Comunicación y Gerencia Chapter Seven: Moral Decision Making
Traditional Sources of Morality • Object Chosen (What We Do) • Intention (Our Motive or Intention in Performing An Act) • Circumstances (Conditions Surrounding the Act that Affect Its Goodness or Evil)
Fact-Finding: What and Who • What are the facts? What is merely opinion? • Who performs the action? Who is affected by it? • Why does the person intend to do this action ? (What is their motivation?) • How will the goals be achieved? (What is the means to achieve the end?) • When and Where will the action happen? (What are the time and place?)
Fact-Finding: What and Who • “What questions” remind us that moral decision-making occurs only when real people make choices in concrete situation. • What are the facts about an issue? • “Who questions” involve the person who does (or people who do) the action and the person or people affected by an action. • Who will be affected by my decision?
Fact-Finding: Why and How • “Why questions” seek to determine whether we act out of selfish motives or out of concern for others • Why are we motivated to do what we do? • “How questions” concern the way we do things and how that influences the morality of our actions • More caring or less caring for the people involved. • “Win at any cost.” • “Do whatever it takes to close the deal.” • “The end does not justify the means.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church,1753)
Fact-Finding: When and Where • “When questions” and “Where questions” both deal with the circumstances behind the situation and the gravity of the situation itself. • Questions about when and where do not always tip the scales from right action to wrong. • It is important to remember, though, that moral decisions always occur in a time (when) and a place (where.)
Emotions and Morality • Emotions (or passions) are neither good nor bad. • When our emotions help us make good decisions, they are morally good. • Likewise, when our emotions lead us to make bad decisions, they are morally evil. • The consequences (or possible consequences) of our actions also must guide our moral decision-making process.
Moral Discernment • Talking to others • “Deciding for yourself does not mean deciding by yourself.” • Consult the Church • Teachings, documents, homilies, websites. • Do you know the teachings of the Church on the issue? • Check with your personal thoughts and feelings • “Strong feelings are not decisive for the morality and holiness of persons; they are simply the inexhaustible reservoir of images and affections in which the moral life is expressed.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1768) • Learn from personal experience • Recognize and scrutinize your personal values • Judgment guided by prayer (Ask God for guidance)
Conscientious Decision Making • Ask for God’s help; • Uncover all the facts (if possible); • Determine the morality of all possible choices and all possible consequences; • Arrive at a judgment (as best you can) while seeking to do God’s will; • Through the decisions we make, we create who we are and help build the Kingdom of God.