What are the three sources of morality? The three sources of morality are object, intention, and circumstances. Every human act, every choice we make, includes those three elements—even if we’re talking about eating an ice cream cone. These three sources become important when we’re talking about acts of a moral nature for which we can receive either praise or blame. The reason they’re called “sources of morality” is because by analyzing these elements we can evaluate in an objective way the moral quality of a particular human act. We call them sources because they are sources of information in terms of the morality of the free choices we make.

The three sources of morality are essential in helping us to evaluate human acts and form our moral code. They give us tools to help us live our lives in a morally upright and praiseworthy way. Remember, in living a morally good life, we point our lives toward God, who alone is the true and only source of perfect happiness. 

Objective: In this course, students will learn about the three sources of morality. Students will be provided with the tools necessary to properly analyze the moral nature of human acts and will be shown how to objectively evaluate whether a particular free human act is morally good or bad. 

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 1 - Introduction

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 1 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction - VIDEO
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction - QUIZ
  • 02

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 2 - Object

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 2 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 2 -Object - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 2 - Object - VIDEO
    • Lesson 2 - Object - QUIZ
  • 03

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 3 - Intrinsically Evil Objects

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 3 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 3 - Intrinsically Evil Objects - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 3 - Intrinsically Evil Objects - VIDEO
    • Lesson 3 - Intrinsically Evil Objects - QUIZ
  • 04

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 4 - Good Intentions

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 4 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 4 - Good Intentions - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 4 - Good Intentions - VIDEO
    • Lesson 4 - Good Intentions - QUIZ
  • 05

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 5 - Bad Intentions

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 5 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 5 - Bad Intentions - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 5 - Bad Intentions - VIDEO
    • Lesson 5 - Bad Intentions - QUIZ
  • 06

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 6 - Circumstances and Increased Goodness

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 6 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 6 - Circumstances and Increased Goodness - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 6 - Circumstances and Increased Goodness - VIDEO
    • Lesson 6 - Circumstances and Increased Goodness - QUIZ
  • 07

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 7 - Circumstances and Diminished Goodness

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 7 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 7 - Circumstances and Diminished Goodness - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 7 - Circumstances and Diminished Goodness - VIDEO
    • Lesson 7 - Circumstances and Diminished Goodness - QUIZ
  • 08

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 8 - Circumstances and Increased Culpability

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 8 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 8 - Circumstances and Increased Culpability - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 8 - Circumstances and Increased Culpability - VIDEO
    • Lesson 8 - Circumstances and Increased Culpability - QUIZ
  • 09

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 9 - Circumstances and Diminished Culpability

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 9 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 9 - Circumstances and Diminished Culpability - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 9 - Circumstances and Diminished Culpability - VIDEO
    • Lesson 9 - Circumstances and Diminished Culpability - QUIZ
  • 10

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 10 - The Importance of Communicating Moral Truth

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 10 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 10 - The Importance of Communicating Moral Truth - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 10 - The Importance of Communicating Moral Truth - VIDEO
    • Lesson 10 - The Importance of Communicating Moral Truth - QUIZ
  • 11

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 11 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Evil

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 11 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 11 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Evil - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 11 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Evil - VIDEO
    • Lesson 11 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Evil - QUIZ
  • 12

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 12 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Goodness

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 12 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 12 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Goodness - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 12 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Goodness - VIDEO
    • Lesson 12 - More on Circumstances and Increasing Goodness - QUIZ
  • 13

    The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 13 - Rules to Remember

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    • The Three Sources of Morality - Lesson 13 - Introduction
    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers
    • Lesson 13 - Rules to Remember - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE
    • Lesson 13 - Rules to Remember - VIDEO
    • Lesson 13 - Rules to Remember - QUIZ

Instructor(s)

Instructor Bio:

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (joyintruth.com), an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children.

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Professor of Theology

Deacon Frederick Bartels