Human Acts: Definition, Ethics, and Debate

The Human Act , becomes 1 of the 2 types of acts, the second is the acts of man, which are being executed by man. Discover in the following article how these acts are carried out consciously and deliberately at a rational level by the human being.

Human Acts

There are 2 types of acts, which are called human acts and also the acts of man, the 2 come to be executed by man, however, they have some differences that are:

Human Acts

These come to be executed consciously and also freely, that is, on a rational level. Human acts come to be originated in the typically human part of man, that is, in certain specific faculties, such as intelligence and will. These become the material object of Ethics and are also usually the ones that can be judged as good or bad from a Moral point of view.

The Acts of Man

These are the ones that lack a conscience or freedom or even both, a good example that is clear is for example digestion or breathing, etc. The acts of man only belong to man because he is the one who has executed them, however, they are not properly human beings because their origin is not found in man as man, but rather as animal.

These are the acts that lack morality (that is, they are amoral) therefore they cannot be judged from a moral point of view as if they were good or bad, if they can be judged as good or bad, however, from another point of view, such as the physiological. The acts, whether they become human or of man, have a kind of certain ontological value independent of moral value. The ontological or also known as metaphysical value of human behavior is that which refers to the real fact, to existence, also to the objectivity of the act.

Unlike the moral value which depends on some subjective conditions and also that are specific to the person who executes this type of act, such as intention, freedom, degree of consciousness, etc. The moral value is located only in human acts and also in the ontological value is that it is found in the 2.

When it comes to saying that a human act has a moral value, it is implying that this type of moral value can have a positive sign or also a negative sign. Working, for example, comes to have a positive moral value, however, murder comes to have a negative moral value.

Generally, we have come to designate negative moral value as “immoral”, however, this kind of word, in its etymology, comes to indicate rather a type of detachment from moral value and also from the only acts that are detached of the moral values ​​which are the acts of man, however, these have already come to be qualified as “amoral”.

Every type of human act has a psychic element that also becomes a reason for a moral evaluation, this is usually the “End” or “intention” that becomes the objective or the purpose for which a type of human act is performed. , through the purpose or intention of 2 equal human acts which may differ significantly by the author who performed each of the acts.

The word “End” has different types of meanings, of course the one that refers to the last, to the extreme, will not be taken into account. The word end comes to mean intention, objective, purpose. The word end has a double division when it comes to mean objective or purpose.

A-. When it means objective, it is usually considered the proximate end (this is the one that is subordinated to the others), the ultimate end (it is not the one that is subordinated to any other), the intermediate end (it is the one that participates in the 2, that is, it becomes subordinate to the ultimate end and also to itself, which it keeps subordinated to the next end).

B.- When we come to speak of the end as an intention or purpose, we can refer to the intrinsic end of the act (this becomes the one that has the action itself according to its own nature) or to the end of the subject that executes the act (this becomes the one that the actor of the action actually intends, on certain occasions this end differs with respect to the end of the act).

Another type of aspect that has become connected to Ethics since the time of the philosopher Aristotle becomes the theme of happiness. Happiness becomes the actualization of human powers, that is, the realization and also the exercise of the faculties and other capacities of man.

When man comes to put his potentialities to work, the natural consequence is usually happiness. Moreover, this is usually the end proper to man. Man is made to be happy. From a point of view of Philosophy and also of Psychology, happiness is usually the normal consequence of a correct functioning of the human being. You can distinguish about 3 types or levels of happiness that are:

  • First – Sensitive Happiness: This becomes the experience of satisfaction and also the approval from all the senses.
  • Second – Spiritual Happiness: This is superior to the sensible one and is obtained by the correct functioning of human potentialities in a type of suprasensible level, such as intelligence, will, love, freedom, art, virtues, among many others.
  • Third – Deep Happiness: This is the one that comes from the core of personal identity. It becomes a much more refined happiness than the previous 2 and is usually only perceived when the person captures his own core through a type of conceptual and also mathematical knowledge.

Definition of the Human Act

Human acts become all those that proceed from the deliberate will of man; this means, those that he manages to realize with knowledge and also with free will. It is in them that what is the understanding intervenes first, because a person cannot come to want or desire what is not known: with the understanding man comes to notice the object and usually deliberates if he can and should tend to it, or not. Once it is known what the object is, the will comes to incline towards‚ what it wants, or moves away from it, rejecting it.

Only in this same case, when they intervene through the intellect and the will, is man the owner of each and every one of his acts, and therefore, he is fully responsible for them. And only in human acts can a moral evaluation be given.

Not all the acts that man performs are usually properly human, since as has been previously pointed out, they can be in the same way:

  • Merely Natural:

Those that come from the vegetative and sensitive powers, over which man does not have any voluntary control, and are usually common with animals: for example, nutrition, blood circulation, breathing , as well as visual or auditory perception, also feeling pain or even pleasure, etc.

  • Acts of Man:

They are those that come from man, however, lacking the warning (crazy, small children, total distraction), since the voluntariness (by physical coercion, for example), and at 2 (for example, in the one who sleeps).

 Human Act Division

Due to its association with what morality is, the human act can become in 3 ways:

  • Good or Lawful: If the person is in accordance with the moral law (such as giving alms).
  • Bad or Illicit: If the person is against it (Like, for example, lying).
  • Indifferent: It is when a person neither becomes contrary nor agrees (such as, for example, walking).

Although this becomes the most important division, it should be noted that in the same way that, due to the faculties that usually perfect it, the act can become:

  • Internal: The one carried out by means of the internal faculties of man, these can be understanding, memory and imagination, as, for example, the memory of a past class of action, or the simple desire of something future.
  • External: It is when the organs and also the 5 senses of the body are involved (such as, for example, eating or even reading).

 Elements of the Human Act

We are going to describe what all those elements of the human act are. These consist of the following that we will mention.

Warning and Consent

It has already been highlighted that the human act is one that requires the intervention of the rational powers, of the intelligence and also of the will, which are what determine its constituent elements: the warning within the intelligence and consent in the will.

 The warning

As far as the warning is, man comes to perceive the action that he is going to carry out, or that he is already carrying out. This kind of warning can even be full or also half-full, according to how the action is noticed with all kinds of perfection or only imperfectly (as, for example, being semi-asleep).

Obviously, every type of human act is one that necessarily needs this kind of warning, in such a way that a man who acts to such a point of absent-mindedness that he does not notice what he is doing in any way, would not be able to carry out a human act.

It is not enough, however, that the act becomes known so that it can be morally imputed: in this case, it is also required to warn of the relationship that the act has with morality (such as, for example, the fact that notices that he is consuming meat, however, he does not realize that he is awake, so he performs a human act that, however, is not morally imputable). The warning, then, becomes double: that is, warning of the act itself and warning of the morality of the act.

 The consent

This is what leads man to want to get to perform that type of previously known act, seeking with this an end. As Saint Thomas points out, a voluntary act or consented act is “one that proceeds from an intrinsic principle with a knowledge of the end.”

This type of “consensual” voluntary act can be perfect or even imperfect depending on how it is carried out with full or semi-full consent and whether it is direct or indirect. Due to the importance it has in practice, which we will study in more detail what is meant by voluntary act in an indirect and even direct way.

The Indirect Voluntary Act

It becomes a voluntary act in an indirect way when, at the time of carrying out a class of action, in addition to the effect that is directly pursued with it, another type of additional effect is followed, which is not intended but only tolerated. for coming together with the first, such as, for example, the soldier who arrives to bomb an enemy city, knowing that many innocent people are going to die since he only directly wants to destroy the enemy, this is the direct volunteer, and he is the one who tolerates the death of the innocent an indirect volunteer.

 Obstacles to the Human Act

It is now about being able to analyze certain types of factors that usually affect human acts, already preventing what is the due knowledge of the action, and the free choice of the will; this means, the causes that in a certain way can modify the human act in terms of its voluntariness or even its warning and, therefore, in relation to its morality.

Some of these same causes are those that affect the cognitive element of the human act (which is known as warning), and others to the type of volitional element (which is known as consent). These types of obstacles are the ones that can even make a “human act” become just a “man act”.

 Obstacle on the Part of Knowledge

We are going to see what are those obstacles that are on the part of knowledge, which is mainly about ignorance.

The ignorance

Ignorance is divided as follows:

  • Notion of Ignorance: Ignorance is understood as the lack of knowledge of an obligation.
  • Division of Ignorance: Ignorance can become beatable or even invincible. The Conquerable Ignorance , becomes all that could and should be overcome, if a reasonable effort could be made, such as, for example, consulting, studying or thinking. The Invincible Ignorance, becomes that which cannot be overcome by the subject who suffers from it, either because he does not notice it in any way, or because he has come to try in vain to get out of it.

Ignorance can become beatable or even invincible. The Conquerable Ignorance , becomes all that could and should be overcome, if a reasonable effort could be made, such as, for example, consulting, studying or thinking. The Invincible Ignorance, becomes that which cannot be overcome by the subject who suffers from it, either because he does not notice it in any way, or because he has come to try in vain to get out of it.

  • Moral Principles of Ignorance

The moral principles of ignorance become 2 mainly that are:

First: The Invincible Ignorance that removes all responsibility before God, since it is involuntary and therefore blameless before those who come to know the bottom of our hearts.

Second: The Overcoming Ignorance, becomes guilty at all times, to a greater or lesser degree according to the negligence in being able to find out what the truth is. Thus, the responsibility of a bad action that is carried out with crass ignorance becomes greater, than with simply the defeatable one.

Third: Affected ignorance, far from diminishing responsibility, increases it, due to the greater malice it entails.

  • The Duty to Know the Moral Law

As has already been mentioned, ignorance can on certain occasions exempt one from guilt and, consequently, from moral responsibility. However, it becomes convenient to add that there is a duty to know what the moral law is, in order to adapt each of our actions to it.

Obstacles on the Part of the Will

The obstacles that hinder the free choice of the will are the following:

  • The fear

It is a kind of hesitation of the spirit before a bad present or a future that threatens us, and that comes to influence the will of the one who acts. In general, fear, even if it becomes great, does not destroy the voluntary act, unless its intensity is what makes him lose the use of reason.

  • The passions

They are the ones that designate the emotions or the impulses of the sensibility that come to incline one to act or not to act. These are the natural components of the human psyche, which constitute the place of passage between what is sensible life and the life of the spirit.

  • The violence

It is the impulse of an external factor that leads a person to act against their own will. This type of external factor can become physical (such as blows) or moral (such as promises, flattery, insistent and inopportune pleas), which gives rise to physical violence or moral violence.

  • The violence

It is the impulse of an external factor that leads a person to act against their own will. This type of external factor can become physical (such as blows) or moral (such as promises, flattery, insistent and inopportune pleas), which gives rise to physical violence or moral violence.

  • The habits

Closely associated with consent are the habits or customs contracted by the repetition of acts, and which are defined as firm and constant as the tendency to act in a certain way. These types of habits can become good and in that same case we call them virtues or bad: the latter are the ones that are constituted as vices.

 The Morality of the Human Act

The human act does not become a simple structure, but rather integrated by the various types of elements. Now the question that many will ask themselves is: In which of them is the morality of the action based? This question is the key to the study of moral science, which is answered by saying that, in the judgment about the goodness or badness of an act, it is something precise to consider:

  • The Object of the Act Itself
  • The Circumstances Surrounding It
  • The Purpose that the Subject Proposes with that Act.

In order to determine the morality of any kind of action, one must reflect long before on these 3 types of aspects.

 The object

The object is the one that constitutes the fundamental data: it becomes the very action of the subject, however, it is the one taken under his moral consideration. You can come to notice that the object is not usually the act without more, but it is the act according to its moral qualification. The same physical act can even have very different objects, as can be seen in the following examples:

Miscellaneous Objects Act

  • kill murder
  • Self-defense
  • Abortion
  • Death penalty
  • talk lie
  • To pray
  • To insult
  • Adular
  • To bless
  • defame
  • Swear
  • Blaspheme

The morality of an act is one that will depend on the object in the main, if the object becomes bad, the act is usually necessarily bad; if the object is usually good, the act becomes good if the circumstances are good and so is the purpose. For example, blasphemy is never lawful, just like perjury, slander, etc., even if the various circumstances or the purpose are very “good”.

If the object of the act does not have in itself a kind of morality (as, for example, going for a walk), it receives it from the intended purpose (as, for example, to be able to rest and maintain health), or from the circumstances that will accompany it (such as, for example, with a bad company).

Moral Theology is the one that teaches that, even when indifferent moral objects can occur in themselves, that is, neither good nor bad, nevertheless, in practice there are no indifferent actions (this means that its moral qualification proceeds in this case from the end or also from the circumstances). Hence it is that concretely every kind of action is either good or becomes bad.

 The circumstances

A.- The Notion is Found: The circumstances of (circum – stare = being around) are different types of factors or modifications that come to affect the human act. The following may be considered in particular:

  • First: Who performs the action, for example, sins more seriously who has come to have authority which sets a bad example.
  • Second: The consequences or the effects that follow from the action (a slight carelessness of the doctor can even cause the death of a patient).
  • Third: What thing, is what designates the quality of an object, such as the theft of a sacred thing or its quantity, such as the amount of what was stolen.
  • Fourth: Where, is the place where the action is carried out, such as, for example, a sin committed in public becomes more serious, due to the scandal that this entails.
  • Fifth: by what means was the action carried out, for example, if there was fraud or deception, or if violence was used.
  • Sixth: The way in which the act was carried out, such as, for example, praying attentively or distractedly, punishing the children with excessive cruelty.
  • Seventh: When the action was carried out, since on certain occasions time comes to influence morality, such as eating meat on a waking day.

B.- Influence of Circumstances on Morality: There are moments that attenuate the morality of the act, the circumstances that aggravate it and, finally, all those circumstances that add other moral connotations to that act. Like, for example, acting on the impulse of a passion which can, depending on the case, mitigate or aggravate guilt.

Insulting is always bad: however, insulting an acquaintance becomes much less serious than insulting a person who is sick. It is clear that in the examination of moral acts only all those circumstances that have a type of moral influence should be taken into account. Thus, as, for example, in the case of theft, which does not matter if it was on a Tuesday or a Thursday, etc.

The Circumstances that add moral connotation to sin, causing that in 1 single act 2 or more specifically different sins are committed, such as, for example, the one who steals a blessed chalice commits 2 sins at the same time that are:

  • Theft
  • Sacrilege

The circumstance that is added to a new moral connotation is the circumstance “what thing”, in this case the quality of the chalice, which was consecrated for theft, becomes theft and sacrilege.

The Circumstances that come to change the theological species of sin, causing a sin to go from being mortal to venial or vice versa, such as, for example, the amount of what was stolen, which indicates whether a sin becomes venial or mortal.

The Circumstances that tend to aggravate or diminish sin without changing its species, for example, it is much more serious to give a bad example to children than to adults; Therefore, the offense that comes from a sudden outbreak of anger when playing sports, etc., is less serious.


The purpose becomes the intention that man has at the time of performing a type of act, and may even coincide or not with the object of the action. It doesn’t match, like when I walk through the field (this gets to be the item) to get my health back (this gets to be the end). If both coincide, instead, in the one who gets drunk (this is the object) with the simple desire to get drunk (this is the end). In relation to morality, the end of it is the one who acts, which can influence in different ways:

  • First: If the end becomes good, it is the one that adds a new kind of goodness to the good act (such as, for example, hearing Mass or the service, this becomes the good object, in reparation for all sins or for being filled more with the word of God, which is usually the good end).
  • Second: If the end becomes bad, which is the one that completely vitiates the goodness of an act (such as, for example, going to Mass or the service which is the good object, only to criticize attendees or present, this is the bad end).
  • Third: When the act becomes his indifferent object, the end is what turns it into something good or even bad (such as, for example, walking in front of the bank, which is the indifferent object, in order to prepare the next robbery). which is about the bad end).
  • Fourth: If the end becomes bad, this is the one that adds a new malice to a type of act of its own bad (such as, for example, stealing which is the bad object and then getting drunk, this becomes the bad end ).
  • Fifth: The good end of which one acts can never turn a bad action of his. As the Apostle Paul describes it: “evil things must not be done that they may be good” (Romans 8:3), that is (as, for example, one cannot swear falsely, which is the evil object to save to an innocent, this becomes the good end, or even kill someone to be able to free him from all his pains, or even rob the rich to get to give to the poor, etc.).

Determination of the Morality of the Human Act

The basic principle to judge morality is usually the following: For a class of action to become good, its 3 elements must be good in the same way, which are:

  1. good object
  2. end good
  3. good circumstances

For the act to become bad, it is enough for any of its 3 elements to be bad, not exactly all of them, the good is that which is born from total rectitude; evil is born from a single defect. The reason becomes clear: these 3 types of elements are the ones that form a kind of indissoluble unity in the human act, and even if only 1 of them turns out to be contrary to divine law, if the will is a work despite this kind of opposition, the act becomes morally wrong.

 The illegality of acting only for pleasure

The illegality of acting only for simple pleasure is a moral principle that has a large number of consequences in practical life. The premises become the following:

  • God has wanted certain actions to be accompanied by pleasure, given the importance that this represents for the conservation of the person or the species.
  • For this reason, pleasure does not in itself have an end reason, but rather becomes only a type of means that facilitates the practice of said acts.
  • Placing delight as an end of an act is the one that implies getting to disrupt the order of all things that are indicated by God, and that same action is the one that is more or less seriously corrupted. For this reason, it is never lawful to act solely for pleasure (as, for example, eating and drinking for pleasure alone becomes a sin; likewise, performing the conjugal act exclusively for the simple delight that accompanies it.
  • It is possible to act with pleasure, however, delight not being the intended reality in itself (as, for example, conjugal pleasure is usually lawful for the purposes of marriage, however, not when it is sought as a sole purpose. The same can be said of those who come to seek fun for the sake of having fun).

For acts to become righteous, it is always good for a person to refer them to God, the ultimate end of man, at least implicitly: “Whether you eat or drink, do it for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31 ). If the intention to come to please God is excluded in any act, which would be sinful, although this kind of exclusion of the will to be able to please God makes the act sinful if it is carried out directly, not if it comes to omit inadvertently.

The Right Understanding of Freedom

One of the notes that are characteristic of the person among all the visible beings that come to inhabit the earth are usually the man who is a person, it is freedom. With it, man manages to escape from the realm of need and is usually able to love and achieve merit. Freedom characterizes acts that are properly human: only in freedom does man become the “father” of his acts.

On certain occasions, freedom can be considered as one of the ability to do what you want without any rule or brake. That would become a kind of corruption of freedom, like, for example, the cancerous tumor that becomes in a body. True freedom has a meaning and an orientation:

Freedom becomes the power, which is rooted in reason and also in the will, to be able to act or not to act, to do this or that, to be able to execute by oneself the actions that are deliberate.

Freedom comes to be subsequent to intelligence and also to the will, which is rooted in them, that is, in the spiritual being of man. Therefore, freedom must come to obey man’s own way of being, being in him a kind of force for growth and maturation in truth and also in goodness. In other words, it reaches its perfection when it is ordered to God.

“Until it reaches a definitive encounter with what is its ultimate good, which becomes God, freedom implies the possibility of having to choose between good and evil, and therefore of growing towards perfection or falter and sin It becomes a kind of source of praise or even blame, merit or demerit.”

Freedom that is magnified is called quality freedom. That kind of freedom is what makes man great, because it is a “sequi naturam”, which means, in accordance with nature, that we should not understand it as a kind of inclination of a biological order, since this mainly concerns what which is the rational nature, which is characterized by openness to the Truth and also to the Good and to communication with other men.

In other words, quality freedom comes to be after reason, since it is based on it and it is from it that it extracts all its principles. Exactly the opposite of the erroneous concept of freedom such as the freedom of indifference, in which freedom is long before reason, and can go against it with impunity.

It is the freedom that is not subject to the norm nor to the brake, it is the one that usually postulates the autonomy of indeterminacy. A type of illusory and unfathomable debauchery, however, destructive of man and also of his happiness.

They are not human acts

The following that we will mention do not become Human Acts:

  • Merely Natural Acts:

Those that come from the vegetative and sensitive powers, over which man does not have any voluntary control, and are usually common to animals. Like, for example, nutrition, blood circulation and breathing.

  • The Acts of Man:

They are all those that come from man, however, what is missing is the warning (crazy people, children without the use of reason) or even voluntariness (by physical coercion, for example) or it can also be 2 as , for example, the one who sleeps.

In the most elementary experience of a person, a type of phenomenon is produced that it is convenient to point out: He knows that he is doing well or that he is doing badly, that all his actions are good or bad. He knows it because his conscience tells him, that kind of inner voice that he warns:

  • you must do good
  • You must avoid evil

However, conscience does nothing more than translate what is the prior conviction that we have a law engraved within us, to which all human beings must submit; so that if a person acts according to it, he will be acting well; and if they contradict it, he will be doing wrong.

Because it is free, human action has a constitutive contingency, it becomes concrete, changing, circumstantial. What I do I can end up not doing, or doing it in another way. Circumstances are not the ones that totally determine a person’s actions, but they can come to assume them more or less, and in one way or another.

For all this, with their actions, they can achieve success as a person or even fail, overcome or degrade; their actions are what reveal or conceal them. In a word, they are totally self-referential, that is, they revert to the subject, modeling it for better or even worse.

Another of the characteristics of human action becomes its singularity: a decision is made by decision, step by step, in such a way that in each of the acts the person is fully committed; each singular act is the one that summarizes all of life, and guides it or not in the horizon of the vocation.

Moral conscience is the one that allows us to realize the effects of our behavior and is also the one that inhibits us or pushes us to carry out all our acts under an internal compulsion that limits freedom.

Freedom is what makes man a moral subject. When he comes to act deliberately, the man is responsible for his actions. Human acts, that is, acts that are freely performed after a judgment of conscience, become morally good or even bad.

The goodness or badness of human acts is that which depends on the object that is chosen, the intention or end that is sought, and on the circumstances of the action. No, the passions also intervene, which become the impulses of sensibility, and according to whether these depend or not on reason and also on the will, there is moral good or evil in the passions.

The question that is usually asked is the following: What is it that makes voluntariness imperfect, always reducing the specifically human character of the act and making the person less responsible for his or her actions? Therefore, there are about 5 main modifiers of the responsibility of a human act, which are:

  • Ignorance, which comes to affect knowledge
  • Passion, which comes to affect the consent of the will
  • Fear, which is the one that opposes the will, a contrary desire
  • Force is the actual employment of compulsion
  • Habit, a kind of tendency acquired by repetition


The lack of knowledge occurs in different degrees, a person who is capable of knowledge may or may not have the obligation to have it, as, for example, a ship captain or even a doctor does not need to know about music or archaeology; similar to merely negative ignorance which has no significance in ethics.

As for what the guilt of defeatable ignorance is, it will depend on the amount of effort that is dedicated to overcome it, and also the amount of effort that is needed also depends on the importance of the issue and also of the obligation to have such knowledge.

Overcoming ignorance is not the one that destroys responsibility, however, it is the one that diminishes it. The person knows that he is ignorant and that he can attain knowledge. By deliberately failing to make the kind of effort necessary to remain ignorant, however, the effects that follow from your ignorance become voluntary as to cause, because they become a kind of intended consequence.

The case of a surgeon who is aware of not having the necessary knowledge for a very difficult operation which he carries out anyway and therefore kills the patient; Although he did not want the patient to die, it is usually clear that he deliberately exposed the patient to a serious and also unnecessary risk, thus being solely responsible for the person’s death.


Passion is understood as a very strong type of movement of the sensitive appetite, the old terms used by different authors become desire and concupiscence, however, it seems much more appropriate for the word passion.

The passions are those that may arise spontaneously before the will has come to act, when an object is presented to the senses, the sensitive appetite reacts almost automatically through sudden feelings of:

  • Joy
  • The anger
  • Hatred
  • the grief
  • The shame
  • The compassion

Disgust and others like it, when these emotions are experienced very strongly, is what we can understand by passions. A state of passion which is deliberately provoked or equally encouraged is voluntary in itself. Therefore it becomes the act resulting from the passion which becomes voluntary, either in itself or in its own cause.

As, for example, a person who intentionally broods over a type of insult, in order to be able to carry out a type of act of revenge, uses passion as a type of means and revenge as an end, being both revenge and revenge. their voluntary passion in themselves.


Fear becomes the apprehension of imminent evil. This can become a kind of emotion and in this same sense fear is usually one of the passions and follows the rules of how the voluntariness of the act is influenced by what passion is.

However, there is intellectual fear in the same way, this is the one that consists in the understanding of a kind of threat of evil and before it it is a response of the will to be able to avoid said evil through actions. rationally conceived, this kind of fear may or may not be accompanied by a certain emotional component.

Acts that are performed under duress and intimidation have fear as their motive. These types of acts become extorted under what is the threat of the evils that are going to be inflicted by another human will, however, the acts that are carried out under duress and intimidation become the responsible acts, because the person he could have come to resist and accept the consequences.


Force becomes the external physical power that makes a person do something against their will. In common language, someone who gives in to a threat of violence is said to have seen himself as forced, although it is not actually a kind of force, but rather fear and the will of the person must come to judge oneself according to the norms of fear.

Force is what affects only external acts and not the internal act of will, where the voluntariness of the human act comes to lie, one can continue to want the opposite, no matter how violently a person is forced. have to perform an act.


Habit can be defined as a constant way of acting which is obtained by repeating the same act. Once the habit is acquired, the acts are those that result from it spontaneously and, it can be said, almost automatically, in such a way of deliberation that it becomes unnecessary.

If a person deliberately proposes to acquire a type of habit, the habit becomes voluntary in itself, and the acts that result from it are voluntary in themselves; if they are executed with the intention of being able to acquire a habit, they can become voluntary in the same way as to their cause if they are not intentional but as expected consequences of the habit.

It may be discovered that a type of habit could have been acquired unintentionally, either because it was not possible to be aware that the same action had been carried out so constantly, or because it was not possible to be aware that certain acts reached be habit formers.

In general, Saint Thomas and also the scholastics are the ones who consider as human only all those acts that are free and deliberate of the human will. His point of view is even based on psychological analysis. A free act is a voluntary one, this means that it comes from the will of the person towards the desired end or, in other words, it is one that becomes developed by the will before the goodness that, according to the understanding , possesses as an object the one that is presented to him.

Free acts, furthermore, even though they may not be desired, are those that come, intrinsically or extrinsically, from the very determination of the human will. These are all those acts that the will may or may not produce, although all the conditions of free will are present to be able to carry them out.

Therefore, they become all those acts towards which the will is decided neither by the object nor by what is the disposition that the temperament may have at that very moment, nor by one’s own habits, but rather it becomes determined by the conditions that become its own.

Very often good intentions are invoked in order to justify an objectively bad kind of action. It should be noted that such intentions not only fail to make an intrinsically bad act good, but fall short of the true intention that informs the act.

Now you may wonder why? Because, it is not easy to be able to discern what this intention is, and in any case it cannot be considered apart from the vocational intention and also from the  . When it is not done that way, on many occasions these intentions are usually nothing more than justifications.

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