Explain how natural law can be used to decide the right moral action

Topics: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Morality Pages: 3 (1069 words) Published: January 6, 2014
Explain how natural law can be used to decide the right moral action

Natural law is a law based upon the observations of natural occurrences. While moral action is the actions you chose to perform because they agree with your sense of right and wrong. In the way Natural law is presented to the majority of people is as a step by step guide to living a “good” life, in the eyes of god.

The original concept of Natural law was thought of by Aristotle and was then adapted by Thomas Aquinas to fit the teachings and views of the Roman Catholic Church. Who was concerned with moral law of how human beings should behave .It is understood by reflecting on human nature and by rationally working what will lead to fulfilling your purpose. According to natural law “good” can only be achieved when the subject has fulfilled its end purpose, the end purpose of human beings is to be rational and achieve Eudemonia. Eudemonia is human flourishing, when they achieve happiness. Aquinas also believed natural law was in everyone, so everyone is good. Human’s unconsciously aim for perfection, to avoid evil and aim for god. Because we are made in god’s image, we are unable to knowingly go for evil. As Animals and humans share desires and wishes it’s only the ability to be rational that separates the human beings from the beasts. Aquinas also believed that the only way to discover divine design in nature, would be through human reason. The divine design was created to the essence/the idea before its actual existence. So the only way reason discovers what is right, is by interpreting nature.

Aquinas believed he had discovered, through his observation of nature, the correct path you had to take if you were to fulfil your purpose. To help others to follow this path he created 5 rules called the “5 Primary Principles” and if you followed them you where ensured a “good” life, this was called following the synderesis rule. The 1ST primary principle is to live, the 2nd primary principle...
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