Ethics -

Ethics -

Ethics An Overview of the Journey What is ethics? Subtopics: word origins ethics vs. morality scope of morality ethics and other fields of knowledge What is Christian ethics?

Subtopics: Christian ethics vs. ethics Christian defined Faith and Reason 3 Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know,

what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything. Pedro Arupe, Pedro Arupe, S. Superior General of the Society of Jesus 19661991 M.D., psychiatrist

Novice master for Jesuit province of Japan stationed in Hiroshima during WWII Was out of town when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima but returned immediately after the bomb was dropped and put his life at risk ministering to the wounded 4 The Heart of Christian Ethics Christian Ethics reframes the basic moral question:

What should we live for and how ? as a question of imagination, reason, and ultimate love: What or Who moves you in the most ultimate way? Who is your God? 3 What Is Ethics? Road Map Etymologies of ethics and morality

Distinction between ethics and morality Scope or boundaries of morality Aristotle on the master science 4 What does ethics mean?

Two common meanings of ethics 1) How people actually live (descriptive ethics) 2) Reflection, discourse, and study concerning how people ought to live (normative ethics) Origins of the word ethics (New Shorter OED 3rd ed.) The word ethics derives from two branches: Tekne- art, applied science (in the sense of discipline); the skill

which enables a person to produce a certain product. [The Greek term ethike was derived from this concept.] For example, the kind of knowledge, skills, and abilities a shoemaker uses to produce shoes, a musician employs to produce music, or a doctor utilizes to produce health. The ethike or tekne of a human is the skill by which humans use their freedom and capacities to produce good characters and communities and thereby realize their fullest potential. Ethos--custom, character, or the normal state of a person or group.

2 Word Origin of MORALITY. The word morality comes from the Latin translation of ethos: mores Mores are customary ways of behaving and believing; commonly held moral beliefs and practices. 4 Conclusions from Word Origins

Both ethics and morality refer to social phenomena patterns of conduct use/exercise of human freedom (contingent matters) realization of human potential/capacities 5 Ethics & Morality are Tradition Dependent Social patterns of exercising freedom in ways that realize or block human potential are the elements of a living tradition Tradition = a way of living handed over (traditio) from one generation to the next.

5 Ethics and The Disciplines of Knowledge Where does ethics fit into the various disciplines of knowledge? According to Aristotle, what discipline of knowledge is the master discipline that determines all others? 2

Aristotles Master Discipline Politic s Why? Because it determines which disciplines will be studied and it pursues the highest good, i.e., the (common) good of the polis (or community) 2

The Scope of Morality Morality Morality Outside Morality Outside Morality Outside Morality Outside Morality Ethics within the

scope of freedom Freedom: morality begins with the notion that there are good and bad, right and wrong, better and worse ways of uses human capacities/potential (freedom) The scope of morality and ethics is limited only by the scope of (meaningful) human freedom. Examples: closing your eyes when you sneeze v. choosing to sneeze on someone 3 freedom Freedom

Involuntarily Determined Actions/Events Involuntarily Determined Actions/Events Involuntarily Determined Actions/Events Involuntarily Determined Actions/Events Morality versus Ethics Morality

vs. Ethics a Morality = our lived experience of human freedom a -- trying to use our freedom to live well or of discovering what is worth living for and trying to live accordingly) Note: moral practice may differ from moral aspirations a Ethics = critical reflection

on morality a --stepping back to examine, analyze, and organize it in order to enhance morality (more abstract); 7 Morality Is it Right? Good? Just? Why? &


Reflection Experience Ethics Morality What are the perennial questions of ethics? The most fundamental question of ethics = What should we do with our freedom?

Related Questions What is a good life? worth living for? human flourishing? the best way to achieve these goals? At the root of such questions lie three moral conceptions: Good--character and lives Good = valuable, precious, desirable, meaningful, fulfilling, promoting flourishing Right--actions Just--communities 8

Ethical Analysis: An Example Instrumental reasoning --assumes wants/ends as given --asks only how to achieve them most effectively, e.g., self-interest For example: some versions of free market capitalism take maximization of profit

as a given end of corporations and individuals. Then the most important question is how to achieve this end most effectively. Analysis: Should effective maximization of profit be questioned? Should other goals take priority? Which goals will lead to a better, more meaningful life for all? Class Exercise What would you consider to be the most important ingredients of a good life?

What is Christian ethics? Road Map Christian ethics vs. ethics Christian defined Faith and reason 4 How does Christian qualify ethics? TRADITION: Christianity is a tradition, or a group of traditions, with its own story, communities, ethos, beliefs, values, practices, loyalties, and

identity PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST: Christ refers to the anointed one of God, the messiah whom Christians identify as Jesus of Nazareth Jesus Christ = God become human, the definitive and fullest revelation of God (though not the exclusive revelation of God) 4 Christian Defined A Christian is

a) a person who has identified with the cause of Jesus Christ, i.e., the reign of God that began with the life and teaching of Jesus, and END b) a member of a community of those who seek to follow Christ as his disciples by embodying Gods reign on earth 4 What is the

Relationship between Faith and Reason? A LIVING FAITH = AN EXAMINED FAITH A faith that is not lived and examined is a meaningless or irrelevant faith--like a lottery ticket one never looks at. Christians use reason and experience to make sense of their tradition and its faith. END 4 The Dialogue of Faith and Reason

STARTING POINT Christian faith is a starting point for CE but it faith does not replace ethical reflection REASON INFORMED BY FAITH C&M define Christian ethics as a process of critically engaging our moral experience in light of Christian faith. Faith informs the ethical reasoning of Christians and reason gives shape to faith by making it operative and providing feedback.

GOAL = Cooperation and Harmony of Faith & Reason END 4 A Balance of Faith and Reason The power and richness of Christian tradition has been its ability to integrate knowledge from faith sources, such as Scripture, with knowledge gained with

secular reason, such as Greek philosophy. Christian tradition holds the two sources in tension by refusing to allow one to eclipse or destroy the other. END THE END of the beginning 4


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