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Morality of Human Acts

Geraldine S. Canete, RN, MAN


Adapted from the lecture of:
Ms. Maria Teresita B. Dalusong,
PTRP, MHPEd
Objectives:
Explain the nature of man & its
dignity.
Explain the concept of freedom of
man and of its human action
Differentiate human acts & acts of
man
Explain the morality of Human Acts
Determine the moral determinants of
human acts
Nature of Man & its Dignity
Intellect Thinking/
Soul
knowing the
TRUTH
Wil Choosing the
Body l GOOD
To will something, one has to know beforehand.
Man cannot choose or act unless he knows which is a
better good.
When a person chooses to act according to what he
knows is right He acts freely
Only man is capable of acting free HUMAN ACTS
But the intellect does not always determine the will.
When is MAN FREE in his
actions? Thinking/
Soul Intellect
knowing the
TRUTH
Choosing the
Wil GOOD
Body
l
When is an act freely done?
1. Under the control of the WILL - It is the
power tending toward, choosing, adhering
to & taking pleasure in a GOOD KNOWN BY
THE INTELLECT - voluntary
2. We do things because we want to, we own
the decision or the action
3. We face the consequence of our
Nature of Freedom
Proceeds from the intellect and will
Based on reason which the will followed
When man makes decisions, he is free.
Man is accountable for what he is doing
because he is CONSCIOUS of what he is
doing, why he is doing it & how he is doing
it.
Results
DECISION in ACTION CONSEQUEN
CESwith
Faced

Sense of
Leo Lopez
responsibility
You shall know the
truth
TRUTH = BEING = GOOD

LAW
Intellect Will
FREEDOM
...and the truth shall make you
free.
Leo Lopez
Human Acts versus Act of
Man
Human acts
Actions done Consciously and freely by
the agent/or by man
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES/ Constituent
Elements of Human Acts
1. Knowledge of the act
2. Freedom
3. Voluntariness
Man takes into responsibility of these
actions
Human Acts versus Act of
Man
Acts of Man
Actions beyond ones consciousness; not
dependent on the intellect & the will
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES of Acts of Man
Done with out knowledge
Without consent
Involuntary
Ex: unconscious, involuntary, semi-deliberate,
spontaneous actions
Acts of man can become human acts when he
employs his intellect & will in performing the act.
ACTS not morally accountable

Acts of persons asleep or under


hypnosis.

Reflex actions where the will has


no time to intervene.

Acts of performed under serious


physical violence
e.g. a hostage obliged to do an
evil action.
Since the will is constrained, then
EXERCISE: Human Act or Act of
Man?
Looking
Seeing
Dreaming
Day dreaming
Hearing
Listening
Walking
Sleepwalking
Morality of Human Acts
What is Morality?
From the Greek word MORES - behavior
Refers to the sense of rightness or
wrongness of an act.
Quality of the human act that is either
good or bad, right or wrong based on
some norms that are either inherent in
the act or are observed due to some
individual or social conventional
acceptance
--- Manlangit
A moral act depends
on whether or not
there is consent by
the will.

HUMAN
ACTS
They
include

1) Thought
2) Speech
3)
What is the basis of
Morality?
Morality is based in part upon the
fundamental conviction that:
1. There is an objective moral law
which can be known by the intellect
NATURAL MORAL LAW
2. Some actions are intrinsically evil
not justifiable regardless of the
circumstance
Basic Inclination of Man based on
Natural Law

1. Seek food including the highest


good which is God.
2. Preserve himself in existence
3. To preserve the species
4. Live in community with other men
5. To use his intellect & will to know
the truth & make his own
decisions
prepared by: Ms. Teresita
Dalusong, PTRP, MHPHEd
Which Action is subjected to
morality?

Human Acts? Acts of Man?

All Human act are subjected to


morality.
Human acts are different from animal
act because man by nature acts
towards an end. His life has a
purpose.
Morality and Human
Acts
Human acts are those that are
freely chosen in consequence
of a judgment of conscience.
They are either good or evil.
Their morality depends on: the
object chosen, the
intention and the
circumstances.
Moral Determinants of Human Acts

HUMAN ACTS are neutral in


themselves but they acquire morality
when we speak of:
1. OBJECT OF THE ACT
2. CIRCUMSTANCE
3. INTENTION
Moral Determinants of Human Acts
1. OBJECT OF THE ACT
- Substance/nature of the action
- Good which the will deliberately directs itself
- OBJECT specifies the act of the will
- Nature of what was done to its distinct species
- What was performed by the moral agent?
- An object if the act is Good when it is in
conformity with reason or when it fulfills or fits
the demand of reason. Otherwise, the object
of the act is evil.
Moral Determinants of Human Acts
2. INTENTION/END IN VIEW
- Motive of the agent factor which the agent acts;
either be morally good or evil
- Purpose for which a human agent performs the act
- Concerned with the goal of the activity
- It aims at the good anticipated from the action
undertaken
- What specifically does the agent want to accomplish?
Good intention doesnt make an intrinsically
disordered act right
The end does not justify the means.
Moral Determinants of Human Acts
3. CIRCUMSTANCE
- Refers to the events, occasions or conditions
that make the act concrete
- Modify acts either by increasing or
diminishing of the moral goodness or
evilness of an act/ responsibility of the agent
- Lighten or aggravate the weight of moral
accountability of the performer
* The circumstance do not change the
specific nature of the human act.
Moral Determinants of Human Acts

HUMAN ACTS are neutral in


themselves but they acquire morality
when we speak of:
1. OBJECT OF THE ACT
2. CIRCUMSTANCE
3. INTENTION
What makes a morally act good or
bad?
1. Goodness of object, end or intention &
circumstance all together as well as
consequence
2. Evil end or intention corrupts the action even if
the object is good
3. Avoid concrete acts that are always wrong to
choose object of the act
4. The acts which in & of themselves independent
of circumstance & intention are always gravely
illicit by reason of their object.
Error: to judge only the intention & circumstance
JUDGING THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS

The moral object can either be


good (e.g. praying)
bad (e.g. stealing)
indifferent (e.g. eating)

The intention can be either good


or bad.
JUDGING THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS

There are some actions that


are evil by their very nature.
(e.g. murder, adultery).

These are never morally


allowable, even if the
intention and the
circumstances are good.
Moral Determinants of Human Acts

HUMAN ACTS are neutral in


themselves but they acquire morality
when we speak of:
OBJECT
CIRCUMSTANCE
INTENTION
CONSEQUENCES
Objectives:
Explain the nature of man & its
dignity.
Explain the concept of freedom of
man and of its human action
Differentiate human acts & acts of
man
Explain the morality of Human Acts
Determine the moral determinants of
human acts
Human Act as Freely Chosen
Human Acts are not merely physical
events that come & go, like the
falling of rain or the turning of the
leaves, nor do they as Karol Wojtyla
emphasized in THE ACTING PERSON,
happen to a person.
Human Act as Freely Chosen
They are, rather, the outward
expression if a persons choices for
at the core of a human act is free,
self determining choice, an act of the
will, which as such is something
spiritual that abides within the
person, giving him his identity as a
moral being.
Human Act as Freely Chosen
Although many human acts have
physical, observable components,
they are morally significant because
they embody and carry out free
human choices.
We are free to choose what we are to
do and, by so choosing, to make
ourselves the kind of person we are.
Human Act as Freely Chosen
But we are not free to make what we
choose to do to be good or evil, right
or wrong.

We know this from our own sad


experience, for at time we have
freely chosen to do things that we
knew, at the very moment we choose
to do them, were morally wrong. We
can, in short, choose badly or well.