Natural Law Theory Essay

6453 Words Nov 21st, 2010 26 Pages
According to Jenkins, “The natural law theory begins with theories about the nature and purpose of the world and moves on to ask about the purpose of every action or object. The right thing to do is that which fulfils the natural purpose.” Natural law was developed by Thomas Aquinas, in which he believed that there is such a thing as natural moral law. Natural law ethics depends on the belief that the world was designed by a creator, God. It teaches everything God made has a purpose, including every aspect of human life, and everything should work towards the purpose assigned to it. If we fulfil this purpose we do ‘good’, for example it is good to preserve life (“Do not kill”). If we frustrate the purpose for which something has been …show more content…
Human nature is generally good and therefore if we do wrong it is because we are in pursuit of an apparent good, e.g. abortion, can seem like at a good thing at times. According to Vardy and Grosch, “Humans seek apparent good, but this is not true good; only apparent good because it does not conform to the perfection of human nature which all humans share.” A historical example would be that of Hitler and Stalin, who did not seek out evil but sought what they thought, was right. The theory of natural law states that you are only responsible for the immediate consequences of your actions – not for the secondary or unintended effects of your action. This adds flexibility to the theory of natural law in such areas as just war and etopic pregnancy. According to Thompson, “Natural law is based on nature as seen by human reason enlightened by Christian faith. In the light of Jesus’ teaching and belief in God, reason can decide, by looking at nature, what is right.”

Natural law however has some faults. It depends on the belief that the world was designed by a creator. Aquinas assumes that all men must seek to worship God, atheists not taken into consideration. According to Thompson, “...if someone does not believe in God, then the natural law theory loses its foundation.” The theory also suggests that reproduction is one of God’s natural purposes of creating humankind, not considering those who are biologically

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