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Unit 3 – Chapter 8 Norms For Moral Living. Norms  Norms are something that is usual, typical, or standard a standard or pattern, especially of social.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 3 – Chapter 8 Norms For Moral Living. Norms  Norms are something that is usual, typical, or standard a standard or pattern, especially of social."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 3 – Chapter 8 Norms For Moral Living

2 Norms  Norms are something that is usual, typical, or standard a standard or pattern, especially of social behaviour, that is typical or expected a required standard; a level to be complied with or reached:

3 Norms  Norms serve as guides for action Moral norms are helpful in examining our conscience by giving us some criteria or standards. Norms unify people by setting parameters for how we can live in peace with one-another.  Norms impart wisdom from those who have had experience on certain matters (i.e. drunk driving).  Norms give us security as we mature by providing us with guidance.  We see them in many forms: Laws, rules principles, commandments, and maxims Therefore, we have duties, obligations, and expectations to meet

4 Norms

5 Norms Are Declared By An Authority  Ten Commandments are proclaimed with God’s name and authority behind them  The Church – we recognize the authority of the pope, bishops, priests, and our parents  Civil Law – the authority of the prime minister, judges, doctors, teachers, police, etc.

6 Norms & Authority Continued  Authority is derived from the power granted to them via election, delegation, ordination to name a few  Positions of leadership empower these people to make laws, set rules, and prescribe behaviour  All norms have the following 3 characteristics:

7 1. Norms Must Be Reasonable  They cannot be arbitrary  If a rule is reasonable and is explained rationally it creates a sense of obligation to obey it (internalized)  Therefore, duty and obligation are rational Does this sound familiar? Think Kant!  If you do not internalize the rule, an external obligation to obey the rule is established (by an authority)

8 2. Norms Involve Our Freedom  Address our sense of responsibility  Moral norms promote and protect values  Although violating norms can result in punishment, moral norms function to promote our freedom

9 Norms & Freedom Continued  Five ways norms promote our freedom: 1. Impart wisdom 2. Give us security 3. Help us make good, quick decisions 4. Help us examine our conscience 5. They unify people

10 3. Norms Direct Our Inclinations & Desires  They are like street signs that help us navigate the maze of human inclinations and desires The ‘ought to’ principle

11  St. Thomas Aquinas defined law as “a reasonable decision promulgated by a competent authority for the common good”.

12 LAWS  Laws are designed to protect and defend the rights and interests of the common good.  These protect the members of the group from possible harm while preserving the bond and unity that is created within the group.  Laws are formalized and usually legislated.

13 A law needs the following 5 basic requirements:  1. A Lawmaker: God’s Law – Divine Positive Law ○ God began his law with the covenant (the Ten Commandments). It is from God so it is Divine and it cannot be changed or altered – it is positive law Natural Law – Natural Moral Law ○ Created in God’s image, God’s law is embedded in us. It is unwritten yet known by all men and women who have the use of reason. This makes the law natural. It is moral because it deal applies only to moral acts – acts that involve free will Human Law – Human Positive Law ○ These laws are created by humans (ex. stop signs). They are positive because they are clearly written. They are conditioned by modern times, such as time period, place and culture.

14 5 Requirements Continued  2. A Specific Direction of Action: Laws are written specifically so people know how to act. Civil Laws ○ Laws that are written and enforced by local, national and worldwide groups (ex. municipal, provincial, federal) that cover all areas of human life Canon Law ○ The supreme law of the Church that covers all aspects of Church life (ex. teachings, customs, sacraments, etc.)

15 5 Requirements Continued  3. The Common Good: Laws are made to protect the rights, well- being and interests of all people – the common good.  4. A Specific Group if People: Laws are set up to help groups/institutions realize the good life in a way that is helpful and beneficial to all.

16 5 Requirements Continued  5. Obligation: As humans we are morally obligated to protect the common good and the laws that promote it. On the other hand we need to stand up against laws that do not protect the dignity or well-being of people.

17 Rules  A prescribed guide for conduct or action  Indicate how we ought to behave in certain situations  Usually not legislated, but are obligatory guidelines for action  Rules can be absolute, generally binding, or relative

18 Absolute Rules  Generally apply to all circumstances  They are guides to action, however, they do not enter into detail as to what you must do in a particular situation Examples: The Golden Rule, do good and avoid evil, be honest

19 Generally Binding Rules  Apply to all circumstances, unless another compelling rule is in conflict with this rule Example: Do Not Kill is generally binding, but, for the purposes of legitimate self- defence this rule is superseded by other rules (and laws)

20 Conflicting Rules  In many cases, when rules conflict it is difficult to choose the correct course of action In other words: which rule takes precedence? ○ When do you remove a ventilator from a comatose patient? ○ When does the administration of medication to ease pain become euthanasia?

21 Maxims  A general truth or rule of conduct  Also known as proverbs or rules of thumb  They offer guidelines or advice  Based on culture, customs, and community (schools, parish, etc.)  The Bible provides us with words from the wise

22 Maxims Continued  These books are known as the Books of Wisdom:  Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach, and Job

23 Maxims Continued - The Book of Proverbs  For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer (of gossip), quarreling ceases ~Proverbs 26: 20  In all toil there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty ~Proverbs 14: 23  Speak for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy ~Proverbs 31: 8-9

24  Intro. Activity ‘imagine all norms, laws, etc. are abolished’ Laws & Society class activity – individual, small group & follow-up discussion  Laws Rules Maxims.doc identification activity  Norms Rules Laws & Maxims.doc step 2 activity  Laws & Freedom.doc step 3 activity


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