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Thesis statement # 5 by Mind Map: Thesis statement # 5
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Thesis statement # 5

1. Freedom and moral obligation seem contradictory.

the confusion lies in the "feeling" that to be free means "not being obliged", based on two assumptions:

one's freedom should be absolute, ideally unlimited by others, conditions, or God

moral obligation is identified with force and coercion., Hence moral commandments/laws have to be reduced to "guidelines" which do not oblige, because otherwise they would unjustifiably restrict one's freedom

Moral obligation

refers to free persons in their free acts

does NOT destroy freedom

essential for becoming authentically free, NEEDED in our human condition to promote true freedom

Freedom

our finite, conditioned human situatedness is the condition of possibility for our freedom, not its unjustifiable restriction

freedom is not "doing what I want" but the CAPACITY TO DO THE GOOD, human freedom is a shared freedom

two basic levels, freedom of choice, I have my freedom, fundamental freedom, I have my freedom, basic stance which we as persons take and become through our free acts/choices

freedom is not mere autonomy but permission granted by God to His created beings

one more level of freedom:, feeling of freedom as circumscribed by context, there is no absolute freedom since we are circumscribed by a certain set of circumstances and context which limit our choices

2. Only free persons, however, are capable of moral obligation.

moral obligation refers only to free persons

people who mistake freedom as capacity to do anything he or she wishes to do has a distorted idea of freedom because of the failure to recognize his or her moral obligation to other people

this conception makes the person falsely free

not absolute but created, limited, and relational

because of our relational nature, true human freedom must not injure the freedom of others -- we are bound to others relationally

freedom then is the capacity to do good rather than straight-up autonomy

moral obligation promotes authentic human freedom by directing free acts away from evil

Just laws articulating moral obligation are free creations of free persons

carry with them fundamental values that do not destroy freedom but foster it in its authenticity

3. The moral force behind the Decalogue provides human person and human community to actualize their highest possible freedom.

Commandments foster freedom by commanding, not guiding

intrinsic moral force that binds us to this obligation is the intrinsic dignity and value of human life

Commandments oblige, guidelines do not

Freely choosing to act against the authentic moral obligation is sin and injures the true freedom both of the doer and of those in community

Commandments protect the freedom of humans

The Decalogue enables human person and human community to actualize their highest possible freedom, a freedom that is not absolute since it is relational, but a freedom that is authentic in its capacity to do good, By loving others, we are actualizing our authentic human freedom as we grow towards becoming disciples of Christ, freedom is the ability to be persons we were created to become -- that is, to be like Christ, to have fellowship with God, sin has hindered us in this aspect

practical example: you are free to drink alcohol, but would you say as an alcoholic you are free to drop the liquor anytime you want?

sin ultimately enslaves us.

God gives commandments in the context of friendship

example: God gives stone tablets to Moses in Mt. Sinai, (wait guys didn't Father David imply Moses was suffocating at the top of the mountain? where is the context of fuhriendship)

an obligation of love rather than law

Commandments teach us to be free

Commandments are not an external constraint on our freedom but tell us who we are in the light of Christ, as created in his image and likeness

4. Jesus Christ's new commandment of love shows the mutual inter-relation between freedom and moral obligation.

Christ's new commandment of love is perfectly compatible with moral obligation

Love is the basis for all moral obligation and the primary motive for freely responding to it

free affirmative response to moral obligation is the best test of authentic love

because love is a decision (which necessarily implies freedom) and love always looks for the best interests of the other

John 15:12-14 "My commandment is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command."

"that he lay down his life for his friend" -- love has an intrinsic moral obligation to protect the freedom of his brother

5. How humans exercise freedom and moral obligation does not only affect interpersonal relations but ecological life as well.

the interpretation of this love for the other has usually referred only to human beings or neighbors

for some theologians, the notion of neighbor includes non-human neighbors and thus love for the other extends to love for environment

social responsibility then involves environmental responsibility

6. Besides the preferential option for the poor, the need for environmental care is equally important.

preferential option for the poor

just wages

common good

other values that promote the inherent dignity of human beings

we must also address issues on environmental care and stewardship

7. An anthropocentric emphasis is no longer tenable.

a shift from anthropocentric world view to ecocentric

this shift being ultimately more encompassing of people and the environment in general

We need to move from a mindset of industrialist utilitarianism and rationalism to a sacramental vision of companionship

8. Global ecological realities require an ethical response rooted in the Christian message.

Verses from the Bible

Genesis 1:31 -- God made everything and found it to be good -- we are stewards over the earth, God's creation, and it is not for us to abuse, we must keep the earth as "good" according to God's design

Genesis 9:9-10 -- God established his covenant not just with human beings but with every living creature

Romans 1:20 -- God reveals himself through His creations, The earth is the primordial sacrament of God's gracious presence and blessing, Nature -- aside from being a medium of God's revelation has its own intrinsic value aside from its instrumental value