Premoral Evil Definition Essay


2moral norms. “Reason attests that there are objects of the human act which are by their nature‘incapable of being ordered’ to God, because they radically contradict the good of the personmade in His image. These are acts which, in the Church’s moral tradition, have been termed‘intrinsically evil’ (

intrinsece malum

): they are such

always and per se

, in other words, onaccount of their very object, and quite apart from the ulterior intentions of the one acting andthe circumstances.”


Intrinsically evil acts are acts which can never be done for any reasonwhatsoever, acts such as deliberately killing an innocent human being (murder), adultery,fornication, contraception, homosexual acts, and direct abortion. Moral absolutes areexceptionless moral norms.Denying the possibility of intrinsically evil acts in the area of concrete moral norms asthis is has been traditionally understood, one of the fathers of dissident proportionalism, Josef Fuchs, S.J., writes: “If the absoluteness of the moral norm signifies objectivity more thanuniversal validity, can moral norms be universal at all, in the sense of being applicablealways, everywhere and without exception, so that the action encompassed by them couldnever be objectively justified? Traditionally we are accustomed to speak of an ‘intrinsecemalum.’“Viewed theoretically, there seems to be no possibility of norms of this kind for human action in the inner-worldly realm. The reason is that an action cannot be judged

 by Alfred would be an action of ‘directly killing an innocent human being’ that is always morally evil or intrinsically wrong and, thus, can never be chosen as an action, no matter what good effects might come fromthis act. Bob has done nothing worthy of losing his life and thus to kill him would be not a justifiable act of self-defense but unjust killing.“To say that the justification of killing in ‘self-defense’ is to allow an evil means to pursue a good end, is,then, based on a misreading of the justification of self-defense made by the traditionalist. The traditonalist onoccasion allows actions that may result in the death of human beings but never permits an ‘evil’ killing for goodends. Thus, it cannot be said that since the traditionalist allows the ‘premoral’ act of killing on occasion, so tooshould the traditionalist allow such ‘premoral’ acts as contracepted acts of sexual intercourse, homosexualsexual intercourse, and masturbation. The traditionalist does not put these actions in the category of acts such askilling that cannot be morally defined until further specified. Rather, the traditionalist claims that a parallel is better made between ‘murder’ and ‘contracepted sexual intercourse, and so on. (One hopes it is not necessary tonote that murder is a much greater evil than contraception, and so on). Traditionalists claim that ‘murder’(maliciously killing a human being) and ‘contraception’ (deliberately rendering infertile an act of sexualintercourse) are actions that can be specified as immoral apart from any circumstances, whereas ‘killing ahuman being’ cannot be so specified. The traditionalist argues that no application of the double effect wouldserve to justify the choice to murder. So, too, the traditionalist argues that ‘contraception, and so on,’ are thekinds of acts that cannot be justified by the principle of double effect, for one cannot choose an immoral meansto a moral end”(J. E. SMITH,

 Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later 

, Catholic University of America Press,Washington, D.C., 1991, pp. 212-214).Dissenting revisionist positions on the principle of double effect: P. KNAUER,

The Hermeneutic Function of the Principle of Double Effect 

, “Natural Law Forum,” 12 (1967) ; C. J. VAN DER POEL,

The Principle of  Double Effect, in Absolutes in Moral Theology?

, edited by C. E. Curran, Corpus Books, Washington, D.C.,1968, pp. 186-210 ; R. A. McCORMICK,

 Il principio del duplice effetto

, “Concilium,” 12/10 (1976), pp. 1723-1743 ; B. SCHÜLLER,

The Double Effect in Catholic Thought: A Reevaluation

, in

 Doing Evil to Achieve Good 

,edited by R. A. McCormick and P. Ramsey, Loyola University Press, Chicago, 1978, pp. 165-191 ; J.SELLING,

The Problem of Re-interpreting the Principle of Double Effect 

, “Louvain Studies,” 8 (1980), pp. 47-62.Defenses of the traditional understanding of the principle of double effect and critiques of the revisionist position: G. GRISEZ,

Toward a Consistent atural Law Ethics of Killing 

, “American Journal of Jurisprudence,”15 (1970), pp. 79-83 ; J. BOYLE,

Toward Understanding the Principle of Double Effect 

, “Ethics,” 90 (1980), pp. 527-538 ; J. BOYLE,

The Principle of Double Effect: Good Actions Entangled in Evil 

, in

Moral TheologyToday: Certitudes and Doubts

, Pope John Center, St. Louis, 1984, pp. 243-260.On the history of the traditional understanding of the principle of double effect and its revisionist re-interpretation: L. I. UGORJI,

The Principle of Double Effect. A Critical Appraisal of Its Traditional Understanding and Its Modern Interpretation

, Peter Lang, New York, 1985.



Veritatis Splendor 

, no. 80.

Beyond Good and Evil Essay

1136 Words5 Pages

In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche discusses how he is not a believer in democracy. The principles of democracy were put together by levelers, or people that believe in democracy. These principles lead to equality that restrains life to one universal truth and Nietzsche did not agree with this idea at all. He believed that these principles caused people to form into one large herd. In this herd, people follow one another with no will to power, which results in the downfall of individual rights and instincts. This makes the herd the definition of morality in society, which Nietzsche disagrees with. But he brings up the idea of neighbor love. Neighbor love is the idea that we are all in one herd so we are all equal which creates us to all…show more content…

Levelers are the people who have put democracy into effect. The levelers submit to one universal happiness and truth that is not absolute. According to Nietzsche, these people are “stupid, brutish, and bullish” (26) because they praise or blame an action due to its morals. Nietzsche believes we need to overcome our morals and recognize our intentions and motives for our actions. Our assumptions and prejudices in a democratic society make us ignore our true deep thoughts because people conform into one group or heard that believe in the same ideas and morals. In a herd of a people, no one is greater than anyone else. Nietzsche believes that our true instincts are our motives for action and if we ignore them then we are only conforming to a herd. It may be “awkward and difficult for the ear to hear something new; we are bad at listening to unfamiliar music”(81), but we should not be afraid to experience “more morality” (81). I believe that more morality means that morality needs to be expanded to a combination of ideas from the past, even if the go against the morals in place. Not everyone has the will to experience more morality; therefore, in Nietzsche’s society these people would fail because people are too afraid to adjust to something new. In the pre-moral period, they would be considered slaves because somebody must suffer for success to be achieved. The thought of the herd is to praise the people that may fail and suffer in Nietzsche’s

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