Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Universal Ethic-Perception of Moral Values 1-Introduction

Chapter II: The Perception of Moral Values

36. The examination of the great moral wisdom traditions carried out in the first chapter shows that some types of human conduct are recognized, in the majority of cultures, as expressions of a certain excellence in the manner in which a human being lives and realizes an authentic humanity: acts of courage, patience when tried or in confronting the difficulties of life, compassion toward the weak, moderation in the use of material goods, a responsible attitude in confronting the environment, dedication to the common good . . . . Such ethical behaviors define the grand lines of an ideal, one properly considered moral, of a life “according to nature,” that is to say, one which conforms to the basic nature of the human subject. On the other hand, other kinds of conduct are universally recognized as objects of reproof: murder, theft, lying, anger, lust, greed . . . . These appear to be attacks on the dignity of the human person and to the just requirements of life in society. As a result of such consent, there has been justification in seeing a manifestation that there is something human in the human being, that is to say, a "human nature," regardless of various cultures. But, while such an agreement with respect to the moral quality of some behaviors exists, there coexists at the same time a great variety of explanatory theories. These are addressed in the fundamental doctrines of the Upanishads in Hinduism, or in the four "noble truths" in Buddhism, or in the Dào of Lao-Tse, or in the "nature" of the Stoic. Every school of wisdom or philosophical system includes an effort to understand the moral act within some general framework of explanation which intends to legitimate the distinctions between that which is good and that which is evil. We have to deal with a variety of justifications which renders difficult any dialogue regarding the foundation of normal norms.

37. Nevertheless, independently from the theoretical justifications of concept of natural law, it is possible to discover the immediate data of the conscience to which such justifications seek to render an account. The object of this chapter is precisely to show how common moral values are considered to constitute the natural law. We will see then how the concept of natural law bases itself on an explanatory framework that founds and legitimates moral values in a way that can be shared among many. To do this, the presentation of the natural law in St. Thomas Aquinas appears especially pertinent because, among other things, it places the natural law as the center of a morality which supports the dignity of the human person and recognizes his capacity of discernment.(44)

(44) Cf. Id., Encyclical Veritatis splendor, n. 44: "The Church has resorted often to the Thomist doctrine of the natural law, integrating it into its moral teaching.”

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