Have a look at the Strengths and Weaknesses of Natural Law.
- Using reason to determine God’s purpose for humans does not give consistent results – something might have a number of functions or uses, so how can you determine which is its God-given purpose?
- Natural Law is supposed to produce objective moral principles, but we would often be influenced by our society’s morality. For example, Aquinas believed that Kings, barons, knights, freemen and serfs was the natural order of society
- Aquinas needs to look at the human as a whole, not just at functioning parts; this way, we can understand the emotional and psychological value of sex, not just the physical ‘purpose’ of intercourse
- You may get a different set of rules if you look at the purpose of human society rather than of the individual (used as a justification for celibacy in priests, but could be a way to justify things such as homosexuality)
- Protestants have argued that Natural Law removes the need for God’s grace, as being good means following the rules, not being saved
- Many argue that there is no purpose in life; to support this argument, they point to tragedies such as the recent terrorism in New York, ‘acts of God’ such as floods or genetically inherited diseases and say that there is no designer behind the universe
- In some cases it seems cruel to follow a rule when the consequences are terrible; if we accept that it is occasionally alright to break Natural Laws then the whole theory is weakened.
- Do men and women have the same ultimate purpose, or are they intrinsically different?