By Alban McCoy
From a view which may be defined as enlightened orthodoxy, McCoy tackles quite a lot of matters, resembling: Is there a Christian point of view at the struggle in Iraq that isn't easily a human viewpoint? Are Christian ethics pumped up or watered down humanist ethics? what's a exceptionally Christian view in glossy secularized society? Do the Bible and the normal legislation rather nonetheless have any relevance to the burning ethical problems with the day? As medical development increases ethical problems with incredible complexity, do conventional attitudes to abortion, euthanasia, in vitro fertilization and human embryology nonetheless make any experience? How lengthy should still we lengthen existence? may still we ever help dying?
Fr. Alban McCoy is a convinced and enlightened consultant to those questions.
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His premise is that we human beings work from two quite different and seemingly incompatible standpoints: the theoretical and the practical. ) Neither can be rejected without losing claim to objective knowledge. Pure reason concerns knowledge, the mind and the way we see the scientifically explicable world, viz. the object of knowledge; practical reason concerns action, the will and the way we see ourselves, the subject of knowledge. In the case of the latter, we are incapable of thinking of ourselves as anything other than the sufficient cause of action.
A Companion to Ethics, Oxford 1993, pp. 432-41, 434. 13. Cited by Spaemann, op. , p. 8. Morality Presupposes Freedom, but Are We Free? Determinism Versus Indeterminism Presupposed to everything we have said so far about morality and ethics is the possibility that at least some of our choices are free choices. ) If this is not the case, all talk of morality and ethics would be pointless and, indeed, meaningless. Without the assumption of freedom to determine ourselves, we would be nothing more than flotsam in an ocean of uncontrollable events.
The key idea here is creativity. We are unfinished animals. This is what it means to say we are historical. The fulfilment of our natures - what we are - is something in which we participate. The Renaissance philosopher, Pico della Mirandola (1463—94), who influenced the sixteenth-century Humanists, especially St Thomas More and John Colet, sums this up in his Oration on the Dignity of Man: A limited nature in other creatures is confined within laws laid down by me. In accordance with your free judgement, to which I have entrusted you, you are confined by no 48 An Intelligent Person's Guide to Christian Ethics bounds and you will fix the limits of your nature for yourself.
An intelligent person's guide to Christian ethics by Alban McCoy