Ambiguity in Moral Choice by Richard A. McCormick

By Richard A. McCormick

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25 Now the essential meaning of "good" and "evil" is simply a qualification of the implications, effects, consequences. In other words, it is only a qualification of the human content of the act. '' Van der Marck feels that the disease of traditional moral theology is that it began to maneuver among categories of good and Page 14 evil before it touched intersubjectivity. Thus traditional theology would characterize something as a means and a bad one prior to consideration of intersubjectivity. For example, it would say that to have children is good, but artificial insemination is a bad means to it.

But we would balk at framing one innocent man to save five. " To that question Foot admits that the double effect provides an answer. The death of the innocent man framed by the judge would have to be intended. Whereas if he refrained, the deaths of the hostages would be unintended by him. But she believes that such situations should be solved in another way: by distinguishing positive and negative duties. In both cases we have a conflict of duties, but the steering driver faces a conflict of negative duties.

An example of this latter that is very common in medicine is mutilation. " 20 This explanation of Kelly is absolutely correct. What is not clear is what is to count (and why) for moral evil. Kelly clearly regarded contraceptive interventions and directly sterilizing interventions, for example, as falling in this category. Knauer has questionedand I believe rightlyjust that type of conclusion and insisted that what is morally evil can only be determined after we have examined the reason for the procedure.

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