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  #1  
Old 21st August 2014, 12:54 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Intrinsic Evil

When an act is intrinsically evil, it is immoral by the very nature of the chosen act. The moral nature of an act is its inherent moral meaning before God.

An act is a choice; it is an exercise of free will and intellect. An act is a deliberate knowing choice. All acts are subject to the eternal moral law, even if the act is entirely internal (within the confines of the mind and heart).

The moral nature of an act is determined by its object: the end, in terms of morality, toward with the knowingly chosen act is inherently ordered. This inherent ordering of the act toward a good or evil end is what makes the act intrinsically good or intrinsically evil, that is to say, good or evil by the type of act.

Intrinsically evil acts are immoral regardless of the intended end of the person choosing the act, and regardless of the circumstances, because the type of act being chosen is wrong in and of itself.

Most Catholics do not accept this teaching.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 07:10 AM
Truthseeker Truthseeker is offline
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Default Inherent Ordering

Ron could you explain more what is inherent ordering ? I did not understand so well.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 12:18 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthseeker View Post
Ron could you explain more what is inherent ordering ? I did not understand so well.

There are many ways to commit theft. What do they all have in common? Each act of theft is aimed at the same end result, to deprive the owner of his goods. Theft is only theft because it is directed at that end. So this direction, aiming, ordering of the act toward that end is inherent to the act. It is what determines the very nature of the act, in terms of morality, its moral nature.

If a person attempts to commit theft, and fails, he still sinned. For he deliberately chose an act that was ordered toward an evil end, depriving an owner of his goods. So it is the inherent ordering of the act toward an evil end that makes the act immoral -- regardless of whether it attains that end in a particular case.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 06:02 PM
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Default

Thank you Ron, this was very clear. Although I have not written in the past time in the forum I keep reading most threads, especially the ones on morality. I personally see that your explanations become much clearer as time progresses, you use less wording and get straight to the point.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 07:10 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
Thank you Ron, this was very clear. Although I have not written in the past time in the forum I keep reading most threads, especially the ones on morality. I personally see that your explanations become much clearer as time progresses, you use less wording and get straight to the point.

I'm glad you are still around, Rob.

Not many persons writing on morality understand the moral object. So I had to derive my understanding from Veritatis Splendor and other magisterial documents. Saint Thomas wrote prior to the development of that doctrine; he contributed to early thought on the subject.
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Old 28th August 2014, 01:52 PM
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Genocide is intrinsically evil, and therefore it is always immoral. Fine. No one really disagrees with that assertion. However, the assertion also doesn't affect most people. They don't want to commit genocide; the restriction does not inconvenience them.

Lying is intrinsically evil, and therefore always immoral. Many persons object to this teaching of the Church. It makes their lives more difficult if they cannot lie to anyone. Many Catholics happily accept any teaching of the Faith that costs them nothing to accept. Most do not accept any teaching that will create difficulties for their lives, or require them to change the way they live in any substantial way.
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Old 28th August 2014, 02:06 PM
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It is a teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that lying is wrong by its very nature, and therefore intrinsically evil.

2482 “A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving.” [280] The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: “You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [281]

2483 Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error.

2485 By its very nature, lying is to be condemned.

The original edition of the CCC had an error on this topic, which was corrected in the second edition. The error was the claim that a false assertion is only a lie if the person has a right to a particular truth.

The current edition also contains either an error or an inaccuracy. The error or inaccuracy is the claim that the intention to deceive accompanies the false assertion. At worst, this is an error, since lying is wrong by its very nature (making it intrinsically evil), and intrinsically wrong acts are immoral regardless of intention.

At best, the CCC is simply describing the usual intention that accompanies this intrinsically evil act. Similarly, euthanasia is murder with the intention of relieving all suffering. But lacking that intention, the act is still intrinsically evil.

The subsequent assertions by the CCC that lying is the work of the devil, and lying is wrong by its very nature, make it clear that lying is wrong by its very nature.

The footnote 280 references St. Augustine, on lying, as if he had defined lying as necessarily including the intention to deceive. He did not. The referenced work discusses whether it is still a lie if you do not intend to deceive. People disagree on this point, so the work mainly discusses lying to deceive (which is the most common type of lie). But Augustine does not say that it is not a lie if you don't intend to deceive.

And in any case, the Magisterium, in Veritatis Splendor, teaches that intrinsically evil acts (acts wrong by their nature) are immoral regardless of intention or circumstances. An appeal to an opinion by a Saint cannot overrule a magisterial teaching.
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  #8  
Old 28th August 2014, 02:13 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Many people, when discussing the morality of lying, use this type of argument:
1. claim that lying must be moral in extreme circumstances (lying to Nazis to protect Jews is the most common example)
2. conclude that lying cannot be always wrong
3. justify all the convenient little (and big) lies of their lives on this basis.

No one takes the position that lying is only immoral if it is a venial lie in a very grave circumstance.

A small lie in an extreme circumstance is only a venial sin. But it is still a sin. God is truth.

For more on this topic, see my booklet:
Is Lying Always Wrong?
http://www.amazon.com/Lying-Always-W...dp/B00DYBGPS8/
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Old 28th August 2014, 02:13 PM
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Ron,

Many argue that God ordered genocide in the OT, how can this be refuted?
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Old 28th August 2014, 02:47 PM
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These are some of the verses they refer to:

[1 Samuel 15]
{15:2} ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: I have taken account of all that Amalek has done to Israel, how he stood against him in the way, when he ascended from Egypt.
{15:3} Now therefore, go and strike Amalek, and demolish all that is his. You shall not spare him, and you shall not covet anything out of the things that are his. Instead, kill from man even to woman, and little ones as well as infants, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

Now, a Catholic understands that God is Just and Merciful, that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and that there are things that Only God can do; but it's hard to explain to an unbeliever or to someone who wants to believe in God.
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