Steps to moral decision making: Definition: Be very clear about the moral question you are asking. The more you deal with moral issues, the more you will realise how often the issues at stake come down to careful use of words, and clearly understanding what different terms mean when used by various parties. Knowledge: Find out as much as possible about what is actually involved in the issue you are deliberating. There is no point talking about the ethics of a particular new medical technology if you do not understand the science of what is involved in that technology. In social ethics, we need to find out about the effects on people of certain kinds of social structures, for example economies, health care systems and education. Making use of the natural and social sciences is an important part of thinking through moral issues.Identify the good and bad things: Be honest about the good things that are at stake in a given situation, as well as the possible bad things that might happen as part of, or as a result of, your action or lack of it. Identify the 'truly good' things that we hope to ultimately achieve. The challenge comes in understanding how to realise these things in the context of particular concrete moral issues. Good things include not only things that are good for us like food, oxygen, and love, but also the kind of person we want to be. These latter good things are called virtues. “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good” (CCC 1803). Important virtues include justice, temperance, courage, prudence (or wisdom), chastity as well as faith, hope and love. In identifying the goods at stake (i.e. good things and virtues), we might also ask about how this will make us and others more loving, just and wise. To identify the good things at stake, one can also turn to tradition. From a Catholic perspective, this includes both the Bible and the teachings of the Church. We have already seen how the Catholic tradition of faith and reason reveals what is good for us and for our communities. Many communities, cultures and religions share common ideas about what is good for a community. Scripture Galatians 5: 22-23Identify moral norms: Take seriously what other people have done before you. Others have encountered similar moral dilemmas before you. Generations of people have tried to develop codes of behaviour, also called moral norms, that help to see what is the right thing to do, and prevent unjustifiable bad things from happening. These codes of behaviour provide us with insights into what people have thought to be really important and how to achieve it. Our contemporary legal system, with its codes of law, is one example of this, but so too are teachings such as the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes in the Bible. Consulting the tradition, the collected wisdom of thousands of generations before us, can be helpful in helping us see what other people have done in our situation and why they have done it. Not everything our ancestors have done has been morally right. Almost every tradition has a degree of change in its moral positioning, for example, the change in moral attitudes towards slavery.Use reasoning and the judgment of conscience:At the end of the day, you have to make a decision. You have to freely judge what is the right thing to do, and then, you have to do it.“In the Catholic tradition, some rules apply in every situation. One may never do evil so that good may result from it. The Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” Charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbour and his or her conscience: Thus, sinning against your brother [or sister] and wounding their conscience... you sin against Christ. Therefore, it is right not to... do anything that makes your brother [or sister] stumble.” (CCC #1789)