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Religion and Soc Resp: Lecture 2

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Professor walter sisto

on 17 June 2016

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Transcript of Religion and Soc Resp: Lecture 2

MORALITY: LECTURE ONE
Two senses of Morality
What is Morality?
Morality is translated from moralitas
"manner, character, proper behavior"
System of values, beliefs, and rules we have to achieve happiness
Descriptive sense: --We all have an identifiable way of living our life
-We all have a morality

Normative Sense:
Do people live the way they should live?

Would you act morally if you knew that you would not be caught?
Lord of the Rings
Morality of Obligation Morality of Happiness
You would do whatever you wanted
We feel obliged to follow laws/rules to get rewards and avoid punishment
The moral life, i.e. following the rules, is not inherently connected to our happiness
Best Authority = Best rules
We want to get ahead

Following general moral rules is what we really want
Living morally is not an impediment to happiness; it is the correct response to natural human longing
"You made us for you, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." (St Augustine, Confessions, 1.1)

Why do they defend her?
Are they moral or immoral?

Is an action moral or immoral?
Where does our morality come from?
Who are the Authorities in our life?
Who Influences us?

No opting out or morality and rules in life
We all embrace a morality with a set of rules
We all have a matrix of rules/principles by which we live

Morality of obligation
We are obliged to follow rules
We follow rules so that it will create opportunities for us to live well

Morality of happiness
Need rules
We are unclear about which action will lead us towards the correction action that will help us be happy
E.g. Children
Good rule is one that is constructive of true happiness
From these authorities we receive our rules or principles
We do not autonomously generate our moral rules
Basic Questions for consideration:
-What is intentional living or Intention itself?
-Why are intentions important for morality


Why does Intentionality Matter??
Goal: Enable you to better utilize your practical reasoning so as to live more virtuous lives
"NO MAN IS AN ISLAND" Thomas Merton
We are social beings
We derive our morality from some social framework
This framework is composed of authorities (formal/informal)
Authorities in our life include parents, spouses, friends, political/religious leaders, facebook, Pinterest,teachers, etc....
We consciously/unconsciously invest certain people institutions with authority

Authorities help us adjudicate between competing moralities or rules
-We evaluate them not simply on their status (obligation, happiness) but also if they can lead us to a better life (happiness)
Example: Abortion
Authorities:
God (5th Commandment), Scientists (when does human life begin?, when is the fetus sentient or when can it feel pain), Planned Parenthood (impact of legalization of abortion on women, especially the poor and racial minorities), Politicians (rights of the unborn versus the rights of the mother), Magisterium (Life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death)
Morality is therefore not simply concerned with abortion, gay marriage, capital punishment, environmental degradation, but also the mundane.
-How do we pursue our health, financial/career success?
-How do we talk about others?
-What are our priorities? Do our actions reflect those priorities?
-What am I attached to? Do these attachments hinder my goals?
Section II:
Methods of Moral Decision Making

Utilitarianism
Form on Consequentialism
Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832
A good action is an act that creates the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people
Happiness=more pain than pleasure
Reject "natural Law"
Morality of happiness

Deontology
Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804)
Act only according to that maxim by which you can also will that it would become a universal law.
Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.
These two axioms are categorical imperatives
This creates a DUTY
You need to will/intend this duty and always comply with it even if it produces bad consequences
morality of obligation--authority is practical reason

Relativism
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein
(26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951
A good action is an act that makes the actor happy
Morality is relative to
your
context
There are no moral absolutes
Judgements of a person's morality is pretensions

Conscience
Not this...

Conscience is.....
-Crucial for seeing rightly in order to live rightly
-Ability to make moral judgments
-It is what we think is right in our "heart of hearts"
-alarm about what is the case


Challenged to form it in the best possible manner
Goal is to have a well-formed conscience
Moral Realism:
-There are good and bad actions and therefore good and bad consciences
-e.g. US slaveholder in the 1700's
You must always follow your conscience (CCC, 1790)
-We do not always act in accord with it
"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. " (Rom 7:15)
Erroneous Conscience
-in error but perhaps not blameworthy
-if lack of moral responsibility, does not mean you are moral
How do I get a well-formed conscience?
-lifelong process
-See the world as honestly as we can
-Seek the virtuous life, openness to new information, to God
-Use our reason, seek Good will, and the wisdom of the Creator
-Realization that we may have an erroneous conscience

Are there any actions we/our society do/does that future generations will judge as barbaric?

Virtue Ethic/Ethics of Conscience
-excellence of moral character
-Good people make good decisions
-Cultivate Goodness
-Related to the Catholic Moral Theory
-Catholic Morality...to be continued

Section I:
Making Ethical Decisions: Overview, basic terms, sources/norms/authorities/rules, and conscience
What would you do?
NOT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Intentions shape who we are!!!
-no willed actions without intentions
Actions
transitive effects
-effect the world around us
intransitive effects
-effect only us
Mind consists of a myriad of intentions
-we are made up of many goals and purposes
-change, prioritize, conflict
(e.g., Student vs. Parent vs. professional)
By focusing on what goals we have and the importance we give to them we better understand our CHARACTER

-Character = who you really are!

Imagine your goals and priorities as a pyramid

-Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, who is our master? (Matt 6:24)

-Who is your master?
What is most important? Least, but still a priority?
God
Wife
Sons
Job
Articles
Church
Hobbies!
Extended Family
House choirs
Friendships
Buffalo Sports
What do their actions say about their character and intentions?
-People change
Catholic Moral Theory
Based on what we said about intentionality, action, and freedom
To evaluate the morality of a specific action we must examine:
1) Object of the act
2) The intention of the actor
3) The circumstances surrounding the action
Good action=Good in fitting in all 3
FREEDOM
-
Free intentional acts
-Proceed from the power of reason
-Gives us choice
-We are responsible

-All Intentional actions
-Not necessarily free

Example: Circus animal
-Goal oriented acts but the animal acts out of instinct or training; it does not understand why they are doing the action
-not do otherwise
Intentional Actions
1) The object of the act
What is actually done?
Name in the most specific way possible without reference to long term goals
"is the act capable of being ordered to the good to the ultimate end, which is God." (Veritatas Splendor, n. 79.)
2) The intention
Goal in mind for doing the action
Fill-in the blanks: " I did ______"so that"/"In order to"_____.
3) The circumstances
Features of a situation
Distinct from the act and intention
Create, mitigate or aggravate sin/evil/wrongdoing
e.g. different kinds of killing
first degree, second degree, third degree/voluntary or involuntary manslaughter
Lets Apply!!
Freedom
Responsibility
Freedom and Moral Actions:
Why is freedom important for moral decision making?
-Capacity to understand our actions

-External force or pressure that leads you to do something in a way that
lessons/removes
your responsibility
1) Freedom of Indifference
-You are free no matter what you do
2) Freedom of Excellence
-Freedom is a human capacity with a purpose
-Must not simply choose , but choose what is good
-Freedom increases the more I am able to choose what is really good for me
-Freedom decreases when I am unable to choose well due to duress, passion, addiction, etc
-Rich Man (Matt 19:18-22)
Section II: Character Forming: Norms, Values, and Virtue
Our free decisions shape not only what we do but who we become.
Matt 7:17-18
-Second Nature
-Corresponds to Intentionality
-e.g., "thats not like her"
Where does it come from?
-Obtain a habit through repeated action
Habits we possess = a person's
character
Virtue is a good habit

Vice is a bad habit

-Habits are important for virtue ethics because
it is an abiding disposition that changes who a person is

-Virtuous person is not someone who simply performs good actions but....
does so consistently
disposition to act well in the future
VERSUS
Virtue is like a good athlete
Beatitudes:
-"Blessed are the peacemakers" (Matt 5: 3-10)
Emphasis on the person as opposed to actions alone
Virtues:
Theological Virtues
(activities/objects concern God directly)

-Faith
-Hope
-Love
Cardinal Virtues
(basic virtues accessible to reason)

Justice
-inclined towards good actions with others
Temperance
-well-ordered desires
Fortitude
-bravery/integrity
Prudence
-choosing wisely/doing practical decision making well
mother virtue
Prudence is important
Path to the Good Life
-Virtue = middle way
-Cardinal virtues are natural activities
-Norms/Guides that dictate how we do them is what is meant by
natural law
Absolute norms or rules
-can never be violated
What Norms are violated?
Case II:
Capital Punishment
(U.S. Catholic Bishops' Statement on Capital Punishment)
Natural Law
Ability to tell right from wrong
"expresses the purposes, rights, and duties which are based upon the bodily and spiritual nature of the human person" (Donum Vitae, n.3)
Accessible to reason
Given to us by God
Universal and immutable
No authority can dispense from
Natural Law: Do not steal!!!

If everyone could take the property of others without blame or fault, no one would have any security in their property

-All planning and efforts = useless

-Result in Chaos
Natural Law is not intended to interfere with our freedom but guide us in the proper use of our freedom.
Natural Law and the Ten Commandments:
What are the basic natural laws?
-4-10
-Do not exhaust natural law

1. I am the LORD your God:
you shall not have
strange Gods before me.

2. You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain

3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

4. Honor your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet
your neighbor's wife.

10. You shall not covet
your neighbor's goods.
Catholic Moral Theory
1) Object of the act--good
2) The intention of the actor--fail
3) The circumstances--indifferent

e.x., helping old lady to cross the street
in order to rob her
Evil Actions
Catholic Moral Theory
1) Object of the act-fail
2) The intention of the actor-good
3) The circumstances-lessen?

e.x., late term abortion after rape
Good Act
Catholic Moral Theory
1) Object of the act---pass
2) The intention of the actor--pass
3) The circumstances--pass/indifferent

e.x., Serving the Homeless food
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Body
Intention Habit Character = Person of Virtue or Vice
(young children)
(adolescents, adults)
As we mature our moral thinking tends to be based on intention.
(adults)
egocentric
morally relative: "Whats in it for me"
Fulfill Social rules: "Golden Rule"
-Conformity Driven
Moral life maintains order in Society
-Obedience Driven
Abstract
Moral Thinking
Laws are based on Social Contract
Morality is based on Abstract Reasoning using universal ethical principles
-Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice...may disobey unjust laws
The Heinz Dilemma
In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000, which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper
or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I
discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that? (Kohlberg, 1963)
Religion and Social Responsibility: LECTURE TWO
Part I: Introduction to Catholic Virtue Ethics
-Key Terms: Intention, Character, Freedom, Catholic Moral Theory
Test Next Week!
-950-1150
-Formative Test
-3 questions with several parts
-Based on a short reading answer 1 and 2
1)-Apply CMT and other moral theories
2)-Differentiate Morality of obligation from morality of Happiness
3)-Church teaching (Catholic Magisterial) on homosexuality/capital punishment

May only use books!

-The death penalty is acceptable only when society has no other means of defending itself (Gospel of Life, 56)

US Bishops (1974-Present)
-"out of a commitment to the value and dignity of human life" reject capital punishment as immoral
-duty of society to protect its citizens
Purpose of Punishment:
1) Reform/Rehabilitation of the Criminal
-criminal of the opportunity to develop a new way of life that conforms to the norms of society and that contributes to the common good
-C.P. does not allow for this
2) Deterrence
-it is certain that C.P. prevents the individual from committing further crimes, it is far from certain that it actually prevents others from doing so.
-rationale calculation?
-protection of society does not depend on C.P.
3) Retribution/ Restore Order of Justice
-"It is morally unsatisfactory and socially destructive for criminals to go unpunished, but the forms and limits of punishment must be determined by moral objectives which go beyond the mere inflicting of injury on the guilty"
-If we do not rape rapists, why then do we kill killers?
-Remember Jesus' teaching of forbearance in the face of evil (Matthew 5:38-42) and forgiveness of injuries (Matthew 18:21-35)


2) Witnesses to our belief in the unique worth and dignity of every human person

3) Testifies to our conviction that God alone is the Lord of Life
4) "abolition of the death penalty is most consonant with the example of Jesus, who both taught and practiced the forgiveness of injustice and who came "to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
-"We call on you to contemplate the crucified Christ who set us the supreme example of forgiveness and of the triumph of compassionate love."
1)-Send a message that we can break the cycle of violence!
-Challenges us to find ways to deal with criminals that demonstrate intelligence and love rather than hatred and vengeance
Abolition of C.P.
Inherent Problems in C.P.

1) Mistakes
2) Racist
-47% on Death Row are Black
-11% of population is Black

3) Inhumane to Criminal, Family, and Executioner

4) Favor the Wealthy
Is this true for women?
Infused vs. Acquired
Faith
1) Habit by which we believe big-picture questions (fides qua-faith by which)
2)Content by which we believe; answer to big-picture questions (fides quae-faith which)
FAITH is______
1) Not an abstraction but personal encounter

2) Initiated by God-grace and we posses only w/ God's help; exceeds unaided human capacities (e.g., Trinity)

3) Nurtured by community, church/family/friends/etc

4) The answer to human longing-"exercise of thought"
Faith is also

5) virtuous believing, the good habit of believing true answers to big-picture questions

6) refers to the answers themselves
We all have some form of faith
HOPE
status viatoris vs. status comprehensoris
-"on the way" vs. "already there"

refers to our ultimate purpose => happiness => union with God

-evades us in this life
-evidenced by restlessness, longing

-virtuous longing for God

-leads us to move towards this goal--> work towards the kingdom of God on earth
LOVE (charity/agape)
"faith, hope, and love remain, these three, but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13:13)
"God is Love" (1 John 4:8)
-alone remains in the afterlife
Charity (LOVE)
-gives shape to all the other virtues orientating them towards God
-shapes how the goal is accomplished

-A person with the theological virtue of Charity will most likely have a different understanding of what a just society is
Charity and Faith
-not only know true things about God
-seek union with God
Charity and Hope
-we seek union with God, not just to fulfill our longing
-Rather we appreciate and enjoy God in Godself
Matthew 5:27-28
"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Infused Virtues
-God helps us to become virtuous
-e.g. given meaning or st. Paul's like-conversion
-GRACE perfects Nature
-context of action is our supernatural destiny
-A person with the theological virtue of Charity will most likely have a different understanding of what a just society is
Christianity
Jewish Reformer
Kingdom of God-premised on the forgiveness of sins!!
Dies a violent death, rises from the dead and sends the Holy Spirit upon the disciples
circa 4CE-33CE
God is Love
Love is Trinity
Save us from Sin
original sin
World is not what it should be
Christian Virtue Ethics
Christian life involves 7 basic virtues
(1-4) Cardinal Virtues (Acquired)
(5-7) Theological Virtues (Given by grace(God's assistance))
Cultivate virtues to imitate Jesus
-Intentions reveal our character
-Humans are not static
=Sometimes we are inconsistent
-Intentions shape our life
More on Intentions
Lack freedom
Freedom
-Free acts arises from you versus happen to you
Are drug addicts free?
YES!!!
Habit-
describes an abiding quality in a person that describes who she/he is
"Habitus" = Inclination or Disposition
-They develop from our intentionality
-NOT a simple, mechanical repetition
2.5 billion +
Virtue Ethics Theory:
Intentions --> Actions --> Character (who we really are)
(Good intentions)--> (Good Actions)--> (Good Actions performed consistently=Virtuous person!)
How does freedom factor into virute ethics?
Morality is concerned with intentional actions (human actions)
-involve intellect and freewill
intentions
Given the complexity of human actions, how do we evaluate an action??
-especially actions where factors such as duress, lack of maturity, etc are present

Christian Core Beliefs
Preaches the Good News! (Gospel)
There is hope and meaning!
-Our alienation from God is over!
-largest religion
-most persecuted!
3 main form of Christianity
1) Catholicism-1.1 billion
2) Orthodox-260 million
3)Protestant-800 million
Jesus' teachings
He is the Messiah, Saviour, and God's Son
-Begins a Church or New Covenant Judaism
Is he lunatic, liar, or God?
Historical scholarship teaches us that the Jesus of history
-not simply a prophet or moral teacher
God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
(Lover)
(Beloved)
(Love itself)
"God so love the world that he gave us his only begttten son that whomever believe in him mayhave eternal life" JN 3:16
Love is self-sacrificial
-refers to the core ideas as to what is means to be a follower of Jesus and lead a good life
-intentional discipleship
transform cardinal virutes
Intention-Goal or Purpose that directs our action
-Be as specific as possible
Intentions make actions meaningful
For example:
Is this guy good or evil?
Intentoins were important for Jesus:
most important man in history!?
Modern psychology teaches us that how we judge actions and intentions to be moral or immoral develop over time!
Duress
There are two types of Freedom
Virtue Ethics Theory ( Intentions --> Actions --> Character) tells you if you are on this right track to being a virtuous person/Christian
Does not help you evaluate specific actions!
One response is the Catholic Moral Theory (CMT)
-help navigate complex moral dilemmas
-if actions are good/consistent with Christian teaching
Good Action-cannot fail any of the criteria
Indifferent Action
1-Action-indifferent
2-Intention-indifferent
3-Circumstances- none/Indifferent
e.x., eating pizza
Eating pizza is morally indifferent!
However, a person who does nothing but eat pizza would not be a virtuous person
Why is it the mother of virtues?
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