Elements of The Moral Act

How does Aquinas argue that there are evil actions? Remember to note that this depends upon the metaphysical transcendentals of “being” and “goodness.”


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A central theme to this section is the relation of the object, intention, and circumstances of the action to “right reason.” What role does right reason play in moral action? How are moral objects and intentions rendered suitable or unsuitable? (NB: we will cover right reason more in depth when we reach Natural Law).


Aquinas speaks of the moral object standing to action as its “form.” JP II speaks of the moral object as ” that object is the proximate end of a deliberate decision which determines the act of willing on the part of the acting person.” Can you relate these two statements (hint, they are talking about the same thing).

What are the problems JPII gives regarding consequentialism and proportionalism? Why are these moral systems inadequate to fully discuss human action?

I find Aquinas’ questions on indifferent actions interesting. Explain why an action can be indifferent in its species, but a concrete action performed by a person must always be good or evil.

Much is made in modern moral theology on the question of conscience. Why does Aquinas argue that we must follow an erring conscience, even though that does not excuse us from sin? What role does ignorance play in these considerations?

What further questions/comments do you have after this week’s readings? ( please have at least 1 question)

For more information on Elements of The Moral Act read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

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