Thomas' theory of sin is a specification of his general theory of metaphysical evil. Both his theory of evil in general and his theory of moral evil specifically provide an understanding that constitutes a scientia, for both theories consist of an explanation of the four causes of evil. As a contrary of good, evil can be explained by means of its causes, for the scientia of good includes the understanding of the contrary of good. Thus sin can be understood precisely (...) as it is opposed to the good proper to rational creatures. ;The fact that Thomas's theory of evil consists of an explanation of its four causes is most evident in his Disputed Questions De malo. Thomas' explanation of moral evil parallels his explanation of metaphysical evil, as it demonstrates the four causes of sin in a similar fashion. Further, Thomas' theory of metaphysical evil provides the foundation for his explanation of moral evil; thus Thomas will apply the principles established concerning evil in general to the particular difficulties that arise in regard to the evil found in the rational creature. ;In his general theory of evil, Thomas determined that evil itself was not a thing, for there is no form or end proper to an evil nature. Evil can be understood according to the form that it opposes, and it is only found in some subject that properly possesses that form. Something that acts according to its end as a final cause may be the efficient cause of evil, either deficiently as it or the matter it acts upon is deficient, or as the good it acts for is accidentally an evil to another. The particular good that the efficient cause of evil intends or acts for, then, is a particular good that is in some way contrary to the particular good of some creature. In the case of sin, the will is the efficient cause of evil, as it intends something good, but there is some evil joined to it either accidentally or through its deficiency. Moral evil, then, is known by way of these causes. (shrink)
In this book, controversial topics such as the morality of abortion, withdrawing treatment from handicapped newborns, the role of ethics committees, diagnosing death, withdrawing food and fluids and giving lethal injections are discussed. It proposes model legislation to prevent abuse and neglect of the medically vulnerable and dependent, and in a piercing and insightful manner, Fr. Barry critically evaluates many contemporary views on these topics, arguing forcefully for a reappraisal of many popular views on these topics.
This textbook is intended for ethics courses in engineering and science. It can be used either in a one-credit-hour semester course or as a set of drop-in modules in a core engineering or science course. The text avoids a detailed treatment of the ins and outs of philsophical ethics - a complex subject not needed for most ethical judgements. The approach to ethical problem solving used is one that focuses on analysing the consequences rather than rules to be obey in (...) making decisions. An Instructor's Manual will be available; it will offer a set of "cookbook" lectures to greatly reduce preparation time. (shrink)