What Is Natural Law?

1353 WordsOct 14, 20156 Pages
1. What Is Natural Law? Natural Law is the body of moral normal and other practical principles, which provide reasons for action and restraint and are regarded as a basis for all human conduct (Draper, 2010). Natural Law was originated in the philosophy of the Ancient Greeks, particularly Aristotle, and was developed further by Thomas Aquinas. It is the most stable and long lasting of ethical theories and is an accepted theory of moral action and moral life (Brooks, 2015). This universal theory follows the notion that nature decides what is right and wrong, and that God made nature but it works on its own. A Just law is derived from Natural Law. The precepts of Natural Law direct people to choose and act for intelligible ends and purposes (Rammer) and describe the purpose of human life. Aquinas called these precepts the first principles of practical reason, and they refer to the range of ‘basic’ human goods for the sake of which people can intelligibly act (Draper, 2010). The first precept, as said by Aquinas, is “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By this he means that to pursue good, we must use reason to work out what is the best way to act (Brooks). All other precepts of Natural Law are based upon this. Precepts are to be followed using what is knows as the ‘basic goods’. Marcus Cicero proposed natural goods, and in contemporary Natural Law theory they are called ‘basic goods’ (Brooks, 2015). They are extremely important in Natural Law as

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