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Chapter 3.  Humans have the capacity to think and to choose.  Humans have the capacity to love, which enables us to seek God – who is love.  To possess.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3.  Humans have the capacity to think and to choose.  Humans have the capacity to love, which enables us to seek God – who is love.  To possess."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3

2  Humans have the capacity to think and to choose.  Humans have the capacity to love, which enables us to seek God – who is love.  To possess freedom means to be responsible for our choices and actions, either good or evil.

3  The Catholic Church teaches that freedom is necessary in order for one to seek God.  There are those who believe in determinism – that humans do not really choose, but that every event, action, and decision is a result of forces outside of ourselves – such as the stars, environment, chemical imbalance, society, upbringing, education etc.  The Church rejects this kind of strict determinism.

4  External Freedom – being free from outside factors that threaten our ability to choose – i.e. poverty and oppression.  Internal Freedom – being free from interior factors that limits our ability to choose – i.e. fear, addiction  True freedom frees us to develop our God given gifts and talents in a responsible way so that we can choose good, avoid evil, serve others, and love God.

5  Freedom is not about “doing what I want to do.” Freedom is not license.  This philosophy promotes selfishness and denies one’s responsibility to others and to God. Example – abortion rights.  True freedom elevates our humanity, not demean.

6  There are limits to human freedom – physically, intellectually, and emotionally.  Impediments to freedom – these can limit our level of responsibility:  Ignorance  Inadvertence  Duress  Inordinate attachments  Fear  Habit  These impediments do not have to enslave us, we can overcome them by cultivating good habits and virtues, and above all prayer and God’s grace.

7  With the power to choose, comes responsibility – “every act directly willed is imputable (accountable) to its author” (CCC, 1736).  Our actions also have consequences – good and bad.  By owning up to our mistakes we grow and learn from them.  We must accept full responsibility for the sinful behaviors we voluntarily, freely, and willfully commit.  Some actions are not totally voluntary (such as negligence or ignorance), and be less blameworthy.  Mature Christians use STOP, self-discipline, and virtue.

8  The most basic emotion is “to love.”  Emotions are morally neutral – but depending on how we engage our emotions, can determine whether they lead us to something good or bad.  What we do with our feelings in important. As Christians, our emotions should be channeled to something good.

9  A good law can help keep us focus; it protects us from doing our own thing regardless of consequences.  Law provides us with an objective standard or measure. It warns us of pitfalls and consequences.  Without law, our society would be in chaos.

10  The laws of morality are rooted in God’s law as revealed to us in Scriptures and Tradition.  St Thomas Aquinas identified four types of laws – Eternal Law, Natural Law, Revealed Law, Civil and Church Law.

11  St. Thomas defined Law as – “an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the one in charge of the community” (CCC, 1976).  Law is reasonable – it makes sense and it’s fair (i.e. gun ordinance prohibits indiscriminate shooting).  Law is for the common good – it’s to build up each other and care for the human community (i.e. fair income tax laws).  Law comes from competent authority – appointed authorities can make and enforce laws.  Law must be promulgated – it must be made known and advertised.

12  Divine Law is highest for of law. It’s source is from God. Natural Law is our participation on Divine Law.  NL teaches us what to do and what to avoid. Using our ability to think, we can have a basic understanding of right and wrong.  It corresponds to three basic human drives and need – preserving life, developing as individuals and communities, and sharing life with others.

13  NL is implanted in our hearts. It is universal and unchanging for all people at all times  It is the foundation and basis for civil laws and moral rules.  Because of our weakened nature, it can be difficult to discern natural law. God has filled in this gap by what he revealed to us in the Bible – especially in the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus.

14  A specific application of the natural law according to their customs and circumstances.  For example – why do have traffic laws?  Not all civil laws are good laws. Laws have been passed that violate the dignity of humans (slavery, segregation, abortion on demand).  Civil law is only morally good insofar as they conform to natural law and divine law.  We are not required to obey unjust or evil civil laws, and we have the duty to do all we can to change it.

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