3.8 - Personal and ethical decision-making (Sources of personal and…
3.8 - Personal and ethical decision-making
'Do good, avoid evil' can be interpreted in different ways and is not specific.
Other Christians do not accept the tradition of the Catholic Church or magisterium and so can make personal decisions based on their own study of scripture and guidance from their own Church traditions
Issues such as abortion, fertility treatment, contraception, euthanasia, can have wide and diverse implications.
Sources of personal and ethical decision-making for Catholics
A discoverable moral law that provides set rules for all
Most basic element is: 'do good, avoid evil'
The Catholic Church follows the teachings on natural laws found in St Thomas Aquinas' writings.
Primacy of Conscience
Must be informed by the Bible and tradition, as interpreted by the magisterium.
Catholics have a
to follow an informed conscience
A virtue is a moral excellence
St Thomas Aquinas referred to
(prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude) and.
(faith, hope and charity)
Virtue ethics consider the moral character of a person to help analyse their ethical decisions
They use their conscience
They are under the authority of the magisterium.
They are informed by scripture and tradition.
Jesus as fulfilment of law
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law of the Prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them" (Matthew 5:17)
Jesus helped people understand the Law, not change or abolish it. Jesus was a faithful and obedient Jew.
Jesus as a source of authority for moral teaching
Parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25)
'preach good news to the poor' (Luke 4:18)
Jesus cared for physical as well as spiritual needs
Love for others
Care for the poor, outcasts, ill etc.
Golden rule and self sacrifice (Matthew 7:12)
'Tough love' to rich young man
Crucifixion was ultimate act of servanthood.
Showed disciples at the Last Supper how to love each other (John 13)
Given title 'Servant King'
Jesus even forgave those who crucified him (Luke 23)
Key to salvation (Matthew 6:14)
Jesus is seen as a role model for Christians when making moral decisions.
Natural law and virtue ethics can help inform the conscience for Catholics
Jesus gave clear examples of forgiveness, being servant-like, and how to fight for social justice.