life is one lived in accordance with human reason, so an immoral life is one lived at odds with reason. Human Reason is incredibly important because it gives a basis that humans should do good and entirely avoid evil. On the basis of this, a follower of Natural Law would see abortion as wrong, because it is an apparent good, not a real good. Abortion is an apparent good because it is thought of as the right thing to do but it does not apply to the primary precepts - it goes against the precepts of the continuation of the species; preservation of the innocent and allowing one to live in society. Given that the aborted child would be killed, the ability to worship God and to be educated is lost. This means that abortion breaks all five of the primary precepts. Furthermore, a secondary precept of Natural Law is 'do not abort the unborn' which entirely goes against Natural Law. Arguably, Natural Law is a pro-life supporter and supports personhood because it supports...
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