Fundamental Moral theology Flashcards

Terms Definitions
1. What is the difference between moral philosophy and moral theology?
a. Moral theology studies the sanctifying presence of God in human acts. This presence is revealed through the light of scriptures. Faith is absolutely necessary.
b. Moral philosophy studies human act in light of practical reason.
2. What role do the beatitudes play in Christian moral life?
a. The beatitudes are the perfect guidelines for us Christians. They direct us to the final end: happiness.
b. St. Augustine saw them as the perfect way to live a Christian life.
3. What role do the commandments play in Christian moral life?
a. They are like sign posts in a road.
b. They reveal the internal law written by God in our hearts.
c. Since they are given by God, they are in harmony with our nature and inclinations.
d. Although they do not reveal fully the will of God towards man, they teach us about the evils to be avoided.
4. In what way does the moral perspective of St. Paul differ from that of the Old Testament and from that of the Greeks?
a. With regard to the Old Testamentarian view, his moral perspective differs because the emphasis is not on moral obligation, but salvation and happiness. The Old Law enslaves, the New Law frees.
b. With regard to the Greeks he found in morality the presence of wisdom and that intellectual and moral virtues aimed at happiness, however this wisdom only leads to stupidity. This is why he preached a crucified Christ. He placed Christ in the center, not a philosophy.
c. This is the ultimate criteria for morality, my relationship with Christ. Our moral teaching is Christocentric.
5. What is the difference between the vision of morals of St. Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham?
a. St. Thomas’s view of morals:
i. Morality is for happiness, it teaches us about the wisdom of God.
ii. Our acts are directed to God.
iii. Central issue is charity.
iv. Free and good acts point to God and seeing them makes us praise God.
b. Ockham view on Morals: (Nominalistic)
i. Morality for Ockham was focused on obligation and obedience.
ii. My freedom is free up until God arbitrarily decides to put a limit (like the Decalogue).
iii. Central issue is obligation.
6. How does the IIa pars fit into the structure of the Summa Theologica?
a. The entire summa is about God and it could be divided in 3 ways in which God is present.
i. The first part is about God as Trinity and Creation,
ii. the second is about his presence in human action,
1. We look at God through the prism of the human person, how God is transforming that person, and how the image of God is visible in that person through grace.
iii. And third shows his presence in Christ and the sacraments.
7. Is human life geared towards an ultimate end?
a. Yes, we have a natural desire to be happy and a natural inclination to the good. For us, it’s God.
8. What is the natural desire to see God? How do we know of its existence?
a. We see in nature a natural desire to see God.
i. This is perceived by philosophy.
b. There is a natural tendency towards God, cause and final end of everything.
c. This desire is not sufficient to reach the encounter with God, it only expresses our hunger.
d. This encounter only comes through grace, which is a supernatural gift.
9. How does being male or female condition the striving towards the ultimate end?
a. Men and women have the same vocation and the same end. Nonetheless, women were created more receptive and with a greater ability of self-giving. We see in Genesis that the vocation of women was to over Adam’s spiritual loneliness and to shadow him to God. A woman can see the totality of a person; she has a more intuitive knowledge. Men tend to be more rational, they set things apart. Men were created to work thus reflecting the creative mind of God. This is dangerous because we could lose sight of God in our work. However, if we do our work with love it will help us grow and transform the world.
10. How does the understanding of liberty in Aquinas differ from that of Ockham?
a. Liberty for Aquinas
i. Liberty of excellence: capacity to do good and avoid evil.
ii. Law helps us too be free.
iii. Virtue helps us to reach freedom.
b. Liberty for Ockham
i. Liberty of indifference:
ii. Liberty is an act of the will, indifferent of good or evil.
iii. We are free until God stops us. (or a higher being)
iv. Any habit, including vitue, limits my liberty.
11. What is the meaning of the term “liberum arbitrium?”
a. It is when the will and the intellect work together for a free choice. (According to Saint Thomas this reflects the image of God)
12. Can the movement of grace diminish liberty?
a. No, on the contrary. Grace makes more free because it helps us to persevere in making good, mature choices. The grace of the Holy Spirit redirects us to that which is most good. St. Thomas says that when our will is disorder we act against it, thus we perceive what is good as a burden and what is bad as a
b. good. With grace, this deformation is healed progressively.
17. What is proportionalism?
The end justifies the means. I can do evil acts as long as I have proportionally higher intentions.
18. What is the difference between the rational control of the emotions and the repression of emotions?
a. Emotions are fundamentally good, but must be guided by reason and will. E.g. I control my desire of sugar due to my reason telling me about my diabetes.
b. Repression of emotions is when one emotion tries to bury another emotion. Reason is not the guide, another emotion is.
19. What is the difference between fear neurosis and the gift of the fear of the Lord?
a. Fear Neurosis: scrupulosity. They think temptations are sins. Reason and charity are not guidelines, but fear.
b. Fear of the Lord: Fear of offending God. This fear grows out of respect and love for God.
20. What is energy neurosis?
a. It’s the energy used to suppress any desires that we think as bad (a person that grows up learning that sexual drive is bad). By trying to be good, this person will block all other emotions. This involves some Pelagianism and pride.
21. What is deprivation neurosis?
a. This happens not because an emotion is repressed, rather due to the lack of emotions during childhood.
b. They become egocentric.
c. They constantly need approval, praise and attention.
22. What is the synderesis?
a. An innate habit of the first principles of practical reasoning. This habit tells us “do good, avoid evil”
23. Is conscience a matter of knowing or of feeling?
a. It is a matter of knowing and following reason not our feelings. Feelings are secondary.
24. What is the relationship between conscience and truth?
a. Conscience is perfected by truth. It must be oriented to the truth, but it must be formed by rational and divine sources so that it judges freely.
25. What is the difference between conscience and the superego?
a. Conscience
i. Act of reason.
ii. Allows to choose the good
iii. Dynamic, capable of risk
iv. Focused on the future, creative.
v. Extroverted towards the value
b. Superego
i. Quasi-Habit of the interior senses which causes misguiding of the emotions.
ii. Chooses out of fear.
iii. Static,
iv. Focused on the past
v. Introverted towards how one feels.
27. What is virtue?
a. It is a good habit which allows us to do good with facility and pleasure.
b. Virtue is not just doing good, but feely and creatively.
28. What is the difference between the intellectual and the cardinal virtues?
a. Intellectual virtues: (intellect, wisdom, synderesis)
i. Dispose the mind towards truth.
ii. Not connected with any other virtue.
b. Cardinal virtues (Fortitude, Prudence, Justice and Temperance)
i. Dispose the soul to the good. Hinges of the moral life.
ii. All are connected to prudence.
29. What is the difference between the infused and the acquired virtues?
a. Infused virtues are habits of the will given by God generated inside me not acquired by human action.
b. Acquired virtues are habits generated by us through our repeated good actions.
30. How does the divine indwelling of the human soul influence the moral life?
a. The indwelling provides us a supernatural principle of action which prompts us to do acts pleasing to God.
31. What are the differences between the infused virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
a. Infused virtues are habits of the soul given by God which disposes us to the good illumined by faith and reason.
b. Gifts are habits which makes us docile to the prompts of the H.S. so that the primary rule of action would be the divine mind instead of the human reason.
32. Can grace be experienced?
a. Grace cannot be experienced through the senses; however, grace can be experience through its effects on the person and neighbors
33. What does Aquinas mean by the term “instinctus Spiritus Sancti?”
a. It is a connatural quality in men that prompts him to recognize and follow the guidance of the H.S.
34. How does Augustine define sin?
a. Sin is a word, deed or desire contrary to the eternal law
35. What are the material and formal elements of sin?
a. Material:
i. Conversion to something else other than the ultimate good. (conversion implies aversion)
b. Formal:
i. Aversion to God and his divine law.
36. What is the difference among the malum, peccatum, and culpa?
a. Malum: The lack of the good that ought to be there.
b. Peccatum: an act lacking the required measure, form or nature.
c. Culpa: a voluntary peccatum.
37. What is a social sin?
a. Every sin is individual and personal, but JP2 makes the classification of social sin:
i. By virtue of human solidarity: every personal sin affects others.
ii. Sins that directly attack one’s neighbor.
iii. The division of classes, wars between nations, etc.
38. What is the difference between a mortal and a venial sin?
a. Mortal Sin:
i. Destroys the supernatural life of the soul.
ii. Aversion of God.
iii. Repairable by a direct intervention of God.

b. Venial Sin:
i. Does not kill the supernatural life of the soul.
ii. Does not divert us from God, but it slows us down to get to him.
iii. Repairable by penance and charity.
39. Describe the theory of the fundamental option.
a. It is a theory.
i. We either go towards God or against God.
ii. Mortal sins would require that one deliberately chooses to close one self to God and the love of neighbor. Since this is very rare, mortal sins are almost non-existent.
iii. Mortal and venial sins are only involved conversion, but not aversion to God
40. What are the sins against the Holy Spirit?
a. Reject the sanctifying mission of the Holy Spirit, sins that block God from reaching the soul. Presumption, Impenitence, Despair, Envy of grace. Rejection of no-truth, Obstinancy.
41. How does Aquinas define moral law?
a. An ordination of reason for the good, promulgated by him who has care of the community in common.
42. Describe the major types of moral law and their mutual dependence
a. Eternal law, Revealed Law, Natural Law, Human Law,.
b. The Eternal law is the rule of the divine mind by which all things are directed to their ends.
c. Revealed Law is God revealing his project to be with him. It is gradual and fulfilled at the NT
d. Natural law is man’s participation in the Eternal law.
e. Human law refers to the juridical law. It must be in accord with the natural law, otherwise it will corrupt. It cannot forbid all evil acts, only the eternal law can.
43. What is the natural law?
a. It is man’s participation in the eternal law. Natural law refers to our natural inclination towards fundamental goods and to our capacity to issue judgment and practical reason; thus, if the judgments are correctly and truly made natural law is co-created.
44. What are the fundamental precepts of the natural law?
a. Synderesis
b. Self-preservation, beget and educate of the young, desire to know the truth and to live in society.
45. How is human law dependent upon natural law?
a. State is based on human nature: it is natural to live in society.
b. For the state to be dependent upon moral law, the state needs to recognize two things: that there is an moral order higher than the human law, and that this order is knowable
46. What value did St. Paul attribute to the Law of the Old Testament?
a. It was holy because God gave it, but inefficacious to save us.
b. It brought awareness of sin but without the possibility of being set free.
c. It was given with a pedagogical purpose.
47. What is the new law of the Gospel?
a. When St. Thomas speaks about this, he was referring to the good news brought by Jesus Christ. In this, he is trying to discover all that has happened in the salvific event and how it has transformed our lives
48. Define the primary and secondary elements of the new law.
a. Primary: Grace of the Holy Spirit. This is more important.
b. Secondary: Those that disposes us to that grace: the written gospel and the spoken word of the church.
49. What is the function of the Sermon on the Mount in Christian morals?
a. St. Augustine: it is the Carta Magna of the Christian life.
b. They are the model of every Christian life.
c. It shows that we are called to be happy by practicing virtue.
d. The sermon applies to everyone.
50. Are all Christians bound by the evangelical counsels?
a. No. We are called to consider them but not necessarily bound by them. Theoretically speaking they are for all people, but not all the councils apply to everyone.
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