of change written by Alvin Toffler in 1972 that asserts that
change has changed: since the beginning of the Industrial
Revolution, and especially since 1900, the rate of change
has changed: it has sped up. Technological, social and
cultural changes have been happening so fast that they are ahead
of societies’ capacity to make decisions about whether or not
these changes are moral i.e. good for individuals and society.
2. Definitions of Morality:
Moral: a decision or
action that is good or right: nobody or nothing gets hurt.
Immoral: a decision or
action that is bad or wrong: somebody or something gets hurt.
Amoral: a decision or
action that is morally neutral : nobody or nothing could
3. Dimensions of
decision has both of the following dimensions:
PERSONAL: the individual
has the moral responsibility to decide or act.
institutions have the moral responsibility to decide or act.
4. Objective and Subjective
: an objective moral decision is
made on the basis of rules, laws and principles which are
from core human values and
universal moral principles which exist in every time,
culture and religion: i.e. don’t: kill, steal, lie, commit
adultery…etc. Individuals who are extremely objective can be
perceived as rigid and cruel. Societies which typify this
approach to morality can also be very dangerous i.e. theocracies
like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Nigeria.
a subjective moral decision is
made on the basis of the person, their feelings, the other
the situation. This is a relativistic approach where
everything “depends”…there is no external moral
standard. Individuals who
are are extremely subjective can
be perceived as immoral, selfish rationalizers who do whatever
they want to do. A society that
typifies this approach is
America. Our value for freedom and individualism has crossed
over the line into license and a
attitude towards life.
: THAT WE WILL USE ALL YEAR TO
RESOLVE MORAL DILEMMAS...
Derives from Jesus’
balancing of the objective (Jewish Law) and the subjective (a
Person Centered Morality) as seen in the
Gospel story of the woman caught in adultery: he supported both
the law and the person.
The Catholic moral tradition
has encapsulated this approach into the following:
“ DO THE MOST
LOVING, LEAST HARMFUL THING FOR EVERYONE IN THE
MOST LOVING, LEAST
HARMFUL is OBJECTIVE:
it takes you
outside of the immediate situation and requires you to think
about universal moral principles.
people involved, and recognizes that the ideal cannot be
achieved in every situation.
Are what we prize, prefer,
and think are important. They are our priorities,
because they are what we actually choose and do.
What you spend your money on
shows what you value because you have to make a choice.
When Values are in Conflict:
you know what the moral choice is.
‘the lesser of two evils”.
important to you.
what Jesus said, what
Jesus did, and what Jesus told us to do.
The Core Gospel
9. SOCIETAL VALUES
are usually the OPPOSITE of Gospel Values. This is why
the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced
was already among us is
referred to as
The Upside Down Kingdom.
The Social Teaching of the Church:
is derived from
Gospel Values and has developed primarily in the past 100
It has been
called “ THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN THE
CHURCH “. The main
points are outlined below, but
please refer to your handout
for the full explanation.
Major Themes of Catholic Social Teaching:
Life and Dignity of the Human
Call to Family, Community and
Rights and responsibilities
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The Dignity of Work and the Rights
Care for God’s Creation