38. The morality of the human act

  Introduction

 The singular category of man –which distinguishes and elevates him above other beings of visible creation- is that he is endowed with intelligence and will –he is created in the image and likeness of God-, with freedom to make decisions. But, being creature, his freedom must be harmonized with God and with their fellowmen. This is what the commandments dictate, which are paths of freedom, bringing order to the exercise of creatural freedom so that it be true freedom, harmonized and harmonious with the freedom of others.

    Consequently, if there is a legitimate commandment, a man has the obligation to obey and it is not morally free, although it be psychological and physical; if there is no a commandment, he is free to make any decision. Thus, a man has to educate his freedom in order to use it correctly; it means, he has to act like a man exercising the intelligence and the will, but referred to an objective and transcendent rule that directs and regulates his behavior.

    Morality, then, is a quality of the human act exercised freely; and it will be positive –good- if it fits to the rule that orders him as a rational being; it will be negative -bad- if he acts irrationally against the rule.

  A. Answer with one of these words: will, strength, luck, freedom, obligation or whim

 A man is endowed with intelligence and

 He can make a decision with

 If there is one legitimate commandment, the man has to obey with






  Main ideas

1. Sources of morality

   In the most elementary experience of human being occurs a phenomenon that should be noted: a person knows when he acts well or badly, when his actions are good or bad. ¿How does he know? The conscience tells him, that inner voice says: do good and avoid evil. But the conscience only translates the previous conviction that we have recorded in the deep of us, a law, to which we must submit; since, if we act in accordance with it, we act well; and if we act against it, we act badly.

    In order to have a clear and simple view on hand, the authors consider that morality depends of the object, purpose and circumstances:

    a) The object chosen is a good to what the will has tendency, it can be said that it is the matter of human act. There are things that are good in themselves and things that are bad in themselves, it means, forever. For example, take the life of an innocent will always be a crime, although you want to dissimulate with hypocritical euphemisms; on the contrary, worshiping God is a good act in itself.

    b) The purpose or the intention of the act can modify morality, it can aggravate or lower the good or bad quality of an act; and assuring clearly that evil don’t turn into good, whatever the circumstances.

    Therefore, so that an act be morally good, it must be good the object, purpose and the circumstances; if any of these things is bad, the act is bad. He would make a mistake, since, who judges the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them, or the circumstances (atmosphere, social pressure, duress or necessity of acting, etc.). There are acts -independent of the circumstances and the intention- that are seriously wrong by the reason of its object, so moral ensures strongly that never is permitted to do evil to get a good.

  B. Choose one of these answers: grace, conscience, evil, boredom, circumstances, strength, object, purpose or factor

 Inner voice of a man is called

 To do good and avoid

 Morality depends of the object, purpose and the

 It is a good to what the will has tendency

 It’s the intention of the person who does the action

 Other factors have influence on morality

 There are actions that are good in themselves

 An action done with a bad intention is bad

 Never is permitted to do evil to get a good

 So that an act be good, it must be good the object, the circumstances and the


2. Morality of passions

    The human being goes together with impulses, tendencies, emotions and feelings Which are known like “passions”, recognized like strength that God has placed in the nature and they inspire us to work. Consequently the strength can be disordered in the sin and they cause tension in a man, but certainly useful if we can control them. They are like dammed water: dammed and channeled is source of life and energy; if the dam breaks, it causes catastrophe.

    Love and hate, desire and fear, joy, sadness and anger are the main passions. The passions in themselves are neither good nor bad, but they dependent on the reason and will and what they encourage us to do good or evil. Then the passions are morally good when they contribute to a good action, and they are morally bad if they push us to do evil. The passions can be assumed in the virtues or perverted by the vices.

3. Always act facing God

    It is not easy to master the passions subjecting them to reason with a strong and orderly freedom, but it is necessary if we want to live with dignity that entail the human condition and above all the dignity of Christians, that are known like sons of God. It is necessary to want it and strive for it, and we need above all the grace of God, that the Holy Spirit gives in abundance to those who ask. So we can get that our behaviour –all of them- be good because the object, purpose and the circumstances are good, despite the passions; or overcoming the passions without letting ourselves be carried away by them.

    A recommendation from St. Agustine – collected at the Council of Trent- can encourage us to strive against passions taking advantage the direction of Providence: “God doesn’t send impossible things but when God sends something, he warns us to do whatever we can, we can ask him what we can’t do and he will help us to be able to do it”. Then the Holy Spirit helps our whole being –included sorrow, fear and sadness, as it is shown in the agony and Passion of Christ –in order to be for God. When we live in Christ, the human feelings can reach their consummation in charity.


Catechesis course. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With the permission of the authors.


  C. Choose one of these answers: virtues, passions, good, evil, reason, freedom, possible or impossible.

 Love, hate, desire, fear and anger are

 The passions are good if they encourage us to do

 The passions are bad if they encourage us to do

 We have to strive to subdue the passions to

 God doesn’t send things


  Catechisms questions

1. ¿What are the sources of morality of human act?  The sources of morality of human act are the object, purpose and the circumstances.

2. What is necessary so that an act be morally good?  So that an act be morally good, it must be good the object, purpose and the circumstances.

3. ¿Can we do a bad thing in order to get a good purpose?  We must not do a bad thing in order to get a good purpose because the purpose never justifies the means; in this case, the purpose would be the average.

  D. Choose the correct answer. Below are the possible answers:


 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

 ¿What are the sources of morality of human act?

 ¿What is necessary so that an act be morally good?

 ¿Can we do a bad thing in order to get a good purpose?


 POSSIBLE ANSWERS

 A

 It must be good the object, purpose and the circumstances.

 B

 The object, purpose and the circumstances.

 C

 We must not do a bad thing in order to get a good purpose because the purpose never justifies the means; in this case, the purpose would be the average.


  Purposes of Christian Life

-In doubt if we are doing good, asking ourselves if the object, purpose and circumstances are good.

-Sometimes, we have to be heroic to do good without letting ourselves be carried away by the circumstances and the atmosphere that never justify an immoral conduct



 
If you are registered, please enter your data:
 
Name::

Password::

 

Registration Information

| Educational applications | Religión |
 | 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