Explain the strengths and weaknesses of Natural Law
Natural Law is the concept that there are universal absolute laws determined by a supernatural power (God) and based around five primary precepts, thought up by Thomas Aquinas. The fact Natural Law is deontological may be a weakness for some making it inflexible but there can be ways of getting around this as you read on. This essay will explain both the strengths and weaknesses of Natural Law.
The first strength is the fact that Natural law is a rational theory, meaning that we use innate human reason to decipher what is wrong from. This is not to be confused with emotions; these can be easily changed and altered whereas reason does not change, so what is right always remains right. This makes it an his makes it an objective theory, it is not open to interpretation This means when we conduct an action we don’t do it out of the urge of the moment but we do it because our reason tells us it is the right or wrong thing to do.
However, being a deontological argument, and accepting certain actions to be intrinsically right or wrong no account is taken of the situation. It can be strongly argued that whether something is right or wrong depends on the circumstances under which it takes place, begging the question should we all come to the same conclusions about what is right and what is wrong? But this is where the next strength comes into play. Sometimes it can be a misunderstanding to think of Natural Law as inflexible and absolutist as it seems. The primary precepts may be universal and unchanging, but as Aquinas himself argued, secondary precepts (the application of primary precepts which create the apparent absolute rules of Natural law) can change. An exception can be made depending on circumstances, culture and if the doctrine of double effect has occurred. The Doctrine of Double Effect is a way to escape the moral dilemmas which exist when two primary precepts combat each other and one precept must be...