2 The Importance of the Issue New paradigms, new questionsConfusionIgnorance of what the church teachesChallenges of a rapidly changing societyConflicting emotions, gut feelings, politics, and immature religion
3 Simply a set of rules and regulations to be obeyed or else? What Is Morality?Simply a set of rules and regulations to be obeyed or else?SO MUCH MORE!!
4 Some Models of Morality LEGALLOVEDISCIPLESHIPINNER CONVICTION/MORAL CONSCIENCELet’s look at these a little deeper
5 Legal Model: God as Judge/Law-Giver Oldest model, deeply ingrainedFrom society’s need to organize itself, to help maintain peace and harmony;Consequences for breaking lawsMorality synonymous with the LawGod is law-giver; we are obliged to obeyExtreme disobedience results in explusion from the Church
6 Limitations of the Legal Model: Extreme Responses Scrupulosity: a preoccupation and fear of not perfectly following the lawCircumvention: asking how much we can get away with before committing a sinRigid imposition of the law stirs up rebellious questioning of authority; law seen as oppressive and burdensomeRelativism: I should be able to determine if it is right for me or not
7 The Need for the Law: Realizing that it is not the central component in morality……….. A truly mature adult sees the need for the lawSociety will always need agreed upon norms and values that uphold the common goodThese norms must and do drive our values
8 The Love ModelBased on the Two Great Commandments and the Beatitudes; from Jesus’ Sermon on the MountSuch love is directed TOWARD OTHERSLove that Jesus taught us by word and example drives our moral responses in ALL SITUATIONS
9 Limitations of the Love Model Uncertainty as to what the most loving action is in a given situation: WWJD?We run the risk of putting our own morality on the shoulders of Jesus to give divine acceptance of our own narrow viewModel fails us in determining the right thing to do in many circumstances
10 The Discipleship Model Based on an intimate, reciprocal relationship with JesusCommissioned followers of Christ follow the example of the New Testament and join with other Christians in communityA welcome change to the legal model!Much discernment happens in the context of community as it seeks to live out the Gospel
11 LimitationsNo clear directives given to address the complex situations Christians faceNo concrete answers to what is morally right and wrongMore is needed
12 Inner Conviction or Moral Conscience Model Joyful acceptance of personal responsibility for moral living10 Commandments = joyful reciprocal response to the love, care and nurturing shown to us by God in a sacred covenant relationshipDirectives of the law guide us but we choose to make a personal mature commitment to live by the Law’s imperative
13 More Advantages of Inner Conviction or Moral Conscience Model Law is not imposed, it is embracedEmbraced in response to our love relationship with God who is in covenant relationship with usWe do NOT follow the law out of fear or blind obedience but in complete FREEDOM of choice to say yes to God
14 ConscienceNOT SIMPLY the tool within us to determine if we hsould to the right thing and avoid the wrong or immoral thingIT DRIVES OUR ENTIRE APPROACH TO LIFE; it helps us discover God’s design for our lives; who we are, how we are to live and God’s ultimate will for our livesIs developed (or not) from childhood as we obey the rules of society; grows and develops as we learn that the rules are good for all people
15 ConscienceAchieves its highest level when we act not because of some obligation to follow the law but because it is the right and moral thing to doWe develop a good conscience over time by creating the habit of good behaviorHabitual truth-telling = truthful person = ability to discern truthfulness and lack of it in specific lie situationsSame can be said of all the virtues
16 Aristotle insisted that morality is judged by the judgment of a morally virtuous person not simply by a code of law or ethics.
17 Forming A Good Conscience Definition of Conscience: a judgment of reason by which the person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete action.God has placed a moral law in every human heart.That moral law is the human conscience, our ability to know what is right and what is wrong.Conscience helps us discern what we should do in a particular circumstance.
18 Forming Conscience, Cont. Conscience helps persons assume responsibility for their own actions.When a person chooses to engage in an evil act the conscience stands in constant judgment and witness of that act.Consciences challenges the person to turn away from evil and turn toward virtue.Moral choices are guided by conscience.
19 Conscience, cont.A good conscience adheres to reason and to what is willed by God’s wisdomIt takes a lifetime to form one’s conscienceEvery Catholic is required to form his/her conscience according to the Church’s moral norms.
20 Tools Used to Form Conscience PrayerStudy of Biblical principles: WWJD?Study of Biblical interpretation – not just our own understanding of itMoral counsel of other faithful ChristiansAuthoritative teaching of the ChurchGifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, reverence, knowledge, right judgment, courage, wonder
21 Examination of Conscience ActionsMotives for our actionsValue of our actionsChoices we intend to make, choices we have made
22 What constitutes a moral act? WHAT WE DOTHE INTENTION – WHY WE DO THE ACTACTUAL SITUATION OF THE ACT: Where? When? How? With whom? Consequences?SEE TRIPLE FONT THEORY
23 FURTHER. . .The ACT Is moral if it is by itself a good thing to do – a good actionThe ACTION is morally good if the action itself is a good action and if the person doing the act has a good intention.WE CAN NEVER TO SOMETHING WRONG OR EVIL IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT SOME GOOD.WE CAN NEVER DO SOMETHING GOOD IF THE INTENTION FOR DOING IT IS EVIL.
25 Conscience is the Highest Order We are to follow our conscience above all else.Human beings have the right to act in freedom according to their conscience. They may not be forced to act contrary to their conscience especially when it comes to religious issues.Importance that conscience is properly formed! Ignorance might make for a false judgment about the morality of an action.
26 Conscience May be wrong if we do little to inform it If we act blindly As the result of bad habits, we cannot see our own culpability in moral actionsFAITH, PRAYER, WORD OF GOD enlightens our conscience
27 Conscience Is Not an Opinion We must always consider what the Scripture says, what the Church teaches, what we discern within us to be moral. ONLLY THEN, AFTER EXTENDED PROCESS, WOULD WE NOT ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHURCH TEACHINGS.