The fundamental principle of practical reasoning refers to a rule that should be followed while reasoning, thus leading to rational conclusions. At the same time, the above principle is to be followed directly without applying any other rules in terms of reasoning (Setiya, 2014). The structure of rational assumptions should be clear and thorough as well. In other words, considering the fundamental principle of practical reasoning, a person should decide to act in case his or her intention is based on coherent explanation, and if this decision is not worse than some other existing options. It should be noted that the practical reasoning principle may include various types such as statements, instructions, questions, etc. In the process of reasoning, these statements are given certain estimates. A conclusion formulated in the course of practical reasoning is rational if and only if a person applied the mentioned principle. While following the fundamental principle of practical reasoning, one should pay attention not only to facts but also to personal views, morale, desires, and other issues that are likely to affect the outcome of reasoning.
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Thomas Aquinas’ views regarding good and evil are associated with natural law. He states that people tend to be naturally inclined towards good since they have a free will and natural reasoning ability to understand what is good and what is bad, thus coming up with the best decision possible (Dauphinais & Levering, 2014). Therefore, one may agree with the above statements. Human law includes only those human institutions that correspond to natural law, namely, to the dictates of the physical and moral nature of a man. Otherwise, these institutions present a distortion of the law and deviation from it. If one would consider the natural inclination as a participation in the eternal law, then it is possible to state that people strive to improve the world by inherently adhering to good. However, some people may be inclined to evil, who does not listen to appeals of others (Dauphinais & Levering, 2014). It is necessary to help them in turning to good by using fear, so that they refrain from evil, do not violate someone else’s peace, and, finally, become righteous.
Discussing abortion in terms of natural law, one should note that the latter is always against the former. As argued by Budziszewski (2014), natural law cannot be associated with taking someone’s life, be it abortion or war. Abortion is considered by natural law as the murder of an innocent life, especially that of partial birth abortion when a fetus is removed from the uterus physically resulting in death. Natural law does not consider some arguments provided by abortion supporters, including a woman’s right to decide about her own body. More to the point, such cases as the early detection of Down’s syndrome or other diseases in a fetus, which cannot be treated, are not covered by natural law principles. In this connection, it is possible to stress that natural law prohibits all cases of abortion and fails to take into account the cases when abortion may be the most rational decision for parents. Even though fetus murder violates the law of God, abortion should not be illegal due to the mentioned cases. Nevertheless, according to natural law, the legality of abortion would, perhaps, mean that there is no God or that He has no law.
Budziszewski, J. (2014). The line through the heart: Natural law as fact, theory, and sign of contradiction. New York, NY: Open Road Media.
Dauphinais, M., & Levering, M. (2014). Knowing the love of Christ: An introduction to the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
Setiya, K. (2014). What is a reason to act?. Philosophical Studies, 167(2), 221-235.