In the middle ages, Thomas Aquinas constructed the Natural Law Theory for ethics… In his view, human beings are pre-loaded with some instincts/drives that make them good.
The natural laws are:
- Preserve life
- Make more life
- Educate one’s offspring
- Seek god
- Live in society
- Avoid offence
- Shun ignorance
I personally agree with this value system in ~80%. Let me explain why…
In my value system the point: “Seek god” does not have a place. In my view ethics and divinity are completely separate things. What is good and what is bad does not come from some higher consciousness… but rather from a deep understanding of who we, humans, really are.
There is one other point where my value system differs from that of Thomas Aquinas, and that is the point: “Make more life”. This is indeed a strongly wired instinct in all animals, and consequently in all humans. But I would not go as far as to give it a prominent place in my value system, because doing so would imply that those who are not having children – either for health or for social reasons, or simply because they choose not to – are somehow less valuable people.