Philosophy 1305F/G - Lecture 9.docx

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Philo1305 March 19, 2012
Lecture 9
What Constitutes Good vs. Bad Moral Action
Defined: Evil is the privation of the good.
Evil is the absence of the good one cannot know evil without knowing good.
Evil is an accident of good not as in mistake though. It exists in a subject of something
else. It needs something to exist in in order for it to exist. Evil can’t exist in the absence
of the subject in question.
E.g. Murder: Depriving the innocent victim’s family of the killed’s life.
Moral Evil vs. Natural Evil [NOT ON EXAM]
An example of natural evil is cancer. Cancer has to be seen as evil as the thing that
erodes the human body, where consumption would be depriving someone of something.
Moral evils are functions of the human will (e.g. rape, murder, etc.). DETERMINED.
If any component of the human act is lacking or contains a privation, that act will be said not to
be good. However, the act cannot be understood by itself alone we have to take into
consideration the circumstances and reasons for which the act occurred.
McInerny is addressing the human acts as follows:
- Object: What am I doing? (What is the term of the external act?)
- Intention: What is my motive? (What is the term of the internal act?)What is perhaps
has been an intention, once it has been achieved, becomes an object. Every object is a
means to the fulfillment of the intention.
- Circumstance: What surrounds the object of my action?
Moral Agent Moral Object (Good) Intention (Good)
The moral agent has a nature and so does the moral object. If there is a compatability between
these two natures, it is a good act. Even if they are good ontologically (both good in themselves),
if they do not agree, the act is morally bad.
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