HUMAN ACTS Introduction Human persons – intelligent and free ¦ – capable of determining our own lives by our own free choices ¦ HOW? ¦ – by freely choosing to shape our lives and actions in accord with the truth > by making good moral choices – These choices performed as free persons are called HUMAN ACTS DEFINITION OF HUMAN ACTS ? Acts which man does as man = acts proper to man as man ? Acts of which he is properly master = because he does them with full knowledge and of his own will = actions performed by man knowingly and freely = will > properly enlightened by knowledge > supplied by the intellect ?
Therefore, Human acts are those acts which proceed from a deliberate freewill HUMAN ACTS – THE CONCERN OF MORALITY ? only human acts are moral acts = it is only with human acts that man is responsible for his actions REASON AND FREEDOM – makes man a moral subject REASON – Human acts are either in agreement or in disagreement with the dictates of reason dictates of reason – shared consciousness of prudent people about the manner of action or behavior – Norm of morality which is the standard by which actions are judged as good or evil ¦ good — in harmony with reason = evil — opposed to reason = indifferent — neutral FREEDOM – makes man a moral subject – when man acts in deliberate manner — he is the father of his acts – man is thus responsible for those acts — he can acknowledge that he has done them because he wanted to — and he can explain why he decided to do them = those acts can be morally classified – they are either good or evil INTELLECT AND WILL IN HUMAN ACTS intellect and the will are not 2 successive acts but 2 elements of human acts – it is not that the intellect that knows and the will that decides but man who both know and decides through simultaneous use of the 2 faculties – will – directs the intellect to know – intellect – directs the will to want the object it proposes WILL – the only object which necessarily attracts the will — ABSOLUTE GOOD perfectly known as such – Partial goods or God imperfectly known – will not necessarily attract the will
WILL – naturally inclined to the good – but man may sometimes deliberately choose something morally evil, how come? – In this case, the will chooses a partially good that the will itself has commanded the intellect to present as such = how did it happen? ¦ = the will has a fixed inclination to the good – the will can only choose something bad when it is presented under its good aspects = it is due to the disordered disposition of the will with respect to its last end, and the means leading to it = there lies the culpability of the choice
ACTS OF MAN – those acts which man performs without being master of them through his intellect and will = therefore, they are not voluntary EXAMPLES OF ACTS OF MAN ? The natural acts of vegetative and sense faculties – digestion, beating of heart, growth, corporal reactions, visual or auditive perceptions. – but these acts may become human acts when they are performed with malice, or when we are directed by the will, when we look at something or arouse ourselves ? Acts of persons without the proper use of reason – children or insane persons Acts of people asleep or under the influence of hypnosis, alcohol or other drugs. – however, there may still be some degree of control by the will – but there is indirect responsibility if the cause of the loss of control is voluntary ? Primo-primi acts – quick and nearly automatic reactions – reflex and nearly instantaneous reactions without time for the intellect or will to intervene ? Acts performed under serious physical – or in some cases – moral violence