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