What makes right right and wrong wrong? What is moral obligation, and where does it come from? Why is lying never right? Why is divorce always wrong? Why is abortion always wrong? What are the various moral systems acceptable within Catholicism, and what are their merits? When is it moral to kill another person—if ever? Do animals have rights? What is the origin of the State? Who has the right to educate? Is capital punishment ethical? Is there a right to work? What is a just wage? What is a just war? What is the principle of double effect? Are suicide and euthanasia against Natural Law or only Divine Law? Is there even a Natural Law?
The above questions cover a smattering of ethical fields and subjects, which range literally throughout human experience. There is no action that does not have some ethical implication, and there is no person whatsoever who does not have some moral compass, whether poorly guided or well. Indeed, ethical and moral questions form the brunt of human experience, whether modern man realizes it or not, and we always have ethical and moral presuppositions. Given this reality, the study of ethics is far from some esoteric or abstract field; nor is it without objective and unchanging laws that govern all mankind. Rather, it is an eminently practical and thoroughly important field for every single person in the world. Fr. Austin Fagothey's classic Right and Reason: Ethics in Theory and Practice covers the principles of Catholic ethics in common-sense Aristo-Thomistic terms. As valid today as ever, these principles guide anyone who attempts to grapple with today's new moral questions (medical ethics, family issues, international relations, etc.) with a solid grounding, rather than foundering in the swamp of guesswork, emotionality, and mere personal opinion that governs the modern world. Every Catholic must be familiar with the great ethical questions and their true, Catholic resolutions; Fr. Fagothey's 650-page, masterful tome is just the right thing for the job, a beacon of common sense written with authoritative competence.
- Fr. Austin Fagothey
- TAN Books
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I haven't finished it yet, but this is a great book so far--well organized, and written with a clarity that is all to rare in this age of obfuscation.