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Natural Law Theory - Heroes

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Natural Law Theory Ð'- Heroes

Natural law theory has been around since the time of Aristotle and derived from the theory of teleology. Teleology took into account logic and metaphysics. The purpose was to understand the end/purpose of human beings within the context of the ends and purposes of human nature. Thus, natural law theory suggests that we understand the ends/purposes of human nature as a whole within the context of human nature. The ends pursued structure the means and actions by which they are attained. The first principle of natural law theory is to do good and avoid evil. NBC's television series Heroes features a character named Niki Sanders. Niki has Disassociate Identity Disorder and as a result, another personality known as Jessica (her former twin). Jessica often comes out when Niki is in an adverse situation. This often results in death and violence. However, according to natural law theory; some of the violent acts were justifiable while others were clear-cut, murder.

Heroes is an NBC television series in which seemingly normal individuals learn of their superhuman capabilities, Niki Sanders is no exception. As the season progresses, Niki and the others play a vital role in saving humanity. In order to relate her situation to natural law theory, it is important to understand her background. Niki was a former internet stripper from Las Vegas who was just trying to make ends meet. She has the ability to exhibit superhuman strength. Her son's name is Micah Sanders, a child prodigy that has the ability to communicate with electronics. Micah plays a prominent role in Niki's life. She resorted to internet stripping in order to make enough money to send Micah to private school, killed others to protect the well being of her family, and finally allowed herself to undergo medical experimentation, in order to live a normal life with her son.

Niki's other personality is Jessica. Jessica was Niki's twin sister that was beaten and killed when they were younger. Jessica got Niki through the rough times as a child, when her father would beat her. Jessica is tough and has no fear. She believes that the world is out to get her and therefore, does not trust anybody. Jessica comes off as amoral and ruthless and when you think about the 11 individuals she has killed, it is very easy to think this way. However, according to natural law theory, 5 of them were justifiable while the other 6 were not. The first principle of natural law theory is to do good and avoid evil. This principle is the statement that everything else is founded upon. In order to do the good, one must understand how to define the good.

"The good is the aim, purpose or end of an action, where, of course, Ð''good' means the good for man since we are speaking of human deeds" (McInerny, 13). There are two types of goods: real and apparent. A real good is perfecting or fulfilling of human nature while an apparent good frustrates human nature. Niki/Jessica's violent acts can be broken up into two categories: those done in pursuit of a real good and those pursued in favor of an apparent good. According to natural law theory, all human action is moral (good or bad); this is known as Moral1. In contrast, Moral2 deals only with the good moral actions. Niki Sanders provides us with examples that are relevant to Moral1.

The real good involves a physical element, one that also involves the preservation of human life. In this case, 3 of D.L.'s (her husband) gang members and two of Linderman's (a very powerful corporate conglomerate executive) mobsters were justified deaths. Let us refer to our model of natural law theory; the thinking, willing, character is Niki Sanders, The action (means) is self-preservation that resulted in the aggressors' deaths, and the end is securing a safe environment for the Sanders family. Niki's first kills were three of her husband's (D.L.) gang members that helped her steal $2 million from Linderman. Afterwards, they threatened her life, so she ultimately ended up killing them. In this situation the relative moral principle is preservation of someone's life (an important moral principle). She was also preserving D.L.'s life in a way as well. D.L. had been trying to get out of the gang, however; there is only one way to get out of a gang; death. Simply said, it is in our human nature to preserve life and defend ourselves in fight or flight situations.

The other justifiable instance was somewhat similar to D.L.'s situation with leaving the gang. Niki wanted to leave Linderman's "staff", however; she owed him money. Linderman send two of his thugs to her home, where they waited for her to return. When she got home they attempted to rape her and threatened her life. The Jessica personality came out and Linderman's men were torn to shreds. Again, this boils down to the preservation of human life. This time, it is her life that is at stake. The end here is to preserve her life so that she can take care of Micah. This becomes apparent later on in the series when she is willing to turn herself in to the



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