Basic Catholic anthropology
|Podcast: Basic Catholic Anthropology|
|My Catholic Faith: Chapters|
|Catholic Encyclopedia: Human Acts, Passions, Law|
|Aquinas 101: Human actions, Fonts of Morality, Passions in general, Specific passions|
|Summa Theologica: Prima Secundae Q6-48|
|Companion to the Summa: Vol II|
To understand the following.
1. Recap: Man is composed of body and immortal soul.
2. Meaning of anthropology: the study of human behaviour
3. How man works:
- Intellect to know the truth (analogy: the judicial power)
- Will: to direct movement to the good (analogy: the executive power)
- Passions: to push/pull the will (analogy: the lobbies of government)
- Virtues: habits that help the intellect and the will to truth and goodness (analogy: an uncorrupt and efficient civil service)
Human Act: a human act is one which proceeds from the deliberate will of man ; or, an act which proceeds from the knowledge of the intellect and the impulse of the will ; or, an act of which man himself is the master.
4. Definition of a Moral Act: The human act measured by the rule of behaviour (natural and revealed law).
The morality of an act consists in its relationship to a standard of morality:
- the ultimate objective standard being the eternal law (natural & divine positive)
- the proximate objective standard human reason
- the subjective standard is the conscience of the individual.
Three elements of every moral action:
- Object (the act itself)
There exist three types of morality : goodness, evil, and moral indifference.
- The Act itself: If it is intrinsically evil, then nothing can make it good (e.g. lying, adultery, suicide).
- The Intention will can change the morality of an act from good to evil, to a greater/lesser good/evil, but never from evil to good. The end does not justify the means.
Examples: neglect of family to help a stranger diminishes the evil of neglect; giving a gift to make another jealous turns a good act to evil.
6. Definition and types of passions: The act of a sensitive appetite.
Two main categories
- (i) concupiscible in front of a bonum simpliciter: love, delight, desire; hate, sorrow, aversion
- (ii) irascible in front of a bonum arduum: hope, despair; audacity, fear, anger