Friday, July 29, 2011

Human Acts and Acts of Man [Ethics]

This is one of our topics in our subject bioethics. We even had a skit to portray the differences between human acts and acts of man.

Human act proceeds from the deliberate free will of man. Man knows what he is doing and freely chooses to do what he likes, but he must be responsible and accountable for such act.

There are three elements of human act:

1. knowledge
2. freedom
3. voluntariness

There are modifiers of human acts. If one of these are present, then it is considered as act of man.

1. ignorance
2. passion
3. fear
4. violence
5. habits

Tell whether the following is a human act or act of man.

A. Juan, a young man who grew in the province went to the city for the first time. He crosses the street without a second thought and almost got hit by a car.

- It is an act of man, because there is IGNORANCE. Since Juan grew up in the province, he has not idea about traffic rules.

B. Bea is a college student. Her mother works as a vegetable vendor while her father is a waiter. Their earnings are barely enough to send their child to school. Before the finals exam, Bea's parents failed to send her money for her tuition fee. One of Bea's friends, Michelle, offered her to work as a prostitute for her to earn. Michelle told her about the work. Without hesitation, Bea signed up for the job.

- It is a human act. There is knowledge, freedom and voluntariness. Bea was at the right age with the right mind to decide whether to work as a prostitute or not.

C. Mrs. Aquino is a very rich businesswoman. Her only son was kidnapped and the kidnappers asked for P50 million pesos. Mrs. Aquino gave the money right away.

- It is an act of man. There is fear present. Mrs. Aquino was afraid of losing her son so she gave the money.

D. Martial law was declared. Michael was forced by the soldiers to tell them where the rebels were at gunpoint. Michael told them their hiding place.

- It is an act of man. Violence is present. Michael was forced to tell an information he must have kept.

E. Paula had been planning to kill her husband who has a mistress. It almost drove her crazy, thinking of how her husband cheated on her. When the time came, she went to see her husband and pulled the trigger, killing him.

- It is an act of man. There is passion, Paula's desire to have revenge. She did not think about the consequences of her act, like getting jailed.

F. Anthony wanted to join a certain fraternity. After passing the initiation rites, it was his turn to do the initiation of paddling one of the new ones, Pepe (hitting the back or legs with a huge piece of wood like baseball bat or boat paddle). He hit Pepe so hard that he had hemorrhage that lead to death.

- It is a human act. Anthony has the knowledge that a lot of men died of hazing. He also has freedom and voluntariness to do the act.

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