Primary Secondary
Preserve life. Do not kill the innocent.
Ordered society. Respect the rule of law.
Worship God. Appreciate and value the beauty, pray and go to church.
Education. Pursue knowledge and truth.
Reproduction. Do not abort, don’t use contraception.

How do the Primary Precepts help humans achieve their final purpose?

  • The primary precepts help us to identify what our God-given purposes in life are and therefore they identify which acts are ‘good’.
  • If will fulfil these purposes, they will bring us closer to God and our ultimate goal of re-establishing a ‘right’ relationship with God.
  • By doing so we may gain eternal life with God in heaven.

What are secondary precepts and are they absolutist?

  • These secondary precepts were designed by Aquinas in order to help people to work out or know what they should or shouldn’t do because they either uphold or fail to uphold the primary precepts.
  • These secondary precepts are all derived from Aquinas’ original primary precepts.
  • However these secondary precepts have to be interpreted in the context of the situation and there is flexibility in extreme circumstances.