Examine the Key Concepts of Natural Moral Law

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Examine the key concepts of Natural Moral Law or Deontology or Virtue Ethics. (18) Natural Moral Law is considered to be one of the most important theories in Ethics, it is deontological therefore it focuses more on the actions/intentions rather than the outcome of a situation, it is an absolutist theory which means that NML applies to everyone; it is also an deductive theory. It was a theory put forward by Aristotle but continued by Thomas Aquinas, they said NML is God given and those who follow it are following God’s purpose. Some key concepts of NML are the primary and secondary precepts, Aquinas’ assumptions and his law and finally proportionalism. NML is seen as objectively ideal, it is something that everyone should strive for as it is an objective truth which ties in with Moral Realism, this means there are objective truths, things that we should do/should not do because they are definitely right or wrong. This then ties in with a priori ethics, which means our ethical knowledge has nothing to do with our experience or influences, it is just knowable in the universe, we just know it, this is what NML is seen as, we do not learn it, we just know it. Aquinas was very influenced by Aristotle especially his view that everything has a purpose and these purposes can be understood through looking at the natural world and through the bible which reveals the purpose for which God created man. St Paul said the moral law of God is evident from the nature of man and the world, ‘Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature, namely, his external power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made’, Aquinas said God gave man reason to accomplish the purposes NML whether we believe in him or not. All humans can understand and follow NML but only the believers in God know that if they do, it will be beneficial for them beyond the
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