What are Natural Law Ethics?

I was going over some writing from when I was taking a course in Ethics while attending Bible College, and I thought the information would be good discussion material.  I do not recall the source material. If anyone recognizes any of this, please let me know, so I can attribute it appropriately.

Natural Law Ethics says the universe and humans are made to operate in a particular way. All people have moral responsibilities because we have moral laws built into us by God. When things do not operate the way they are supposed to, we feel feelings that let us know.  Natural is the equivalent of right or good.  When we have a sense of well-being, things are going as they should.  When things are out of kilter, we feel feelings of disgust or guilt.

Moral law is universal and constant. They tell us how God wants us to live here and now.  Because God is rational and there is consistency and structure in nature. Ethical direction can be found in what is common to all naturally. “All those things to which man has a natural inclination, are naturally apprehended by reason as being good.” It is reason that allows people to discern good and evil.  We follow natural law most closely when we do what appeals to the highest element of human nature. Good should be done and evil avoided.  There are hierarchies of natural laws.

The question is, do moral laws transcend culture, time, and location? Does everyone, everywhere, everywhen, think the same things are right and wrong?


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