2014 | 3 | 273-288
Article title

Czy istnieje etyka niezależna względem Objawienia? Na marginesie książki Ralpha McInerny’ego Zagadnienie etyki chrześcijańskiej

Title variants
Is there an independent on revelations ethics? On the margins of a book by Ralph McInerny Question of christian ethics
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Ralph McInerny, based on his understanding and interpretation of Aquinas’s moral theory, gives his idea of ethics independent from Revelation. McInerny’s concept of Christian philosophy was made in opposition to Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson. Unlike French Thomists, he tried to distinguish in Aquinas’s moral theory the existence of such a practical philosophy that is independent from moral theology or Revelation. He highlighted the fact that in his moral philosophy Aquinas was much more dependable from Aristotle that it is commonly perceived. This can be found especially in Aquinas’s commentaries to works of Stagirite, especial to Nicomachean Ethics. McInerny based his theory on analysis of natural law theory, which is considered as a fundament for undisputed human rights, without any references to moral theology or Revelation. By analogy, as one can grasp the first intellectual principle in theoretical order, in the same way the moral good can be found in practical order. One of the most fundamental principles of practical order is “the good is to be done and pursued, and evil avoided”. Other principles should be delivered from natural inclinations which are rational dynamisms in human nature, that are aiming goals with correspondence with human nature. These inclinations are tendencies to self-preservation, sexual intercourse of men and women and having offspring, personal development in the society and seeking the truth. McInerny strictly connected precepts of Decalogue with natural law, naming them preambles of faith of practical order. By analogy, as one can grasp the most fundamental truths about God in theoretical order, the same precepts of Decalogue, even if revealed by God, can be concluded by natural reason. Thanks to that interpretation, precepts of Decalogue can be determinant for common moral fundament of every human. McInerny’s criticised Maritain’s concept of moral philosophy adequately considered by noticing the difference between practical sciences which can show the path of a morally good life from the dispositions of that life as for example prudence or other from moral virtues. That kind of independent ethics should deliver basic moral principles of morally good life. McInerny in his theory overcame the problem of naturalistic fallacy by making strict dependence between metaphysical and ethical order. McInerny’s idea offers a powerful defense of natural law theory which attempts to find general undisputed judgments, common for every person In morally complex world.
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  • Wydział Teologiczny, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
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Publication order reference
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