3. Morality

  1. Morality of human acts

   Morality is a quality of human acts. Action is good if it is consistent with moral law and right reason. On the contrary, it is bad. You have take into account the object, the purpose and the circumstances.

   The object is what we do; the purpose is the end use of that object. For instance, the building of a chalet is the object of my will; the purpose of that object is being able to live in there during holidays. Object and purpose are consistent with right reason, so they are good actions.

   To study the seven circumstances we are going to give another example: a robbery. Both, object and purpose of this action are against right reason and moral law, so that action is bad.

   The circumstances are: who, what, with what means, what for, how, when and where.

   a) “Who” is the agent who does something. It is not the same if a child steals something as if an old man does it; a hungry is different from a wealthy man.

   b) “What” is the quantity or quality of the act. It shows itself in how much or how little I steal. Or if I steal food, money, jewelry, etc.

   c) “With what means” the robbery was made, i.e., with a gun, a ladder, etc.

   d) “What for”, which was the purpose of the agent, their intention: if they stole to eat, to spend it in vices, etc.

   e) “How”, the way it was made, with violence, by treason, etc.

   f) “When”, by day or night.

   g) “Where” or in what place: in a private house, in the street, in a church, etc.

   If the object of the action (robbery) is against moral law, the action is bad. Circumstances can alleviate (soften) or aggravate (get worse) the wickedness of an action.

  A. Choose the right letter: a, b, c. (If the letter turns into red the answer is correct)

  1. What we do is

    a. the end use
    b. the circumstances
    c. the object

  2. The end use of that object is

    a. the purpose
    b. the object
    c. the circumstances

 3. The circumstances are

    a. six
    b. seven
    c. eight

 4. The object and the purpose of robbery are

    a. good
    b. bad
    c. regular

 5. If someone used a ladder or a gun we are talking about

    a. means
    b. who
    c. what for

 6. The place the robbery was committed is

    a. when
    b. who
    c. where






  2. Synderesis, moral science and moral conscience

   Faced with the morality of human acts, we can find ourselves in three situations:

   a) Before moral principles. For instance, do good and avoid evil. These principles are evident and universal. They belong to synderesis, by which understanding judges immediately.

   b) Before some not evident general norms. For example, study is good. That is examined by moral science. Moral truths are founded by reasoning.

   c) Before a practical, particular and specific case. For instance, I study. This act belongs to moral conscience, which judges specific cases shown up to each individual.

   In our case: synderesis tell us that the good has to be made; moral science teach us that studying is good, and the judgment of conscience show us that when I study do good.

  B. Choose the right letter: a, b, c.

  1. Moral principles deal with

    a. synderesis
    b. moral science
    c. conscience

  2. General and not evident norms are related to

    a. moral science
    b. synderesis
    c. conscience

 3. Before a practical and specific case, we face

    a. moral science
    b. synderesis
    c. conscience

 4. Good has to be done according to

    a. moral science
    b. synderesis
    c. conscience

 5. Who tells us that studying is good?

    a. synderesis
    b. conscience
    c. moral science

 6. Who shows us that if I study do good?

    a. moral science
    b. conscience
    c. synderesis






  3. Conscience

   Conscience is the practical judgment of reason, by which we judge something must be done because it is good or be rejected because it is bad.

   Conscience is like a reflection of the law we carry in our soul. It is the favorable or unfavorable witness of what we do. Conscience advises us, accuses us or absolves us, rebukes us or applauds us.

   It is quite important to have a well-formed conscience, by means of studying moral science.

   Not all men have the same conscience. Some have a true or right conscience when they judge the goodness or wickedness of an act in accordance with moral law. Others have erroneous or false conscience, when they consider “good” an action that in fact is “bad” or vice versa. We have to get out of erroneous or false conscience, studying appropriate books and asking to a formed people.

   Human freedom does not consist of a lack of laws. We are not to do simply what we feel like or please us. We have to do what we must do. Moral freedom has to be educated in such a way that laws we are obliged to be accomplished with a sense of responsibility. We do good obeying laws and so we become good and free. Men have to act freely, with their will guided by knowledge and a well-formed conscience.

  C. Choose the right letter: a, b, c.

  1. The practical judgment of reason is

    a. moral science
    b. conscience
    c. synderesis

  2. We carry on conscience in

    a. books
    b. notes
    c. soul

 3. Conscience has to be

    a. initiated
    b. doubtful
    c. well-formed

 4. The contrary of true conscience is

    a. erroneous or false conscience
    b. accurate
    c. right

 5. Human freedom consists of

    a. not having laws
    b. doing what we must do
    c. doing what we feel like or please us

 6. We have to obey moral laws with a sense of

    a. responsibility
    b. erroneous conscience
    c. hesitant conscience




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| Educational applications | Philosophy |
For young |In Spanish | To print |

®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL