Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 291 – Part I.
(Youcat answer) A person is capable of distinguishing good actions from bad ones because he possesses reason and a conscience, which enable him to make clear judgments.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1749) Freedom makes man a moral subject. When he acts deliberately, man is, so to speak, the father of his acts. Human acts, that is, acts that are freely chosen in consequence of a judgment of conscience, can be morally evaluated. They are either good or evil. (CCC 1750) The morality of human acts depends on: - the object chosen; - the end in view or the intention; - the circumstances of the action. The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the "sources," or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The following guidelines make it easier to distinguish good actions from bad ones: (1) What I do must be good; a good intention alone is not enough. Bank robbery is always bad, even if I commit that crime with the good intention of giving the money to poor people. (2) Even when what I do is truly good, if I perform the good action with a bad intention, it makes the whole action bad. If I walk an elderly woman home and help her around the house, that is good. But if I do it while planning a later break-in, that makes the whole action something bad. (3) The circumstances in which someone acts can diminish his responsibility, but they cannot change at all the good or bad character of an action. Hitting one’s mother is always bad, even if the mother has previously shown little love to the child.
(CCC 1751) The object chosen is a good toward which the will deliberately directs itself. It is the matter of a human act. The object chosen morally specifies the act of the will, insofar as reason recognizes and judges it to be or not to be in conformity with the true good. Objective norms of morality express the rational order of good and evil, attested to by conscience. (CCC 1758) The object chosen morally specifies the act of willing accordingly as reason recognizes and judges it good or evil.