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  #1  
Old 19th January 2008, 07:15 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default TS 15d: examples of moral and immoral acts

I'm inviting the members of this discussion group to pose moral problems, which we can all then consider based on the moral teachings of the Church. I think that one of the problems in moral theology is that it becomes so abstract that persons imagine that any act might be justified if one can arrange the concepts in a particularly clever manner. Specific examples helps us understand that, no matter how concepts and terminology are arranged, wrong and right, good and evil are absolute and universal.
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  #2  
Old 19th January 2008, 07:27 PM
Climacus Areopagite Climacus Areopagite is offline
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yeah that is exactly how I am. I am so dumb when it comes to Moral Theology. With time I will think of some.
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  #3  
Old 19th January 2008, 07:30 PM
themilitantcatholic
 
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I do not know if this applies, but its something that bothers me greatly. Does this fall under moral-immoral actions intertwined? There are many people, some of whom I see first hand as co-workers and others who become foster parents for children who have no parents or their parents are unfit to care for them. The person that becomes a foster parent, now that is a moral act, yet it becomes immoral when the money they receive from the state is spent on fancy cars, the latest fashionable clothes, vacations, elegant dinners . . . etc. etc. . . all for themselves and the child gets the bare minimum and is still somewhat negleted. This is something that is seriously disturbing, how can a man and wife claim to each have a conscience when doing this? The intentions are not pure, on the surface the foster parents look as if they are charitable, yet underneath they are feeding their hunger for greed and materialism.

Last edited by themilitantcatholic : 19th January 2008 at 07:32 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #4  
Old 19th January 2008, 08:33 PM
St. Thomas More St. Thomas More is offline
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Default The Soldiers' Dilemma

How about a scenario that occurs in every war, and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan? Foreign soldiers (US) set up an outpost of strategic importance. It is important that they not be discovered. Then, they see a family of farmers walking by them. These people are not dangerous, but when they get back to their village, they will tell the people where the foreign troops are, and the foreign troops will be attacked and likely defeated by the villagers.

The foreign soldiers must a decision to either kill the innocent family, which has done no wrong, or let them live, and risk a crushing attack. Of course, the best option is for the foreign soldiers to leave the outpost once they have been discovered, but due to orders from Headquarters, or tactical difficulties, that is not always possible.

This occurred in Afghanistan and the American soldiers decided not to kill the innocents. They then suffered a crushing ambush in which all but one died, as I recall it.

What's a soldier to do? Is killing the innocent family ever justified in these circumstances, especially when Headquarters requires you to remain at this outpost?
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Old 19th January 2008, 08:38 PM
St. Thomas More St. Thomas More is offline
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Default Here's the Real Story

http://www.newsday.com/news/specials...cials_util _2
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  #6  
Old 19th January 2008, 11:30 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themilitantcatholic View Post
I do not know if this applies, but its something that bothers me greatly. Does this fall under moral-immoral actions intertwined? There are many people, some of whom I see first hand as co-workers and others who become foster parents for children who have no parents or their parents are unfit to care for them. The person that becomes a foster parent, now that is a moral act, yet it becomes immoral when the money they receive from the state is spent on fancy cars, the latest fashionable clothes, vacations, elegant dinners . . . etc. etc. . . all for themselves and the child gets the bare minimum and is still somewhat negleted. This is something that is seriously disturbing, how can a man and wife claim to each have a conscience when doing this? The intentions are not pure, on the surface the foster parents look as if they are charitable, yet underneath they are feeding their hunger for greed and materialism.

There are a number of acts being described here.
Morality applies to any and all human acts, which are defined as an act of will and intellect, in other words, a choice of the free will based on knowledge.
It is a sin of omission to neglect children. Also, the misuse of money is sin of commission. There is also a sin of bad intention in the act of accepting foster children. The act itself is good, but even a good act becomes a sin for the person who does it with bad intent.
A sin is nothing else but a bad human act.
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  #7  
Old 20th January 2008, 12:04 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Thomas More View Post
What's a soldier to do? Is killing the innocent family ever justified in these circumstances, especially when Headquarters requires you to remain at this outpost?

1. the intention of the subject who acts, that is, the purpose for which the subject performs the act, or the end that is sought.

2. the act itself, defined by its inherent meaning within God's plan; the inherent meaning of the act is called the moral object of the act, as it is based on whether the act is ordered toward or away from God.

3. the circumstances (not the dictionary definition of 'circumstances', but rather everything, other than the intention and the act itself, that has a bearing on the morality of the act, especially the consequences.

Applied to this case, suppose that the soldier kills the farmer:

1. The intention is directed toward the purpose or end of preventing unneccessary deaths; however, as Aquinas teaches, when the will is moved to the means for the sake of the end, it is one and the same intention. Thus the intention includes the means, that of killing an innocent man. The soldier intends to obtain the end through the means. This differs significantly from the principle of double effect, where one effect is not sought and is not the means to the good effect.

2. the act itself is the direct killing of an innocent human being. (Now I'm simplifying the situation, treating it as a hypothetical, in which we know that the man is merely an innocent farmer, not also an insurrgent or the like.) The moral object of the act is the inherent meaning of the within the moral law. So the external physical act is, say, shooting a gun at a man; but the meaning of the act is the direct killing of an innocent human being. This act is contrary to the will of God; for since man was created in the image of God, we cannot kill innocent human beings.

3. the circumstances include the grave danger to the soldiers, their limited ability to defend themselves when behind enemy lines, the possibility of civilian casualties.

Since the act itself is an intrinsically evil act, it is not a moral act. Even if more civilian casualties are likely to result than the one death of the farmer, he cannot be directly killed if he is an innocent bystander.

The act cannot be defined as an act of self-defense by virtue of the purpose of the act: to prevent the deaths of the soldiers. The act is defined by its inherent meaning under the moral law, i.e. its moral object. The object of the act is not its intended end result.

It is often said, in cases like this, that the intention, at least, is good. But since the intention is not merely the end but also the intended means, and the means that is intended is evil, the intention is not truly good. In the principle of double effect, the bad effect is truly unintended, because the means and the intended effect are both good. But not so in this case.

This is similar to the case of a doctor who performs a direct abortion in order to save the life of the mother; the act itself is still abortion, the act is not defined by its intended purpose or end result of saving a life. Direct abortion to save the life of the mother is still intrinsically evil.

Intrinsically evil acts are: "kinds of behaviour contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law" VS n. 76. The behavior is not merely an external physical act, but includes the object of the act, which is not the intended purpose nor end result of the act, but the inherent meaning under the moral law. And even though the kind of behavior is not merely a physical external act, the external act and its meaning within God's plan cannot be separated; they are analogous to body and soul.
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  #8  
Old 22nd January 2008, 10:55 PM
myLivingBread myLivingBread is offline
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Default helping a friend

helping a friend

Ron,

Should I help a friend who seek my help: Their story is like this, they had a civil wedding several years ago, but their relationship did not last, first the guy is impotent they do not have (baby) and the guy became drug dependent and was having a relation with other woman, until he loss his job and depend only on her wife. Unfortunately the wife lost her job too, because of loans and other estafa problems. Their relationship become more worst and the wife was badly bitten especially when her husband is high on drugs. The wife put some self owned business for their living, but everytime the husband needs money he stole the money from her wife and almost many times she is bitten by her husband. I do not know why she is not complaining to the authority sometimes she is nearly killed.

Until the time comes the wife decided to leave(divorce) her husband. Several years later the woman finds a fiancee a foreigner, they now decide to have a marriage, but divorce here is difficult and it may take several years to be annuled. So she sought my help (she knew that I have a friend before who works with this kind of problem and can arrange their papers, not in a legal means) , the way their papers would be arrange is not in a legal process but in a more quicker means . Should I help her? (I can pm the exact situation if you like).
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  #9  
Old 22nd January 2008, 11:05 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by myLivingBread View Post
helping a friend

Ron,

Should I help a friend who seek my help: Their story is like this, they had a civil wedding several years ago, but their relationship did not last, first the guy is impotent they do not have (baby) and the guy became drug dependent and was having a relation with other woman, until he loss his job and depend only on her wife. Unfortunately the wife lost her job too, because of loans and other estafa problems. Their relationship become more worst and the wife was badly bitten especially when her husband is high on drugs. The wife put some self owned business for their living, but everytime the husband needs money he stole the money from her wife and almost many times she is bitten by her husband. I do not know why she is not complaining to the authority sometimes she is nearly killed.

Until the time comes the wife decided to leave(divorce) her husband. Several years later the woman finds a fiancee a foreigner, they now decide to have a marriage, but divorce here is difficult and it may take several years to be annuled. So she sought my help (she knew that I have a friend before who works with this kind of problem and can arrange their papers, not in a legal means) , the way their papers would be arrange is not in a legal process but in a more quicker means . Should I help her? (I can pm the exact situation if you like).


PM me. I'll have to ask some questions before answering.


Ron
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  #10  
Old 23rd January 2008, 12:39 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default more moral dilemmas

Does anyone have other moral problems to pose, either hypothetical or real?

Suppose that a woman is pregnant with her first child, and she next finds out that she has cancer of the uterus. The child is not developed enough to be delivered yet; she is in her second trimester. She needs to have her cancerous uterous removed, and she needs to start chemotherapy, in case the cancer started to spread. But either of those two treatments will kill the prenatal.

What are her possible moral and immoral choices?
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