Man's ultimate end


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Man's ultimate end

  2. 2. MAN AS SUBJECT OF CHRISTIANMORALITY The most recent advances in science and technology, while generally beneficial to humanity, have also brought on the danger of people getting to depend so much on machines and to behave like machines themselves. The worst scenario that can help in the future is that machine might dominate humankind itself (Maningas: 1998, p.3). The church has been sincere in the intention of imparting moral theology to our modern world. For this reason, she has been opened to different methodologies and approaches in teaching moral theology. Among these various methodologies and approaches none so far has tried to focus on the significance of knowing first the very nature of human beings before educating the faithful in responding to God’s grace by a whole- hearted yes to all the dimensions of life (NCDP, Art. 264).
  3. 3. CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING ON ULTIMATE END Man does not act aimlessly. When he acts, it is because he enjoys theaction, or because he wants to achieve something by that action. Adan or Arthurmay play basketball because he wants to qualify for the varsity team. What we call end is the purpose or goal of an act. It is that which completesor finishes an act (Agapay: 1991, p.31). According to the Encarta 97, end is thepoint in time when a action, event or phenomenon ceases or is completed, aresult and an outcome. In some definition, it is both termination and a goal. Endis that which completes or finishes a thing, and it is that for which the thing isfinished. By an end we mean the end of activity. We do not speak of end in thesense of boundary, or edge, or a rim, or side of bodily objects, but as thetermination and a goal of activity. Every activity tends towards an end; and thusevery activity is a tendency (Glenn: 1968, 9.48).
  4. 4. THE END OF AN ACT The end of the act is the natural termination of an activity. The end of eating is nourishment; that of reading is comprehension, that of basketball is scoring a goal, and that of jogging is physical exercise. The end of the doer is the personal purpose intended by the person performing the act. He who eats aims to satisfy his hunger; the reader to relax himself; the basketball player, to win the game, and the jogger, to maintain physical fitness. The end of the doer is called the motive. The motive is the reason why a person performs an act. It is the force that sustains the act and brings it to completion (Glenn: 1968, p.52).
  5. 5. KINDS OF ENDS The proximate end is the purpose which a doer wishes toaccomplish immediately by his section. The remote end is thepurpose which a doer wishes to accomplish in a series of acts. Theproximate end of eating is the satisfaction of hunger. Its remoteend is the promotion of health. The ultimate end is the purpose which is desired for its ownsake and not because of something else. The intermediate end isthe purpose which is desired as a means for obtaining anotherthing. The attainment of an ultimate end completes an act andstops all further acts. The attainment of an intermediate endleads either to another intermediate end or to an ultimate end.
  6. 6. END AS SOMETHING GOOD Nothing excites the human appetite orrational desire than that which is good. Becausesomething is good, it becomes the object ofdesire and, therefore desirable. Actions aretendencies towards something good. Thus, whatis good and desirable is also the end of the act.The concept of end coincides with that of good.Accordingly, Aristotle says that good meanseither of these: good as an end in itself and goodas a means to another end.
  7. 7. THE GREATEST GOOD In every activity, man seeks that which is good. Thegreatest good is a matter of act. This is evident in ourconcern for the best in everything: best friends, bestparents, best foods, best performance, best job and soforth. In the language of the philosophers. For Aristotle, the greatest good is happiness.Happiness is what man aims to achieve in all his activities.The ultimate purpose of life is the attainment of happiness.Natural happiness is that which is attainable by manthrough the use of his natural powers. Supernaturalhappiness is that which is attainable by man through theuse of his natural powers as there are informed and aidedby God’s infusion of grace.
  8. 8. 3. Existentialist Ethics Existentialism is another philosophy that has greatly influencedcontemporary thought. More than its doctrinal impact, this has greatlypenetrated the attitudinal level. Existentialism considers the radical option for freedom as thesupreme norm of morality. This is because it focuses on the idea thatman has absolute freedom. In fact, for existentialists, the decision to befree and to be morally sound is one and the same reality. A man, with absolute freedom, should judge the values accordingto their usefulness in particular situations. From the point of view of theexistentialists, this is the main value or norm a man should take. Afterall, for them, values are not founded on God.