About our Speaker: Dr. Frederick A. Smith is a retired pathologist from Lurie Children's Hospital. He has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an M.D. from Georgetown University. He has been teaching courses on issues related to Faith and Science at Northridge Prep for several years.
Session 1: The Law of the Jungle? – In this lecture, we will look at the concepts of Law, Nature and Natural Law. Thomas Aquinas’ classic definitions of each will provide the starting point for our discussion. We will also cover several theories of Natural Law that have been developed.
Session 2: The Natural Moral Law. – In this lecture we will see how Thomas Aquinas incorporated the work of Aristotle into a virtue-based approach to human excellence, one in which Natural Law is an intrinsic component. We will show, moreover, how although the Natural Law is a law of reason, it also serves as the basis for and is compatible with revealed Truth.
Session 3: Subjective Conscience or Objective Truth? – If everyone is called to follow his/her conscience, how could there be objective, moral norms for everyone in society? Are proponents of the Natural Law "imposing" their views of morality on others who may not accept them? Who decides who is right? And on what basis is that judgment to be made? Whose views should be tolerated and whose should not?
Session 4: How far can I go? – This is a common question among teenagers. The problem is not so much with the question as with what it presupposes. This question views law as arbitrary and as limiting of freedom. What is the true relationship between freedom and law, between nature and freedom, between freedom and obedience? How can we educate our children in a Christian vision of human life?
Session 5: Bioethics and Social Ethics Today: A Slippery Slope?(!) –In modern society, we see a vast divergence of views on a number of (literally) vital issues. Can natural law theory provide us with a common basis for reasoned discussion of issues such as cloning, euthanasia, abortion, eugenics, contraception, gay “marriage” and many others? What is next? How can some of these steps be undone?
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