Explain How Natural Law Theory Can Be Used to Decide the Right Moral Action.

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Natural Moral Law is a theory that is explained by Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle. It states that there is a natural order to our world that should be followed. It was originated in the philosophy of Aristotle and then developed by Aquinas. Natural Law is an absolute theory of ethics but it is not rooted in duty but in our human nature and our search for genuine happiness and fulfilment. Aquinas considered that by using our reason to reflect on our human nature we could discover our specific end purpose. Aquinas used the ideas of Aristotle and the Stoics as an underpinning for Natural Law saying- human beings have an essential rational nature given by God in order for us to live and flourish. Aristotle said even without knowledge of god, reason can discover the laws that lead to human flourishing. The Stoics said Natural Laws are universal and unchangeable and should be used to judge of particular societies. We use this is help us choose the right moral action is situations. Aristotle and Aquinas both conclude that humans aim for some goal or purpose in life-but does not see this as eudemonia. Aquinas believes that humans are the ‘image of god’ therefore the supreme good must be the development of this image which is perfection. They did not believe that you could reach this perfection in this life but the afterlife. There are the three laws in Aquinas’ book which are eternal, natural and divine. Eternal law says that only God himself knows them. They were made by him but humans don’t know them. Divine law is only understood by Christians because it is effectively the bible. Which Aquinas believed reflects the Eternal Law. The Natural Law refers to the moral law of God which has been built into each human nature; however it can be seen by everyone as it does not depend on belief in God as long as you use you reason when faced with a situation then you have done the

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