Natural-law-by-JSSS-July-2019-BBBBBBBB.ppt - Natural Law...

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Unformatted text preview: Natural Law Aquinas’s Natural Law Theory contains four different types of law: 1. Eternal Law 2. Natural Law 3. Human Law 4. Divine Law Aquinas thinks that something is good in as far as it fulfils its purpose/plan. This fits with common sense. A “good” eye is one which sees well. Natural Law does not generate an external set of rules that are written down for us to consult but rather it generates general rules that any rational agent can come to recognize simply in virtue of being rational. For example, for Aquinas it is not as if we need to check whether we should pursue good and avoid evil, as it is just part of how we already think about things. Aquinas gives some more examples of primary precepts: Aquinas gives some more examples of primary precepts: Protect and preserve human life. Reproduce and educate one’s offspring. Know and worship God. Live in a society. Human Law Aquinas also introduces what he calls the Human Law which gives rise to what he calls “Secondary Precepts”. These might include such things as do not drive above 70mph on a motorway, do not kidnap people, always wear a helmet when riding a bike, do not hack into someone’s bank account. Secondary precepts are not generated by our reason but rather they are imposed by governments, groups, clubs, societies etc. It is not always morally acceptable to follow secondary precepts. It is only morally acceptable if they are consistent with the Natural Law. If they are, then we ought to follow them, if they are not, then we ought not. Consider the secondary precept that “if you are a woman and you live in Saudi Arabia then you are not allowed to drive”. Aquinas would argue that this secondary precept is practically irrational because it treats people differently based on an arbitrary difference (gender). He would reason that if the men in power in Saudi actually really thought hard then they too would recognize that this law is morally wrong. This in turn means that Aquinas would think that this human law does not fit with the Natural Law. Hence, it is morally wrong to follow a law that says that men can, and women cannot, drive. So although it is presented as a secondary precept, because it is not in accordance with Natural Law, it is what Aquinas calls an apparent good. Divine law The Divine Law, which is discovered through revelation, should be thought of as the Divine equivalent of the Human Law (those discovered through rational reflection and created by people). Divine laws are those that God has, in His grace, seen fit to give us and are those “mysteries”, those rules given by God which we find in scripture; for example, the ten commandments. But why introduce the Divine Law at all? It certainly feels we have enough Laws. Example A number of years ago I was talking to a minister of a church. He told me about an instance where a married man came to ask his advice about whether to finish an affair he was having. The man’s reasoning went as follows — “I am having an affair which just feels so right, we are both very much in love and surely God would want what is best for me! How could it be wrong if we are so happy?” In response, the minister opened the Bible to the Ten Commandments and pointed out the commandment that it says that it is wrong to commit adultery. Case closed. The point of this story is simple. We can be confused and mistaken about what we think we have most reason to do and because of this we need someone who actually knows the mind of God to guide us, and who better to know this than God Himself. This then is precisely what is revealed in the Divine Law. Example Or consider another example. We recognize that we find it hard to forgive our friends and nearly always impossible to forgive our enemies. We tell ourselves we have the right to be angry, to bear grudges, etc. Isn’t this just human? However, these human reasons are distortions of the Eternal Law. We need some guidance when it comes to forgiveness and it is where the Divine Law which tells us that we should forgive others — including our enemies. Following the Human Laws and the Divine Laws will help us to fulfil our purposes and plans and be truly happy. Doctrine of Double Effect In ethical reasoning, the Principle of Double Effect is sometimes invoked when an action has two effects (hence 'Double Effect'); one good and the other harmful. The principle allows the action as morally permissible in those circumstances in which the harmful effect is not intended, but is a side-effect of the action Four things must be present 1. 2. Act (end) must be good in itself or at least morally indifferent (amoral) The good intended must not be obtained by means of the evil effect, but must happen at the same time and be directly willed • The evil means in only indirectly willed or done • A good end doesn’t justify an evil means • It can only permit it to happen at the same time as the good end Four things must be present The principle says that a person can morally do an action with foreseen harmful consequences, as a side-effect, provided four conditions are met: INTENTIONS ARE RELEVANT The good effect — but not the evil one — must be directly intended. Any intention to bring about evil corrupts any action. (If you’d do the same thing in a situation that would get the bad effect but not the good one, you’ve violated this condition. You can't be using the good outcome as your excuse for causing the harm.) THE ACTION TAKEN AS A MEANS MUST NOT BE WRONG (THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE "DIRECT" MEANS!) Isolated from the two consequences, the action itself must be good, or at least it must be morally neutral. (Donating money to charity is good; using mint toothpaste instead of another flavor is morally neutral.) THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY ANY OTHER WRONGFUL MEANS, EITHER The good effect must be produced directly by the agent’s action, and not by means of the evil effect. (If the evil effect causes the good effect, you’ve violated this condition. 3. The evil effect must not be intended (intent) for itself, but only permitted. • It must be merely a byproduct of the act performed. • If you want this bad effect, it becomes directly intended and the act is evil. PROPORTIONALITY IN ACTUAL RESULTS The evil or harm that is done must not outweigh the good that is sought. (If nothing good will actually be gained, or if the evil will outweigh the good, you’ve violated this condition.) 4. There must be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect • The good and evil should at least be nearly equivalent • If there is any other way to get the good end without the evil, it must be taken • Test: take away the evil can the good end happen? Example Imagine that someone is considering having an abortion after becoming pregnant due to rape. The same reasoning is going to apply. We ought to preserve and protect human life and hence an abortion in this case is morally wrong However, as we will see, Aquinas thinks that there are some instances where it is morally acceptable to kill an innocent person and therefore there may be occasions when it is morally acceptable to kill a fetus. But how can this be correct? Will this not violate the primary precept about preserving life? The answer is to understand that for Aquinas, an action is not just about what we do externally but is also about what we do internally (i.e. our motivations). With this distinction he can show that, for example, killing an innocent can be morally acceptable. Applications. The principle of double effect has played a significant role in the discussion of many difficult normative questions. Its most prominent applications are in medical ethics, where it figures prominently in attempts to distinguish among permissible and impermissible procedures in a range of obstetrical cases. The Catholic magisterium has argued that the principle allows one to distinguish morally among cases where a pregnancy may need to be ended in order to preserve the life of the mother. The principle is alleged to allow the removal of a life-threatening cancerous uterus, even though this procedure will bring the death of a fetus, on the grounds that in this case the death of the fetus is not "directly" intended. The principle disallows cases, however, in which a craniotomy (the crushing of the fetus's skull) is required to preserve a pregnant woman's life, on the grounds that here a genuine evil, the death of the fetus, is "directly" intended. There there is significant disagreement, even among those philosophers who accept the principle, about the cogency of this application. Some philosophers and theologians, by emphasizing the fourth, "proportionality," condition, argue that the greater value attaching to the pregnant woman's life makes even craniotomy morally acceptable. Others fail to see a morally significant difference between the merely "foreseen" death of the fetus in the cancerous uterus case and the "directly" intended death in the craniotomy case. The principle is alleged to allow the removal of a life-threatening cancerous uterus, even though this procedure will bring the death of a fetus, on the grounds that in this case the death of the fetus is not "directly" intended. The principle disallows cases, however, in which a craniotomy (the crushing of the fetus's skull) is required to preserve a pregnant woman's life, on the grounds that here a genuine evil, the death of the fetus, is "directly" intended. There is significant disagreement, even among those philosophers who accept the principle, about the cogency of this application. Some philosophers and theologians, by emphasizing the fourth, "proportionality," condition, argue that the greater value attaching to the pregnant woman's life makes even craniotomy morally acceptable. Others fail to see a morally significant difference between the merely "foreseen" death of the fetus in the cancerous uterus case and the "directly" intended death in the craniotomy case. There is significant disagreement, even among those philosophers who accept the principle, about the cogency of this application. Some philosophers and theologians, by emphasizing the fourth, "proportionality," condition, argue that the greater value attaching to the pregnant woman's life makes even craniotomy morally acceptable. Others fail to see a morally significant difference between the merely "foreseen" death of the fetus in the cancerous uterus case and the "directly" intended death in the craniotomy case. Application of double effect Palliative care Therapeutic abortion Breaching confidentiality Separation of conjoined twins Legal recognition of doctrine of double effect (cont) Airedale NHS v Bland (1993) • Lord Goff “.[It is] the established rule that a doctor may, when caring for a patient, who is, for example, dying of cancer, lawfully administer painkilling drugs despite the fact that he knows that an incidental effect of that application will be to abbreviate the patient’s life …Such decisions may properly be made as part of the care of the living patient, in his best interest; and, on this basis, the treatment will be lawful”. Aquinas’s Natural Law Theory contains four different types of law: 1. Eternal Law 2. Natural Law 3. Human Law 4. Divine Law Questions? Thank You Copyright 2010 47 Carbon Monoxide •colorless, odorless •produced when carbon does not burn in fossil fuels •present in car exhaust •deprives body of O2 causing headaches, fatigue, and impaired vision Sulfur Dioxide •produced when coal and fuel oil are burned •present in power plant exhaust •narrows the airway, causing wheezing and shortness of breath, especially in those with asthma Nitrogen Dioxide •reddish, brown gas •produced when nitric oxide combines with oxygen in the atmosphere •present in car exhaust and power plants •affects lungs and causes wheezing; Particulate Matter •particles of different sizes and structures that are released into the atmosphere •present in many sources including fossil fuels, dust, smoke, fog, etc. •can build up in respiratory system •aggravates heart and lung disease; increases risk of Ground Level Ozone •at upper level, ozone shields Earth from sun’s harmful UV rays •at ground level, ozone is harmful pollutants •formed from car, power and chemical plant exhaust •irritate respiratory system and asthma; reduces lung function by inflaming and damaging lining of lungs Combination of gases with water vapor and dust • •Combination of words smoke and fog Forms when heat and sunlight react gases (photochemical smog) • •Occurs often with heavy traffic, high temperatures, and calm winds 1st smog related deaths were in London in 1873; death toll 500 people; can you imagine how much worse the atmosphere is now?! • Limits visibility • Decreases UV radiation • Yellow/black color over cities • Causes respiratory problems and bronchial related deaths • Ride your bike • Tell your friends and family about pollution • Make sure your parents get pollution checks on their cars • Ride the school bus • Learn more; stay up to date • Join a group to stop pollution • Encourage your parents to carpool to work • Switch off lights, fan, heat, etc. when you leave the room • Insel, Paul M. and Roth, Walton T. Core Concepts in Health: 9th edition. McGraw Hill: Boston, 2002. • • http:// n_home.html • • • ...
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