In this essay, the arguments made will help to consider whether or not if Natural Law does provide an adequate basis for morality or not. The arguments will look into Aquinas theory and if his beliefs provide a sense of morality for all humans. Natural Law is a moral theory which maintains that law should be based on morality and ethics. Natural Law holds that the law is based on what’s correct. Natural Law is discovered by humans through the use of reason and choosing between good and evil. It finds power in discovering certain universal standards in morality and ethics.
The strengths that are found in Natural Law are the strengths of an absolutist deontological view of morality. It allows people to follow common rules so they can then structure communities. Natural Law provides justification and support for certain core ideas which are popular in modern times, for example human rights and equality. Natural Law provides a clear moral basis for Christians to follow, example would be, the primary precepts to ‘defend life’ which provides a moral rule to help people to understand that all life is sacred and we should defend all life.
We are also able to us our reason in order to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong, it allows us to use our reason to fulfil our purpose as humans. A key argument that would be made is that not all people share the same life purposes; everyone wants to get something different out of life, fulfilling their own life purposes. Not all people “find love in the same way; some find love and purpose in life through the expression of their sexuality” (Robert Bowie). Aquinas did not consider that every human thinks and feels differently, to make his theory relatable to all humans.
Human beings have their own minds; the whole person should be the decision maker and follow what makes them happy. Homosexual men and women argue the fact that they are not recognized as normal human beings. Aquinas believed that their actions should not be seen as normal human action but as unnatural because to him, they cannot lead normal lives like straight men and women simple because they cannot reproduce and that Aquinas believed that “as a human being must preserve the species every discharge of semen should be associated with life generation”(Robert Bowie).
But it is not vital for ever discharge of semen should be producing a new life to maintain human life. Aquinas doesn’t consider how are functions effect are emotions, how they link to our emotions and thoughts. Natural Law has been argued to whether or not there is a common natural law that is apparent and self- evident, and also whether or not it can be right for each human and if every day life can be deduced from the fundamental laws e. g. primary precepts. Kai Neilson went against Aquinas theory, Neilson argued Aquinas beliefs in a basis human nature which is presented to all different cultures.
Sciences view of an essential human nature is that it does not exist and that it’s not what makes a man a man. Human nature is seen as a vague cultural concept, is has never been scientifically proven so we cannot be sure if it actually does exist. ‘The challenge is that an essential human nature isn’t as obviously self-evident as Aquinas claims’ (Robert Bowie). In some ways, some forms of Natural Law could perhaps exist just not in the way Aquinas indented. He believed to use the genitals for other reason presides reproducing, was immoral.
The human body and emotions works in different ways and it is not necessary that semen has to produce a new life every time. Aquinas believes that sex before marriage is wrong, and that in order for a couple to have sex they must have the intensions of spending the rest of their lives together. For a couple’s relationship to grow strong or maintain strong, by creating a sexual relationship, the couple’s relationship may benefit from this action. “Sexual activity isn’t only found in the genitalia’s’ (Robert Bowie).
In today’s society the human physique is seen as one psycho-physical whole, it is no longer seen as the fragment requirements of parts which Aquinas had believed. Aquinas how a couple may need a sexual relationship for their feelings to mature. Times have changed since Aquinas’s theory, people within a relationship no longer wait until their married some even have children out of wedlock but are in stable relationship even if it’s with another person who is not their child’s parent.
Homosexual relationships are no longer thrown upon and homosexual couples can now get married in church in front of God. Aquinas theory does no longer fit into today’s society simple because the new generations have grown up being taught differently. The programs that are now shown on TV for children and teens to watch have sent out a messages showing sense such as ’16 and pregnant’ that go against Aquinas beliefs. Aquinas Natural Moral Law is a Christian ethic but Jesus confronted legalistic morality in the New Testament.
Natural moral law is similar to Pharisaic law and some debate that Jesus went against this approach. Some Christians have demanded that morality should be based on the individual rather than the types of acts that have been committed. Writer, Kevin T Kelly, pointed out two types of Christian morality, one ‘that is centred on acts’ and then another which is ‘centred on the dignity of the human person’ (Robert Bowie), separating the person from the act. Although natural law has its down sides there are some arguments that provide a basis for morality.
Natural moral law provides a set of rules which people do follow to fulfil a moral life. The strengths that natural moral law provides are the strengths of an absolutist deontological view of morality; the rules that apply bring a structure to communities. Some religious believers use Natural law as a comfort blanket; it could be seen as something to rely on to help guide them to a moral way of life, Natural moral law gives a reason to be moral, “It gives guidance on day to day questions” (Robert Bowie).
Natural law, although guides people in the way they live, is not a set of rules but a form of living a chose on how to achieve a person’s purpose and happiness. It provides us humans with a complete system of moral living. Natural moral law supports certain ideas in modern times for example human rights and equality. Humans are capable of discerning the difference between good and evil because they have a conscience. There are many manifestations of the good that we can pursue. Some, like procreation, are common to other nimals, and others, like the pursuit of truth, are inclinations peculiar to the capacities of human beings. Some contemporary Catholic theologians, like John Wijngaards, dispute the Magisterium’s interpretation of Natural Law as applied to specific points of sexual ethics, such as in the areas of contraceptives and homosexual unions. Natural moral goes against taking of a human’s life, “thou shall not kill” (Jesus) natural law follows this, the 5 primary precepts state that you should perverse all life, since life is a gift and all humans should find happiness and morality within their lifespan.
Although Natural law does provide a framework for humans to be guided it also forgets to include the other types of cultures. Natural law was made for Christians which means that the rules and morals have been made to fit only Christian teachings, so it’s not suitable for all humans to follow and if not all human beings can follow it, then not all humans are gaining a basis for morality.
Aquinas theory is seen as being out of date, with the new generation growing up in a world where sex before marriage doesn’t apply, his belief that no semen should be wasted and that it is unmoral to use the genitals for other reason besides reproducing is no longer seen as wrong but in some cases seen as sharing love between partners also homosexuality is no longer seen as a sin in some societies.