Natural Law Ethics: The Three Determinants of Moral Action

1. Object
The object is which the will intends directly and primarily. It could be a thing or an action.

2. Circumstances
Circumstances may mitigate of aggravate. There are seven circumstances mentioned by St. Thomas Aquinas:

a. who
- special quality, prestige, rank or excellence of the person
- It is bad to kill a man. It is worse to kill the president of the United States.

b. what
- quantity or quality of a moral object
- It is good to send money to the orphanage. It is better to send money to the orphanage and also take time to visit the children there.

c. where
- the place
- It is good to have a dental mission in a public school in the city. It is better to have a dental mission in a public school in the provinces.

d. by what means
- means in carrying out the act
- It is bad to shoot your enemy. It is worse to torture your enemy before shooting him.

e. why
- The end or purpose affects the goodness of badness of the action.
- It is bad to steal money. It is worse to steal money and use it to buy illegal drugs.

f. how
- manner in which the action is done
- It is good to send volunteers to help the typhoon victims. It is better to go to help the victims yourself.

g. when
- time element
- It is good to be with your friend in her graduation. It is better to be with your friend in her frustrations.

3. The End or Purpose
It is the integral part of moral acts. We should not employ evil means to attain a good end.

The Seven Prima Facie Duties

1. duty of fidelity
- be faithful to our duties
- tell the truth and keep promises
- dont represent fiction as truth
- infarctions:
> treachery
> deception
> hypocrisy
> betrayal
> lying
> trickery
> double dealing
> insincerity
> duplicity
> cunning/craftiness

Bella is a nurse in a government hospital. A patient is going to undergo bone marrow aspiration, which is a very painful procedure. Bella who does not observe her duty of fidelity, tells her patient, "It's going to be alright. It is not painful. It's just like an ant's bite."

2. duty of reparation
- make amends of injury, righting the wrongs.

Ashton accidentally pushes his classmate Jenna. Jenna falls and breaks a leg. She gets confined to the hospital. The next day, Ashton sends her flowers and fruits.

Lilia aborted her baby three years ago. After graduating in college, she puts up an orphanage who fosters abandoned children and young mothers.

3. duty of gratitude
- appreciate and recognize

Boss Harry observes one of his employees, Arnold's diligence. Arnold is also considered an asset of the company because of his excellent skills. Therefore he raises his salary, adding a thousand more monthly.

Sandra's schooling is sponsored by a widow in the United States. So show gratitude, she does good in school, maintaining a spot in the Dean's list.

4. duty of justice
- proper distribution of social benefits and burdens

Eleven boy scouts went to the woods for a three day camping. Their leader, John, divides their jobs equally, as the cook, dishwasher, cleaner etc.

5. duty of beneficence
- good for others
- balancing the good
- requires the provision and balancing of benefits

A private school's population grew by 34% this year. So the management also planned to give health benefits to the employees.

6. duty of self-improvement
- help others better themselves
- duty to improve and develop ourselves
- this duty goes hand-in-hand with other duties

Tori observes that her classmate Neil is slow in understand their lesson in math. So she approaches him and offers her help with the lesson.

Gerald is a smoker since highschool. Then he realizes that he should take care of his health when his father dies of lung cancer. So he decides to quit smoking by undergoing all sorts of therapies.

7. duty of non malificence
- "do no harm"
- prevent evil or harm

Doctor Bonbon does not observe his duty of non malificence. He performs surgeries even under the influence of alcohol. He administers drugs without counterchecking the dose and if it is the right drug.

Human Acts and Acts of Man [Ethics]

This is one of our topics in our subject bioethics. We even had a skit to portray the differences between human acts and acts of man.

Human act proceeds from the deliberate free will of man. Man knows what he is doing and freely chooses to do what he likes, but he must be responsible and accountable for such act.

There are three elements of human act:

1. knowledge
2. freedom
3. voluntariness

There are modifiers of human acts. If one of these are present, then it is considered as act of man.

1. ignorance
2. passion
3. fear
4. violence
5. habits

Tell whether the following is a human act or act of man.

A. Juan, a young man who grew in the province went to the city for the first time. He crosses the street without a second thought and almost got hit by a car.

- It is an act of man, because there is IGNORANCE. Since Juan grew up in the province, he has not idea about traffic rules.

B. Bea is a college student. Her mother works as a vegetable vendor while her father is a waiter. Their earnings are barely enough to send their child to school. Before the finals exam, Bea's parents failed to send her money for her tuition fee. One of Bea's friends, Michelle, offered her to work as a prostitute for her to earn. Michelle told her about the work. Without hesitation, Bea signed up for the job.

- It is a human act. There is knowledge, freedom and voluntariness. Bea was at the right age with the right mind to decide whether to work as a prostitute or not.

C. Mrs. Aquino is a very rich businesswoman. Her only son was kidnapped and the kidnappers asked for P50 million pesos. Mrs. Aquino gave the money right away.

- It is an act of man. There is fear present. Mrs. Aquino was afraid of losing her son so she gave the money.

D. Martial law was declared. Michael was forced by the soldiers to tell them where the rebels were at gunpoint. Michael told them their hiding place.

- It is an act of man. Violence is present. Michael was forced to tell an information he must have kept.

E. Paula had been planning to kill her husband who has a mistress. It almost drove her crazy, thinking of how her husband cheated on her. When the time came, she went to see her husband and pulled the trigger, killing him.

- It is an act of man. There is passion, Paula's desire to have revenge. She did not think about the consequences of her act, like getting jailed.

F. Anthony wanted to join a certain fraternity. After passing the initiation rites, it was his turn to do the initiation of paddling one of the new ones, Pepe (hitting the back or legs with a huge piece of wood like baseball bat or boat paddle). He hit Pepe so hard that he had hemorrhage that lead to death.

- It is a human act. Anthony has the knowledge that a lot of men died of hazing. He also has freedom and voluntariness to do the act.

Funny pictures of Dogs-Trying to be someone else


Hilarious pictures-Movie poster remake