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Chapter 7 Moral Decision Making

Chapter 7 Moral Decision Making

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Chapter 7 Moral Decision Making

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  1. Chapter 7Moral Decision Making Mr. Salter Morality

  2. Before We Begin p 121 • Imagine that you were the Athletic Director at CC. • What kind of concerns and decisions would you have to think about in order to put on the CC vs. Brother Rice game?

  3. Before We Begin p 121 • Imagine that you were the Athletic Director at CC. • What kind of concerns and decisions would you have to think about in order to put on the CC vs. Brother Rice game? • Pep Rally / Band • PR • Crowd Control / Safety • Referees • Mothers’ Club / Dad’s Club • Point: Sometimes our moral decisions can be equally involved and thought through

  4. Before We Begin p 121 • Lets look at the scenarios presented on p. 121 questions1,2 & 3 • In groups of 3 or 4, discuss and answers the questions.

  5. Before We Begin p 121 • This chapter discusses a process for moral discernment and decision making that will help us answer the question “What would Jesus do?” • That will help our conscience come to its last and best judgment about what we should or should not do. • This process of moral discernment and decision making will be applied to specific areas of morality addressed in the second part of this book.

  6. Traditional Sources of Morality p 123 • Class reads p. 123 aloud • Together do Reflection on 124 • Three Traditional Sources of Morality • Object Chosen • Intention • Circumstances

  7. Traditional Sources of Morality p 123 • Object Chosen – What we do • Action taken is the “Object”? • Some acts are intrinsically evil, i.e., always wrong to choose no matter our intention or the circumstances e.g., • selling illegal drugs, killing an innocent person, stealing, deliberately harming another person’s good name, etc. • Some acts are good in and of themselves, e.g., feeding the poor, refusing to ridicule a classmate, visiting the sick, telling the truth • Intention • Circumstances

  8. Traditional Sources of Morality p 123 • Object Chosen – What we do • Intention - our motive in performing an act • An important/traditional principle: • The end (our intention) doesn’t justify the means (any object chosen) • Consider examples… • Having an abortion to save one’s ”teen years” • Also, our intention can make a good act morally wrong • Consider examples… • Cleaning our neighbor’s house with the intention to later rob it

  9. Traditional Sources of Morality p 123 • Object Chosen – What we do • Intention - our motive in performing an act • Circumstances - conditions surrounding the act • Important principle: circumstances can increase or diminish the goodness or evil of an act • Cheating – on homework, vs. a Final Exam • Can diminish or increase one’s moral responsibility • e.g., acting out of fear (panic), ignorance, or coercion • Prayer helps us move from discernment to judgment (diminishes self-centered purpose) • Work with a partner to complete the Reflection on p. 124. Identify the Object, Intent and Circumstance for both scenarios.

  10. Fact-Finding p.125 • In moral decision making, asking the question what reminds us that moral decision making occurs only when real people make choices in concrete situations (p.126) • We need to know more about the situation, whether it is opinion, observation based on fact • What allows us to “know” what we are talking about • Consider possible effects • A way to stretch our perspective, is to imagine the effects of different choices • Our actions have consequences

  11. For Review p.132 • Name and explain the questions that we can ask ourselves to help us understand the actions involved in moral decision making.

  12. For Review p.132 • Name and explain the questions that we can ask ourselves to help us understand the actions involved in moral decision making. • We can better understand acts involved in moral decision making if we apply the following questions to the situation with which we fare faced: • What?  Who? Why? How? Where? and when?  • What are the possible alternatives? What are the probable results?

  13. For Review p.132 • 2. Explain the three traditional sources of Christian morality:  • Object Chosen • Intention and • Circumstances  • How do we use these sources to judge the goodness or evil of an act?

  14. For Review p.132 2. Explain the three traditional sources of Christian morality:  • Object Chosen • Intention and • Circumstances  • How do we use these sources to judge the goodness or evil of an act? • The Object Chosen refers to the specific action a person takes • Intention refers to the motive underlying the action • Circumstances refer to the conditions surrounding the act that affect its goodness or evil • Used together, these three help us in making sound moral judgments

  15. For Review p.132 3. Explain how people could distort the means used in achieving goals. 

  16. For Review p.132 3. Explain how people could distort the means used in achieving goals.  • If people used hurtful means to achieve what appears to be a good end, then they are distorting means • In moral decision making, means and ends cannot be separated from each other

  17. For Review p.132 4. Name two ways that we can stretch our point of view during moral decision making.

  18. For Review p.132 4. Name two ways that we can stretch our point of view during moral decision making. • Two ways that we can stretch our point of view during moral decision making are by seeking alternatives and by consideringpossible effects

  19. Fact-Finding Questions Questions to understand moral dilemmas: • What • “What” seeks to identify the ‘reality’ • What are the facts or merely opinion, hyperbole, spin, manipulation behind what we are being asked to do, believe, or not do? • Who Who is doing the action, and who is affected by the action? • Age, gender, cultural background, emotional state, socio-economic can make a difference in deciding how to act

  20. Fact-Finding Questions Questions to understand moral dilemmas: • How • “How” asks about the means toward the goal • How we carry out our intention or our goals? • Healthy morality must choose the right means (good) not evil means to accomplish a goal • Goals can cause us to forget to use proper means to achieve our end, e.g.: • Win at any cost (cheating) • Do whatever it takes to make the sale (deception) • “Lie” to be able to use her

  21. Fact-Finding Questions Questions to understand moral dilemmas: • Why • “Why” questions move us from a morality of doing, to a morality of being • Why seeks to know if we are acting out of selfish motives or out of concern for the good of others • “Why are we doing what we’re doing? – motivation? • Our motives are seldom pure. Our actions tell us a lot about who we are

  22. Fact-Finding Questions Questions to understand moral dilemmas: • When and/or Where • Time and place help ground a moral decision in concrete reality • Circumstances can change the gravity of our wrongdoing • Stealing a candy bar from a department store vs. $500.00 dollars from a poor person • There is a time a place for everything • e.g., killing, sexual relations, eating at CC • Circumstances allow an action to be evaluated in the context of a situation • e.g. for above – war/murder, marriage/adultery, cafeteria/classroom

  23. Emotions and Morality p.131 • Principal emotions (Passions) - love & hate; desire & fear; joy, sadness & anger • Emotions are neither morally good nor bad • Emotions can cloud decision making, but do not determine whether an act is good or bad • Emotions can affect our will power and good sense and thus, how we make our decisions • When emotions help us make good decisions they are morally good…and vice versa.

  24. Moral Discernment p. 133 -137 Healthy discernment will call upon as many resources as possible to evaluate whether an action is right or wrong A Moral Prescription: • Talking to others • Deciding for yourself, does not mean deciding by yourself • Others can help by listening and sorting out feelings • Consulting the Church • The Catholic Church reaches infallible truths when speaking on behalf of morality • Authentic teachers speaking the message of Jesus • Awareness of thoughts and feelings • Personal feelings and reflections can surface insight into a situation that only you could come to know

  25. Moral Discernment p. 133 -137 A Moral Prescription: 4. Personal experience • Wisdom is learning from experience • Maturity discovers the awareness of the correct time and place to behave and know how/when to act 5.Scrutinize your values • Identify your values; know what is really important for you, and what is the foundation driving results 6. Judgment guided by Prayer • Allows us to search God’s presence within us • God is our origin and destiny; prayer allows us to seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit to live a life aimed at goodness, holiness (Beatitudes)

  26. Model of Morality • Saint Edith Stein • Patron Saint of my Parish growing up; St. Edith • Born a Jew • An accomplished and published Atheist philosopher professor just before WW II • Through circumstance exposed to a hope-filled Catholic widow • Converts, becomes a nun • Arrested by Nazi’s, dies at Auschwitz concentration camp

  27. Fact-Finding: What and Who p.125-26 • What and Who Matter, p. 126-7 • Activity p.126 • Group Talk p. 127 • Why, How, When, and Where, p.128 • Reflection p.128 • Activity p. 129

  28. For Review p.136 1. According to the text, what is typically the most important function that talking to others serves?

  29. For Review p.136 1. According to the text, what is typically the most important function that talking to others serves? • Usually the most important function served by a friend is to be an active listener while we sort out the jumbled thoughts and feelings we carry around inside us.

  30. For Review p.136 2. What contributions to decision making do feelings make?

  31. For Review p.136 2. What contributions to decision making do feelings make? Feelings can lead us to an awareness of the truth that we might otherwise miss if we left feelings out of our decisions. Our feelings can serve as the driving force that leads to action on behalf of others, i.e. empathy, compassion, joy.

  32. Definitions Methods: How a person achieves a goal; the process used Motives(p. 128): Reasons people do what they do Scrutinize(p. 136): To examine or look over with care various dimensions of a challenging situation so that overlooked aspects can come to light Discernment: Thinking (sorting out) about a moral problem Judgment: Making a decision about what to do Effects: The reasons people do what they do

  33. For Review p.136 2. What contributions to decision making do feelings make? Feelings can lead us to an awareness of the truth that we might otherwise miss if we left feelings out of our decisions Our feelings can serve as a driving force that leads to action on behalf of others

  34. For Review p.136 3. Name  three influences on our values.

  35. For Review p.136 3. Name  three influences on our values.    Culture, Church, and family and friends

  36. For your Review p 137 1. Why is moral decision making not meant to be a solitary experience for Christians?

  37. For your Review p 137 1. Why is moral decision making not meant to be a solitary experience for Christians? Christians are meant to decide FOR themselves but not BY themselves.  • Help from others Even when they turn their gaze inward, Christian teaching proclaims that God resides in the very depth of our being. • Discernment with prayer

  38. For your Review p 137 2. What is the role of prayer in moral decision making?

  39. For your Review p 137 2. What is the role of prayer in moral decision making? Prayer means calling upon God, within us and among us in our decision making  Prayer can and does allow us to seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to explore a fuller and deeper goal for decisions

  40. For your Review p 137 3. What prayer did Jesus say in the Garden the night before His death?

  41. For your Review p 137 3. What prayer did Jesus say in the Garden the night before His death? In the garden Jesus prayed, "not what I want but what you want...Your will be done."  (Mt 26:39,42) This becomes the model for our thought: “What would Jesus do?”

  42. Group Work • With a partner, identify situations in which each of these factors could influence the moral character of decisions.   Motives   Methods   Time   Place