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The determinants are essential features of morality that point to the rightness or wrongness of an action. It enables us to perceive the specificity of morality. Only human person act for a reason, a purpose, and for an intention or goal because it is only the human persons who are created with the intelligence and the freedom to choose from good and evil. The three determinants of morality are the Object of the Act (Finis Operis), End of the Agent (Finis Operantis), and Circumstances B1.
What are Circumstances Circumstances are the situational factors surrounding the concurrent of the act. These circumstances may either increase or diminish our responsibility in doing the act. There are seven types of circumstances affecting the act that human people do. These are what, who, where, by what means, why, how, and when. “What” refers to the nature of the act (Quid). “Who” refers to the person/doer/agent and the recipient of the act (Quis).
“Where” refers to the locus of the act or the place where the action took place (Ubi). “By What Means” refers to the instruments used in the performance of the act (Quidis Auxiliis). “Why” refers to the reason in doing the act (Cur). “How” refers to the manner or the process of performing the act (Quomodo). And lastly, “When” refers to the time element in the commission of the act (Quando). There are also three kinds of circumstances. First is aggravating, which intensifies the gravity of the act.
Second is mitigating, this lessens the culpability of the act. Third is exempting, it has culpability but is no applicable for the given time. Lastly justifying, which means no more culpability is involved. B2. Principles to Remember The principles to remember in circumstances are it is positive because it can make better an act good or even indifferent in its object and it is negative because it can make worse an act evil or indifferent in its object. It can also make less good or less evil an act good in itself.
The act may be morally good, all three determinants must be without a flaw. B3. Examples Examples of circumstances is when one is poor. It is an example of circumstance because it is a situational factor which could increase one’s responsibility to work harder and earn so that he/she could have a living. Another example of circumstance is when one is sick. It is also an example of circumstances because when one is sick, the person will be more responsible in taking care of him/herself.