Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

INDIFFERENT ACT

The theory that some human actions, though conscious and deliberate, are morally indifferent, that is, neither good nor bad. Defended by Duns Scotus (c. 1264-1308) and his followers, it is not commonly held by Catholic moralists. Following St. Thomas Aquinas, they admit that in the abstract a human act can be morally indifferent, but not when considered individually in the concrete. Consequently, every deliberate act performed by a definite individual is always either morally good or bad.

The controversy revolves around the question: must every human action be explicitly directed to a morally good purpose? St. Thomas answers that an implicit intention to do what is right is sufficient for a morally good action, provided it is done with some reflection and exercise of freedom.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

On Bishops and Jesuits, Saints and Angels 13 hours ago
Bishop Finn in Kansas City: Not quite up to date? 15 hours ago
Oh, that sort of misconduct [UPDATED] September 29
Don’t worry about terrorism; worry about workplace violence? September 29
Doing Great Things for Christ September 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30