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Evaluating Natural Law. LO: I will give some strengths and weaknesses to Natural Law Hmk: Revise for end of unit assessment on Natural Law next lesson. Tip: Read and make notes on Natural Law chapter from Dialogue magazine, ‘Ethical Theory.’ STARTER: Natural Law Acronym.

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Evaluating Natural Law


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    1. Evaluating Natural Law LO: I will give some strengths and weaknesses to Natural Law Hmk: Revise for end of unit assessment on Natural Law next lesson. Tip: Read and make notes on Natural Law chapter from Dialogue magazine, ‘Ethical Theory.’ STARTER: Natural Law Acronym

    2. Primary and Secondary precepts • To arrive at the secondary precepts you have to reason what would be an essential route towards this primary precept. • See the example of sex pg 103 of AS textbook

    3. The Debate Game ‘Natural Law is inadequate when it comes to making moral decisions.’ RULES: 1.You will be scored on preparation, contribution, and quick thinking 2. Only one person may speak at one time. • 1 Minute on what you think of the title, and why you are correct. (you will be given a view) • 30 second on why others are wrong. • Ask a question to each group. (they will have ten seconds to nominate a person and then respond) • You will then have 1 minute to prepare your closing statement.

    4. Natural Law from OCR Candidates should understand the origins of Natural Law in Aristotle, but later championed by Aquinas, who uses the term ‘Natural Law’ to refer to the moral law. It will be helpful to understand that it is a deductive theory, starting with basic principles and from these deducing the right action in a particular situation. It should also be explained as broadly deontological – the motive for the action and the action itself, not the outcomes determine whether it is right or wrong. By using our reason we can discover precepts or laws, which if followed enable us to act in accordance with our true nature and so in accordance with our final purpose. Both the strengths and weaknesses of Natural Law need to be examined, and the extent to which it is a basis for traditional Christian morality. Candidates should have a good understanding of the primary and secondary precepts and how they apply to the practical problems in the specification.

    5. Exam practice 1(a) Explain Natural Law Theory [25] Candidates might consider that Aquinas developed an absolute and deontological theory, Natural Law, from the ideas of Aristotle and that it states that certain acts are intrinsically right or wrong. They may explain that Natural Law directs people to their divine destiny and that this is God’s law which can be seen in scripture but also deduced through reason. Good acts are those which enable humans to fulfil their purpose and are in accordance with the primary precepts. Better candidates may explore the idea that humans can be led by ‘apparent goods’ which lead them away from Natural Law. They may also mention that both the intention and the act are important. Candidates may give examples to illustrate the theory. 1(b) ‘Natural Law is not the best approach to euthanasia’. Discuss. [10] Some candidates may agree with this statement, and argue that Natural Law is too rigid and does not take account of different situations. They may argue that Natural Law is a good approach as it supports the Sanctity of Life, but that natural Law does allow a patient to refuse treatment if it is over and above what is needed for existence. Good answers will contrast the approach of Natural law with that of a more relativist approach which considers each situation and the consequences of euthanasia on the patient, family and friends.

    6. Hot Seating Randomly select pupils to answer the following 3 questions: • Give one explanation of NL • One strength • One weakness