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MORALITY AND RELIGION [A] The Divine Command Theory An action is morally right if and only if God approves of it (i.e. it conforms to His will or commands. [B] The Natural Law Theory (Aquinas, following Aristotle) There is an order or purpose to the universe. This purpose is good. The moral normative status of an action is determined by whether it helps or hinders this purpose. According to Aristotle, everything has a certain potential, and its purpose is to realize this potential. All things have a built-in tendency to realize their potential by behaving naturally ; thus their purposes are revealed in their natural behavior . Certain things help this process: natural goods . The natural goods for an organism are those things towards which its behavior is naturally directed. So acting naturally allows an organism to thrive and fulfill its purpose. Different parts of the universe have different roles to play in fulfilling the purpose of the universe as a whole. These different roles correspond to
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course PHL 024 taught by Professor Denby during the Spring '08 term at Tufts.

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