morality

Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Thomas Aquinas, on whether the ends justify the means:

On the contrary, Boethius says (De Differ. Topic. ii) that "if the end is good, the thing is good, and if the end be evil, the thing also is evil."

That is a simple way of stating it, but he elaborates:

Nothing hinders an action that is good in one of the way mentioned above, from lacking goodness in another way. And thus it may happen that an action which is good in its species or in its circumstances is ordained to an evil end, or vice versa. However, an action is not good simply, unless it is good in all those ways: since "evil results from any single defect, but good from the complete cause," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv).

Morality and Politics

A few years ago, I remember a certain dispute over a restaurant coming into the city of Florissant (where I lived until I was 18). This restaurant (which shall not be named, but is known for busty waitresses and 'irreverence') wanted to have a location in the City of Florissant, but was voted down for moral concerns by the city council at the time.

Regardless of whether or not I supported this restaurant (I did not, and voiced my own concerns at a council meeting), I was highly alarmed by a statement one of the council members made in reference to my concerns: "I cannot legislate morality!"

The problem is, you can... and in fact, every single law that our society (and every society) is built opon is law built upon morality. So, maybe what this council member meant to say is "You can only legislate morality—yours or mine!" (that would be more truthful).

A speech given by Archbishop Chaput at the University of Notre Dame this week prompted the memory I recalled above:

"There is no such thing as morally neutral legislation or morally neutral public policy," he said. "Every law is the public expression of what somebody thinks we ought to do. The question that matters is this: Which moral convictions of which somebodies are going to shape our country's political and cultural future?" (Source).

Let's take, for example, the law that states you must obey posted speed limits. This law is meant to make driving safer for everyone on the roads. Without it, someone might be going too fast, relative to the cars around him, and could end up hitting another car, causing harm to another person and himself. Our society believes, then, that individual freedom to choose a speed at which to drive is not as important as saving another person from potential harm. On a basic level, what the speed limit says is: "Persons should not be harmed."

Therefore, limiting the speed of travel on US roadways is moral legislation.

Take any law, anywhere, and on a basic level, you'll discover a moral belief that is being protected: "Natural resources should be protected," in reference to any law dealing with conservation. "Every company should have a chance at success," in reference to anti-monopoly laws.

Way to Go, St. Louis.

Found on LifeSiteNews:

By James Tillman

MISSOURI, St. Louis, June 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Planned Parenthood of St. Louis is planning to offer artificial insemination services in the fall of 2010.

A newly-released Planned Parenthood advertisement about the new services features two women hugging each other, with text above them stating "they just found out they're expecting, finally."

What Planned Parenthood is doing here (something they've been working on with all their other initiatives for many years now) is trying to remove parenthood and life-giving love from sexuality. They are very successful thus far. With this step, one need not even have intercourse with a member of the opposite sex to get pregnant.

So, instead of building up love for one another, and having a beautiful child result from that love... people are able to give a very misguided love to each other, then pay someone a sum of money to get a child that resulted from no loving relationship whatsoever. Pray for those children!

Read the story on LifeSiteNews.com »

The President and the Nobel Prize - Choosing the Many Over the Good

Heralding Obama as a transformative figure in U.S. and international diplomacy, the committee said: "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." [Source: Washington Post]

...without regard to the moral good of the people, nor the eternal truths discoverable through human reason. [Note: I'm not speaking solely of our current president, or of any single individual... more so every person I have seen heralded as 'peaceful' and 'loving' lately... whatever happened to working for justice to bring about peace?]

Abortion: What About Rape, Incest, etc.?

Recently someone emailed me (in good spirit), encouraging me to outline the Church's response to abortions in case of rape, incest, grave danger to the mother's life, etc., and so I shall oblige.

One must understand, as I have come to understand, that abortion is evil. Abortion causes the death of a human being—a living person (that I believe is endowed with a soul given by God at the moment of conception, although that is debatable). Even though the person may not be completely able to live on his own yet, he is living, with his own cell structures, DNA, genetic code, etc., and should be given all the God-given rights any other human person has. Abortion, the immoral killing of a human being in a mother's womb (and sometimes outside the womb), is wrong. Our society seems to be stuck on saying 'NO' to life; why can we not begin to accept the great gift of life God has given to us?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2270):

Music: Profanity, Addiction, Piracy

Well, now that I'm on break, I have a little time to devote to writing another entry (sorry it's been so long). I thought I would do well to write about music, as it is one of the most influential and intriguing media forms today; not only is radio (FM, AM, Satellite, Internet, etc.) extremely prevalent in our modern society, the instant availablility of music from places such as the iTunes Store or any local music store makes music a potent medium with which many different people spread their ideas and influence.

Not only can someone quickly find almost any popular music on the planet, but he is also able to carry it all with him on his iPod, on a CD player, or using some other portable method. What goes into a person's head is very important, for the Bible states, "I do not allow into my presence anyone who speaks perversely" (Psalm 101:3). How important it is, then, for us to protect ourselves from not only people who speak perversely, but also to protect ourselves from their words, i.e. music.

"God and the Internet"

Today I found that my blog was mentioned in First Things, a journal of religion, culture and public life, and it seems that there has been a small spike in visitors over the past week. Some parts of the article "God and the Internet" (by Jonathan V. Last) struck me as profound, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on them.

Last speaks of how Steve Waldman, the founder of online religious supersite Beliefnet says that "distancing of the self from the religious act can be helpful" (speaking of a new form of 'interactive, online faith'). Waldman relates the new exploration of potentially embarrasing religious matters in the privacy of one's home on the Internet to the "same phenomenon that has led to pornography spreading." Last then asks:

Abortion Doesn't Hurt Women, Does It?

From a pro-abortion woman who recently commented on the PROLIFE Wristbands:

"[After my abortion], I fear I would go out of my way to tell all the antis who say "Abortion damages women!/All women feel guilt after their abortions!" that I am neither damaged nor guilty. Not for any productive reason. Just to watch the fur fly as they try and insist that I REALLY REALLY do feel guilty, I just don't know it."

(I'd rather not give the link to the author's site; much of what she had to say was tasteless and vulgar.)

The problem here (besides a new abbreviated label for Pro-Lifers) is that this woman doesn't quite understand what we mean when we say women need healing after an abortion.