Necessity is a Mother
May 28, 2008 § 3 Comments
Necessity is the mother of moral heresy, to be more specific.
Some arguments I don’t like to see:
Torture is immoral because it isn’t necessary: it doesn’t actually work.
Abortion is immoral because it isn’t necessary: adoption is always an option.
Atomic bombings of civilian cities are immoral because they aren’t necessary: the Allies needn’t have insisted on unconditional surrender.
Suppose, though, that in a particular case one of the acts in question really is necessary: suppose that life on Earth as we know it will be utterly destroyed if we don’t undertake the act.
It doesn’t matter. It is still wrong to do it.
These moral arguments from (non) necessity are essentially a way of marketing an idea which is unpalatable to a particular audience by hiding the essence of the idea. More bluntly, they are a lie; a subterfuge. They hide the fact that morality is the Cross. That is why I don’t like to see them.