Monday, February 8, 2010

object, End, and circumstances

When assessing the moral quality of an act, we often partition the act into "object" (what the agent physically does), "end" (the intent of the act), and "circumstances" (other mitigating factors).

A morally good act requires a good object AND a good end AND good circumstances. The absence of any of these three imparts a negative quality to the morality of the act.

My greatest struggle is with my "ends." Evil intentions from disordered passions often rise up inside of me---at terribly inconvenient times---threatening to pollute an action with good object and circumstances the very moment before I perform it.

Holy people are probably not this complicated.

1 comment:

  1. You may know - at least you should - that anything has to be voluntary to be sinful. I understand that holy people have temptations, sometimes great temptations, sometimes greater temptations than ordinary sinners.