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Freedom, Law and Concience

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Information about Freedom, Law and Concience
Spiritual-Inspirational

Published on September 12, 2008

Author: JoeLopez

Source: authorstream.com

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FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITYNATURAL LAWCONSCIENCE. : 9/12/2008 FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITYNATURAL LAWCONSCIENCE. FREEDOM : 9/12/2008 FREEDOM Introductory questions: 1. Why is it that only human beings, and not animals, are able to act morally? 2. Define a human act. 3. Is freedom limited? How? 4. What's the difference between freedom and licentiousness? 5. Does grace diminish freedom? Slide 3: 9/12/2008 Excess of freedom: "I want to break free”… Or denial of freedom: behaviourism: psychological and social conditions dominate our actions (B. F. Skinner, Walden Two, p. 257: "I deny that freedom exists at all. I must deny it -or my program would be absurd. You can't have a science about a subject matter which hops capriciously about. Perhaps we can never prove that man isn't free; it's an assumption. But the increasing success of a science of behaviour makes it more and more plausible"; materialism: we are nothing but a complex of biological elements, chemical products,… Freedom : 9/12/2008 Freedom "Ability to do what one likes”? CCC 1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Man’s creation : 9/12/2008 Man’s creation Gen 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Man’s creation : 9/12/2008 Man’s creation He gave man intelligence: so that he could discern. God gave man free will in order to love God in his goodness. Dignity of man : 9/12/2008 Dignity of man The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. All natural morality has been assumed into the supernatural moral order. All that man does, affects him spiritually. Moral behaviour : 9/12/2008 Moral behaviour Man is a moral creature: rights & duties; Good / bad / or indifferent Grace is not left to the arbitrary choice of men, but we have to cooperate, so that grace may enrich our souls. If you would enter life, keep my commandments (Matt 19:17) We have restrictions. A partner is a restriction. A boss is another one. A road is a restriction. Licentiousness: to do whatever I want. : 9/12/2008 We have restrictions. A partner is a restriction. A boss is another one. A road is a restriction. Licentiousness: to do whatever I want. Is it possible the “total freedom”? Conscience gives man the capacity to discover God's plan as written in his soul (natural law).A Judgment of reason, recognizing the moral quality of a concrete act. : 9/12/2008 Conscience gives man the capacity to discover God's plan as written in his soul (natural law).A Judgment of reason, recognizing the moral quality of a concrete act. Conscience detects what is right or wrong, but does not create it. : 9/12/2008 Conscience detects what is right or wrong, but does not create it. Conscience:1. TRUE or right.2. ERRONEOUS or false:- invincible ignorance(no moral guilt)- vincible ignorance(no excuse from sin) : 9/12/2008 Conscience:1. TRUE or right.2. ERRONEOUS or false:- invincible ignorance(no moral guilt)- vincible ignorance(no excuse from sin) Conscience:1. CERTAIN2. PROBABLE3. DOUBTFUL4. PERPLEXED“Always act with true and certain conscience.” : 9/12/2008 Conscience:1. CERTAIN2. PROBABLE3. DOUBTFUL4. PERPLEXED“Always act with true and certain conscience.” Human laws : 9/12/2008 Human laws The human person needs life in society in order to develop in accordance with his nature. Certain societies: the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man. Law is a rule of conduct enacted by competent authority for the sake of the common good Every law must respect the natural law (if not, it would be spoilt law). Law does not limit freedom but allows it to function properly.Right moral conduct perfects man,and wrong moral conduct degrades him. : 9/12/2008 Law does not limit freedom but allows it to function properly.Right moral conduct perfects man,and wrong moral conduct degrades him. Can the State (Government) legislate morality?Legalizing prostitution, abortion,…? : 9/12/2008 Can the State (Government) legislate morality?Legalizing prostitution, abortion,…? Moral good and evil cannot be attributed to the animals, only physical good or evil. Human action is the one performed with intelligence and will. : 9/12/2008 Moral good and evil cannot be attributed to the animals, only physical good or evil. Human action is the one performed with intelligence and will. What is sin? : 9/12/2008 What is sin? …a subject that no one wants to discuss… An offense against the moral code. Serious (mortal) or minor (venial) Did I commit a mortal sin???Imputability and responsibility : 9/12/2008 Did I commit a mortal sin???Imputability and responsibility For an act to be good or evil there needs to be consent: only an act that results from consent and freedom can be attributed to man. An action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors. NATURAL MORAL LAW : 9/12/2008 NATURAL MORAL LAW Properties of natural moral law: Universal (to every human person, at all times). Immutable, because the human nature cannot change. Obligatory: in order to tend towards God Command-ments= =conclusions of the natural law. : 9/12/2008 Command-ments= =conclusions of the natural law. The more obedient we are to the promptings of grace, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials. Subjective dispositions : 9/12/2008 Subjective dispositions State of grace natural virtues supernatural virtues rectitude of intention (humility) THEY OPEN THE DOOR TO DIVINE HELP Even a sinner can do good actions, but the lack of sanctifying grace deprives his action of supernatural value. Good and evil : 9/12/2008 Good and evil Ultimate norm of morality of human actions: God’s law (both natural & revealed). Man sees the demands of the divine law though conscience. All men have a grave obligation to form for themselves a correct & true conscience. CONSCIENCE : 9/12/2008 CONSCIENCE The judgment of one’s conscience is not always correct. Through sin, the light of one’s conscience can gradually be darkened (never completely extinguished). Education of one’s conscience (right & true): a lifelong task. Humility & sincerity; means of formation; spiritual direction. Slide 25: 9/12/2008 God considers the action, the right intention and the sincere response. E.g.: Direct abortion, euthanasia,... is always morally wrong. No act that is wrong in itself can become good, however lofty the end proposed. Evil act can never be justified by a good intention. WHY? Because morality does not depend on the person but on the divine law (the conscience is only the interpreter, never the law-maker). Slide 26: 9/12/2008 The moral principle of the double effect 1. The act in itself must be morally good. 2. The good effect must precede the evil effect (or simultaneous) 3. Motive? The good effect. 4. The good effect must be sufficiently desirable to outweigh the evil effect. Cooperation with evil : 9/12/2008 Cooperation with evil Direct cooperation is always wrong Objectivity in morality : 9/12/2008 Objectivity in morality It is never permitted to do evil so that good may come of it. “Situation ethics”: the end justifies the means. Martyrs have given testimony: to sacrifice everything for the truth. Upright intention : 9/12/2008 Upright intention How intention can change the morality of an action: a good intention does not make an objectively bad act a good one; the end does not justify the means (e.g. condemning an innocent person to save the nation); a bad intention makes an objectively good act evil; an evil end corrupts the action. a good intention ensures the goodness of one’s decisions. 1 Corinthians 10:31 : 9/12/2008 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. It reflects a moral duty. Is my habitual intention well oriented? I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me (John 5:30)

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