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.
a) Analyse the important features of Deontology or Natural Moral Law. b) To what extent is the selected theory persuasive? a) Natural Moral Law is an absolutist, deontological and objective ethical theory which states that every living thing has a God given purpose which must be fulfilled in order to reach God in heaven. It was originally proposed by Saint Thomas Aquinas but has since been associated with the Roman Catholic Church. Aquinas’ Natural Moral Law was developed from the ancient ideas of Aristotle and other stoic philosophers like Cicero, who all claimed that humans have an inherent and rational sense of right and wrong.
On one hand you have the philosophers who believe you can speak and write about God, because God is reality. On the other hand, are the Logical Positivists who claim that statements about God have no meaning because they don’t relate to anything that is real. There are a number of philosophers who claimed to have proven conclusively that religious language is meaningful, for example Aquinas’ theory of analogy. An analogy is an attempt to explain the meaning of something which is difficult to understand and forming relations through attributes or relations that are similar. Aquinas rejected univocal and equivocal language when talking about God.
Descartes declares he has to determine if there is a God and if he does exist, whether he can be a deceiver. The reason he has to determine the existence of God and what he is, rests in his theories of ideas. This is because we do not know if there is an outside world and we can almost imagine everything, so all depends on God’s existence and if he is a deceiver. “To prove that this non-deceiving God exists, Descartes finds in his mind a few principles he regards as necessary truths which are evident by the “natural light” which is the power or cognitive faculty for clear and distinct perception.” If arguments is presented in logical trains of thought, people could not help but to be swayed and to understand those arguments. Natural light
The second is the Divine law which is important to this issue as it reflects the eternal law as it appears to us through revelation. Aquinas essentially saw this law as holy texts such as the Bible. It can only be seen by those who believe in God and only when God chooses to reveal it. So, if someone is deciding what the right moral action is in a particular situation they could refer to the Bible by reading a specific passage or recalling the Ten Commandments. In ‘Summa Theologica’ Aquinas wrote, ‘To disparage the dictate of reason is
Rene Descartes, the17th century philosopher, is probably the best-known theologian who supported the ontological viewpoint. He believed that some people know the truth of the existence of God outright while others may need to reason their way to this truth as though they were reasoning through a mathematical proof. No matter the process, the conclusion in his opinion will be the same ... that we as imperfect beings cannot coneive of such a perfect thing as God unless that conception comes from outside our own mind from such perfection, therefore God must exist. (Turner 451). The ontological viewpoint has a number of limitations as compared to other theories.
Another strength of the argument is that the argument is reasonable and therefore more people are likely to believe. It is not impossible for God to exist and create the Universe and as we have evidence in the Bible as God said "let there be light" shows that God has the power to create a universe like this. The Bible preaches the truth and God is evidently the only explanation as we have proof from the bible. The argument is a reasonable interpretation of experience. Another example of the design argument comes from a philosopher called Richard Swinburne who clarifies the modern version of the DA which is called the Anthropic Argument, from this argument the idea he argues is that the universe functions by rules e.g.
The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was one of the early founders of existentialism. Although Kierkegaard was a devout Christian, he rejected the Christian Church due to its legalistic nature and the false relationship that people were receiving with God as a result. Kierkegaard believed that the key relationship of an individual was with God. He argued that God has given people freedom to make their own decisions and therefore our decisions are not determined. He thought that our existence is not something determined rationally or part of an on-going process but that it is something specific which is created through the choices we make.
Kant argues that only one fact is undisputable, and that simply is that there is a moral law in existence, which then leads to the existence of God. He said that everyone can detect with there senses a moral law existent in the universe and therefore they have a obligation to follow it to reach the highest form of good which he called ‘the summum bonum’ (is Latin for ‘highest good’). Kant says something’s are naturally good, and to do them would be defined as good will, and to have a good will is to do ones moral duty, we don’t act out of compassion or love, we are just doing our duty. Actions should be performed as our duty not out of motive. He said morality was innate; a part of us (a priori), and it was our moral duty to carry it out for good, which must lead to God.
Their intention is all that matters. Kant focuses on what should be done, rather than doing things for their outcome. This means that even if something terrible happens as the result of a morally good action, it is still morally right. Kant had an absolute view that the right moral action must always be done. Kant tried to make moral ethics scientific through universalisation.