Personally Opposed, But…

August 12, 2008 § 60 Comments

Regular readers of this blog and my comments elsewhere no doubt realize that I am unsympathetic to appeals to “reasonable men can differ” when we are talking about, literally, a willful holocaust of millions of innocents.

No, reasonable men cannot differ. Unreasonable men will differ, of course, but that is a different matter.

In point of fact, I see this as another riff on the infamous Cuomo-riffic “personally opposed, but” reasoning. Some folks claim to be personally opposed to voting for Barack Obama, the most zealous pro-abortion Presidential candidate ever: that is, they won’t be voting for him themselves. Yet these same people defend as reasonable the choice of others to vote for him. I’m not sure which is worse, frankly. At least the man who says he is going to vote for Obama has the courage of his (wrong) convictions. The “personally opposed” camp, though, is willing to scream for wiggle room for others to vote for the man who personally blocked passage of the Induced Infant Liability Act in the great state of Illinois, without having the courage to do so themselves.

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§ 60 Responses to Personally Opposed, But…

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Zippy,Very nicely said. Thank you.I can think of nothing quite so hideous on the other side, but when we’re coloring in shades of Hell, perhaps it’s time to put away the crayons.shalom,Steven

  • “The “personally opposed” camp, though, is willing to scream for wiggle room for others to vote for the man who personally blocked passage of the Induced Infant Liability Act in the great state of Illinois, without having the courage to do so themselves.”LOL! That’s rich coming from a person who claims he will not even conider supporting Obama or McCain on life grounds, and yet unleashes his rhetorical arsenal on the former in a vastly disproportionate manner. Some might argue you are providing sufficient wiggle room to support McCain, and yet don’t have the courage to say so. And you do share a blog with a total Republican hack, and I see little chastisment beyond the most wimpy admonition. Yet again I tell you, Zippy, cast a glance in your mirror.

  • zippy says:

    <>and yet unleashes his rhetorical arsenal on the former in a vastly disproportionate manner<>I think the disproportion is in your perception.<>Some might argue you are providing sufficient wiggle room to support McCain, and yet don’t have the courage to say so.<>That is a very odd argument, since I think that when someone votes for either McCain or Obama he is almost certainly, objectively, committing sin and doing damage to himself; and I’ve made that very clear. The argument is so odd, and so at odds with what I’ve actually written, that I tend to think it says more about the perspective of the person who advances it than it does about mine.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Zippy,I thought it odd that the person who has systematically stated that he thought it morally wrong to vote for either candidate should be accused of supporting either.On a related matter–you would probably be pleased or at least interested to know that when I went to the polling booths this weekend I ended up turning in a completely blank ballot–my way of voting at this stage against everyone. I got weird looks, but said, “I need to vote against everyone who is running, is this the right way to do it?” Eventually, in the big ballots, there will be write-in boxes that will allow me to do the same. I suppose it is after a fashion an exercise in futility; however, it see it as an exercise of the franchise that God has graciously granted me, even though at time it seems a rather severe mercy.I also suppose that in effect it is indistinguishable from what you propose–but it is what conscience allows me. It is a way of saying, “I am not apathetic, just disgusted.”shalom,Steven

  • Tim J. says:

    Hay, Zippy –I haven’t been dropping by as often as I would like, so I was wondering if you could direct me to a couple of posts where you outline why a vote for McCain would be a vote for objective evil… is it his position on ESCR, torture, Iraq?Thanks

  • Anonymous says:

    “Some might argue you are providing sufficient wiggle room to support McCain, and yet don’t have the courage to say so. And you do share a blog with a total Republican hack, and I see little chastisment beyond the most wimpy admonition. Yet again I tell you, Zippy, cast a glance in your mirror.”This is bullox.In fact, it is because of Zippy’s very tirade against a vote for McCain that I made him previously the subject of mine own.In my opinion then, Zippy could not understand that my vote for McCain was not in support of that contemptible man but rather as a vote against Obama in order to thwart Obama’s FOCA agenda to boot!Zippy has been rather fair with respect to his assault on both candidates.The fact that he had assaulted your favored candidate is the only reason why you are so upset rather than any perceived bias in the matter.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Zippy — above was me, e.(also, I was alluding to our past skirmishes on your blog on this very topic which, ironically, Minion seemed to have altogether overlooked conveniently.)

  • zippy says:

    Tim: I focused specifically on his position w.r.t. ESCR. Mind you, there are plenty of additional reasons not to vote for him; and my argument isn’t merely “he supports this evil thing, therefore voting for him is evil”. One of the cornerstone posts is < HREF="https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2008/06/lesser-of-two-cannibals.html" REL="nofollow">here<>. There are a bunch of surrounding posts on the subject as well.As usual, many people do not buy my arguments. I present them for consideration anyway, because I do buy them myself.

  • zippy says:

    Steven: I like your solution.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy,“As usual, many people do not buy my arguments. I present them for consideration anyway, because I do buy them myself.”That doesn’t mean that they are, without a doubt, ‘correct’.As a personal opinion on the matter, yes; but anything above and beyond that, I would beg to differ.I still can’t see how, as an instance of PDE, voting against Obama’s wider assault on innocent life would not be an acceptable course of action, considering the tremendous consequences of an Obama administration.Obama has explicitly declared pursuit of such an agenda.I doubt that he’ll fail to deliver in that regard.Thus, permitting this evil (not taking action to prevent it) is just as hideous as subscribing to it since in both cases; it allows the evil to occur.– e.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    I have a theory about why Minion keeps hammering at Zippy in this weird way: He respects him, deep down.I think Zippy suffers a lot from this kind of respect. People are bugged when he doesn’t agree with them, or even when (which comes to the same thing) they don’t agree with him. And then, sometimes, they get angry at him. I suppose he could do without it, but I think it’s sort of an unconscious tribute.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear -e,One thing I’ve learned and heard repeated over and over again, both here and other places is that one may not do evil that good may result. If Zippy’s arguments hold true and it is morally indefensible to vote for McCain (I’m not saying that it is, only asking that we grant the point for the moment), we may not choose “the lesser of two evils,” so that something good may result from it. That’s a hard truth to internalize–I rage against it a lot–but I do acknowledge that it is the truth.Now, it is evident that you may not agree with Zippy’s reasoning on these matters and so if McCain is morally neutral, it is more than acceptable to vote for him to prevent Obama from pushing his reign of death upon us. However, if the arguments are persuasive if you are convinced (as I am) that for a variety of reasons John McCain is also morally unacceptable, but slightly less so, it seems that Catholic teaching clearly indicates that one cannot vote for him in these circumstances despite the fact that there is greater evil in the other candidate. But then, I suppose, if you’ve been hanging around you already know that. Which is okay, because I write this mostly to remind myself.shalom,Steven

  • “I have a theory about why Minion keeps hammering at Zippy in this weird way: He respects him, deep down.”I don’t deny that at all. I find him at times extremely frustrating and stubborn, believe that he stretches moral proximity to evil acts far beyond what he should, and do not understand why a man of his stance can share a blog with people like Francis Beckwith– but yes, I do respect him. Otherwise, I would not even bother to argue my case.

  • Anonymous says:

    Steven,When Obama wins, when he ultimately signs FOCA, and when he appoints Justices to the Supreme Court that will unequivocally shoulder the Holocaust indefinitely; that’s when you would have seen that PDE did apply in the case of this election and that the evil you should have actually avoided is the one made inevitable by an Obama administration!

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous,Maybe it needs to be a mantra:You may not do evil that good Might resultWe may not sin on speculation. We may not support another’s sin on speculation.If you, in conscience, believe that you that a vote for either of the two candidates is immoral for one reason or another, then you may not vote for one as a foil against the other without sinning.On the other hand, if you do not agree with the arguments about the morality of the two and have no problem with one over the other, then no sin is incurred.No matter what you are facing, you may not do evil that good might result. I think this is so fundamental that it should be the first principle applied and then we should start asking the question of the morality of the candidates. For example, I haven’t read far enough to know what McCain’s stand on several key issues of morality might be. Once I obliterate that blind spot, if I am convinced that voting for him would be a vote for immorality, I cannot do so no matter how good he looks in comparison to another. It is probably the very hardest thing in the world I’ve learned in the course of my correspondence in the blogworld, but I do believe it to be an absolutely immutable and inflexible principle of action.The end NEVER justifies the means. And I’ve learned from very hard experience that whenever you try to make it do so you create a world of unhappiness (read Hell) for yourself and those around you.shalom,Steven

  • Anonymous says:

    The criteria you're applying is one that applies to instrinsically evil matter.Where speculation is concerned, there is much more speculating going on with McCain than with Obama who has declared publically, without a doubt, that he would commit the resources of his entire administration to promote the Culture of Death as in the signing of the FOCA and dedicating Justices to the Supreme Court who would end any hope of reversing the Holocaust brought about by Roe v. Wade.You are welcome to do nothing to prevent such a Horror from taking place and, all the while, stroke your ego, saying to yourself how great a guy you were that you did not vote for either candidates.But, please, for the sake of justice, note all the additional innocents that will suffer in the near future, now & forever, as a result of your high & mighty ways!Do you really think without affecting the Laws of the Land you can put an end to the Holocaust?Obama will make it so that not only will abortions be an unrestricted, routine matter universally available for all citizens but it will also be funded by government dollars in order to cement this aim; it will be made by his administration so ordinary an affair that abortions will become for the populace as normal as drinking Coca-Cola!

  • zippy says:

    <>The criteria you’re applying is one that applies to instrinsically evil matter.<>No, it applies to doing <>any<> evil act. In general, an act can be evil because of a number of different things. It can be evil in itself, that is, intrinsically evil. It can be evil because of an evil intention — that is, it can be evil when any evil is chosen (willed) as a means or an end. Furthermore, it can be evil because of circumstances. Beyond or in conjunction with these, an act which cooperates with evil may fail double effect because <>objectively<> there is no proportionate reason to do it, because a good effect is <>caused<> by a bad effect, etc.The precept is not “we may not do intrinsic evil that good may come of it”. The precept is “we may not do evil that good may come of it”. Performing an intrinsically immoral act is not the only way to do evil; and it is never acceptable to do <>any kind of<> evil in the prusuit of any end.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am allowed to “steal” food to feed my starving family. So, if the need is desperate enough (keeping Obama out of office) can I vote for McCain?

  • JohnMcG says:

    If voting for McCain is an evil act, then no, you cannot.I am not as convinced as zippy that voting for either candidate is an objectively moral act. But if it is, then I can’t do it.

  • zippy says:

    <>I am allowed to “steal” food to feed my starving family.<>That isn’t really true, strictly speaking. Ownership is a relation between persons and things; and it is not an unqualified relation. An example of an unqualified relation is the relation between spouses: it is never licit to ‘steal’ another’s spouse, that is, to commit adultery. It is also never licit to steal another’s goods, but the relation of ‘another’ and his goods is not unqualified the way the relation between ‘another’ and his spouse is unqualified.<>So, if the need is desperate enough (keeping Obama out of office) can I vote for McCain?<>If it were true that your personal vote could be reasonably expected to keep Obama out of office: that is, if voting for McCain was objectively proportionate to the end you have in mind, then possibly. It isn’t my intention to revisit the whole argument though. The point is that when it comes to the principle that we may not do evil in order that good may come of it, it is wrong to view this in the attenuated sense implied by qualifying “evil” with “intrinsic”.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:“No, it applies to doing any evil act.”Then, pray tell, is not the murder of people an 'evil act'?And, if so, then any act of war, be it just or no, is evil for it entails the very murder of people!I just can't believe that a vote against a candidate who has explicitly vowed to commit such tremendous evil (especially given his illustrious record on the matter which attests that he will ultimately do so) is itself seen as such an evil.But, like the Vox Novans, the concept of murdered babies has become too abstract that no longer are these murdered babies being seen as actual persons, but rather simply as an arbitrary tool to be compromised either for supposed national glory or ego (not that this actually applies to your case).I grant you, if McCain were unequivocally to devote his administration to a similar end, what with such resolve that he had thus declared publically in the same manner Obama has in previous instances as, among other incidents, with FOCA & the Justices, both candidates would be without benefit of my vote.

  • zippy says:

    <>… then any act of war, be it just or no, is evil for it entails the very murder of people!<>No, it doesn’t. There is no such thing as a “just murder”. To murder is to kill someone who has not chosen and is not presently choosing to attack in some way, which is a long winded but more precise way of saying that to murder is to kill the innocent.Part of what Steven Riddle is (if I may take the liberty) alluding to above is that it is never licit to do even a very small evil in order that good may come of it — in this case, with the indended end of preventing a very large one.Now as John McG alludes, if it is not doing evil to vote for one or the other of these candidates, but rather is merely remote material cooperation with evil, then it may be licit to do so under double effect. As I said, I am not revisiting here the whole argument; but <>given<> that it would be evil to vote for McCain, no appeal to the good one is attempting to accomplish could justify it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:“No, it doesn’t. There is no such thing as a ‘just murder’. “My comments (<>…then any act of war, be it just or no…<>)were alluding to the “Just War”.If your seemingly rigid interpretation is indeed such “that it is never licit to do even a very small evil in order that good may come of it”; how can you justify acts of murder committed in the name of <>Jus Ad Bello<>?

  • JohnMcG says:

    I would not say that the license to “steal” to feed your starving family is absolute. It is probably justified to grab an apple off an overflowing apple cart. It is not justified to hit the shopowner over the head and clean out his store.

  • zippy says:

    <>…how can you justify acts of murder committed in the name of Jus Ad Bello?<>I don’t. There is no justifying acts of murder, ever.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy,<>I don’t. There is no justifying acts of murder, ever.<>I guess that’s why admire you — at the very least, you’re fair.By the way, off-topic; what’s with Minion’s low opinion re: Beckwith?Was there a past spat between he and Beckwith or you and either/both of them?Just curious about his earlier statement.

  • William Luse says:

    <>what’s with Minion’s low opinion re: Beckwith?<>Who cares.

  • I have no “low opinion” of Beckwith. He’s merely a public McCain supporter, a pure partisan, and Zippy (who thinks it is evil to vote for McCain, a position I certainly don’t hold) shares a blog with him. Now, since Zippy likes to strech proximity to evil very very far, one could also argue that he is cooperating in evil himself.

  • zippy says:

    The bottom line is that MM is rather desperate for some credible way to call me a hypocrite. (<>Why<> is something I leave to others to discern for themselves). It really has nothing to do with Frank.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy – Let’s face it, you’re evil. And you’re made more eviler by the fact that Minion says you is. Minion knows all. Minion sees all. Minion can make any truth fit inta whatever box he wants it to, cuz he can bend truth and squeeze it till it fits, see. Now, now, don’t go confussin’ the issue with facts, cuz I already made up my mind. After all, evil is as evil does, right? “…and I by my works will show you my faith.”

  • JohnMcG says:

    I will grant that MM does have a point. There are some things expressed on the W4 blog that I would not want to associate myself with, some posts that are < HREF="http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2008/08/sin_boldly_1.html" REL="nofollow">pure<> < HREF="http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2008/08/obama_compared_himself_to_pari.html" REL="nofollow">detraction<>, < HREF="http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2008/08/new_obamessiah_ad_by_mccain_ca.html" REL="nofollow">simply passing on the McCain campaign’s ads<>, and also undermining the Church’s positions on immigration and capital punishment. Zippy has adopted a very rigorous stance stance on cooperation with evil. Such that being one of hundreds of millions of votes for a candidate with evil policy perscriptions is formal cooperation with evil. I would consider being one of less than a dozen names on a publications masthead to be a more proximal cooperation than voting.I don’t think this invalidates everthing zippy writes, but I do think it does beg for an explanation.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    MM,Your argument is like telling Zippy to leave the skunk alone because he failed to criticize the monkey for cutting a fart. Zippy is on record clearing the stinky air regarding the McCain farts, but because he is now contending with you the skunk, the skunk insists that he beat up the monkey–again.When a skunk sprays his stink and screeches about people ignoring the monkey farts–the skunk is the hypocrite. The last thing anyone wants to do is take orders from a skunk, so I understand entirely why Zippy refuses to respond to your skunky insistence that he go spank…er…beat up the monkey. He’s already on record doing just that, skunk boy. He’s dealing with your stink now. But apparently that doesn’t suit your pathetic attempts to justify repugnance with this smokescreen of hypocrisy.

  • JohnMcG says:

    A couple other notes:* I learned about W4 because of zippy’s involvement in it, and would not read it but for his involvement. I suspect there are others similar. In essence, zippy’s involvement has increased the readership for all of W4’s posts, including those that, according to my application of zippy’s principles, are objectively immoral.* W4 does seem to have a particular editorial mission, or point of view, rather than just being a grab bag of interesting writers. It has a < HREF="http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/about.html" REL="nofollow">statement of purpose<>. I think being a business reporter for a newspaper that publishes pro-abortion editorials is probably licit. But I think being one of a handful of contributors to a blog with a defined mission does implicate one more deeply into the content produced.

  • Bob says:

    From John McCain’s website:===Addressing the Moral Concerns of Advanced TechnologyStem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases – hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.====

  • Anonymous says:

    Bob:“For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.”Thank-you for that —I kinda suspected something like that all along.While there may have been some valid reason to think that stem cell research was seen by McCain as something that offers promise; I didn’t quite actually think that such a position automatically meant he advocated the type of Culture of Death position folks mistakenly construed.This just provides me with further reason as to vote against Obama, who on the other hand has promised to deliver the full brunt of the darkness of the Holocaust in FOCA and his recently expressed view on the types of Justices he would like to see on the Supreme Court in order to perpetuate such evil.e.

  • Scott says:

    <>While there may have been some valid reason to think that stem cell research was seen by McCain as something that offers promise; I didn’t quite actually think that such a position automatically meant he advocated the type of Culture of Death position folks mistakenly construed.<>Where he fails is that he is in favor of conducting destructive research on ESCs that have already been created. It’s the classic just-throw-a-pinch-of-incense-at-this-altar scenario.

  • Anonymous says:

    Scott,I took the excerpt to mean that McCain supported research on already existing stem cell lines and not actually embryo-destructive research.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    No, e., John McCain has been a critic of President Bush’s policy that does just that (limits funding to research using lines already created). He has explicitly and repeatedly supported destructive embryonic stem-cell research, and even more to the point (since no one is having any luck actually _outlawing_ such research) has supporting funding embryo-destroying research with federal money.The only thing that is changing about McCain is that he’s starting to think maybe we don’t “need” (like we ever needed) to destroy embryos for research, because other options like iPSCs are turning out so well. Of course, ESCR was _always_ a bad idea, practically speaking, because of a host of issues including both tumors and rejection, and it was always scientifically foolish to talk about how we needed to do it because it “offers promises of cures.” Adult stem-cell work always had far more promise therapeutically. But McCain supports federally funded ESCR nonetheless. He may or may not soften that stance now in light of the iPSC successes, but he has been coy on that subject, holding out the possible softening as bait to the conservatives without making any promises.In any event, none of this has anything to do with the distinction you draw between already existing lines and newly destructive research. McCain supports the latter, with taxpayer dollars.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous,I’m responding late–too busy watching the tropical storm that seems to want to linger in the area for ages. A couple of points:(1) I never said voting for McCain was evil–I am not certain about that proposition. However, if I were to determine that it was evil, then doing so is not an option no matter how great the evil opposed. This, however, says nothing about whether or not you would come to the same conclusion or whether the statement of the evil of voting for John McCain can be shown to be objectively true for everyone voting. I really have no opinion on John McCain as yet because I am far too ignorant of the vast majority of his stands.(2) Even were I to refrain from voting it would not, as you imply, be to pat myself on the back and congratulate myself on “what a good boy am I.” Rather it would be in both something approaching anger and something approaching sadness that this was the best we could muster up from the greatest country in the world to lead us. But T. H. White actually said this best–(I paraphrase)”90% of humanity are sheep, 9% are rogues, and the 1% fit to lead know better [which in my book, makes them another category of rogues].”The point is that I do not revel in what I see as duty, I conform to it hoping thereby to do God’s will as best I can. If I can vote, then I can and shall, if I cannot, then I shall vote for no one on the ticket (my state allows this) and vote for someone I feel is qualified to lead us, although not on the ballot.(3)The whole evil proposition is a matter of deep think and obedience for me and it has taken a while to knock it into my skull–both with reason and experience.(4) My conscience does not dictate what you or anyone else can or should do. I must do the best I can to form a conscience in accord with Church teachings, and that may lead me a different way than it does you; however, it does not give me permission to judge you (and I have not done so) nor, unless satisfactory concrete evidence presents itself force my opinion on you. I do not do so, nor I hope did I in what I wrote before. If it seemed so, for that I apologize.I have repeatedly stated that I do not know where the truth lay in the matter at this point–not because the truth is not discernible, but because I have not taken sufficient time to discern it–a project I must undertake shortly.Finally, Zippy did speak for me, but from what I read he expressed my thought perhaps more precisely than I am capable of doing for myself. For that service I thank him.I don’t agree with all that Zippy writes, but I am deeply grateful that he is writing because it gives me much to think about. I don’t agree with much of what Morning’s Minion writes, but I am also appreciative that he shares his thought process with us. The truth is what is important, not me nor my opinion about it. Sometimes it is hard to set myself and my stock of opinions far enough aside to get a glimpse of the truth. Reading people whose views differ from my own, but who attempt to have a respectful, if heated, dialogue is one of the ways in which I might be able to approach the truth.Of course, the more effective method is to pray. . . a lot. . . a good deal more than I am wont to do if left to my own idle resources.Thank you for writing back, and please understand, I am not trying to convince you one way or the other what you should do, merely trying to clarify the principles behind it.shalom,Steven

  • Anonymous says:

    Steven:“I'm responding late–too busy watching the tropical storm that seems to want to linger in the area for ages.”Hope you are/and will be well.My prayers go out to you and yours!My apologies as well for the ill manner in which I replied to you.It's just my disgust and fears about a likely Obama Administration (which seems valid & reasonable considering Obama's own testimony on the cited matters) had manifested in such response.I'll certainly consider comments in your latest post which, at the moment, I have not the opportunity to do so.Shalom,– e.

  • Bob says:

    It says here that McCain is open to < HREF="http://www.lifenews.com/bio2487.html" REL="nofollow">changing his views on ESCR<>.Here’s a news report claiming that < HREF="http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=11558" REL="nofollow">he wouldn’t shift (said while courting Florida’s Catholic voters)<>.That blurb I quoted above has been on his web site < HREF="http://web.archive.org/web/20070502091657/www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/95b18512-d5b6-456e-90a2-12028d71df58.htm" REL="nofollow">since 2007 (snapshot taken by Internet Archive: Wayback Machine)<>.

  • Anonymous says:

    Here’s a quote from the Bishop’s (USCCB)Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship:“When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human good.”I suggest that this allows a vote for McCain.I know that you don’t agree Zippy, but I haven’t heard a priest or bishop one say that faithful Catholics shouldn’t vote for president this year. If we shouldn’t be voting for McCain, why doesn’t the church just come out and tell us not to vote for president this year. That’s not the same as telling us who to vote for. Even if it did jeopardize the tax status of the Church to make this recommendation, aren’t the implications pretty important?

  • Scott says:

    Silly Interloper, Completely unrelated (well, it is about abortion, so tangentially related)but thanks so much for taking on certain pro-abort elements over at Dawn Eden’s blog. I can’t even read them without feeling like a python is constricting my heart. My prayers go with you!

  • Silly Interloper says:

    You’re welcome, and thanks, Scott. Just happened over there from someone else’s link (forget who). I’ve dealt with a few of them before, and a few of the pro-aborts are a very slippery. I think my work is done for this round, though. 😉

  • zippy says:

    I haven’t had a chance to catch up on all the comments yet, but I’ll address this:<>Such that being one of hundreds of millions of votes for a candidate with evil policy perscriptions is formal cooperation with evil.<>It is not my position that voting for Obama or McCain is necessarily <>formal<> cooperation with evil (though it probably is in many cases, even where people are aware of what ‘formal cooperation with evil’ means and have convince themselves that it isn’t). It is my position that doing so is at the very least material cooperation with evil without an objectively proportionate reason. The fact that people offer what they think are proportionate reasons does not make those reasons in fact proportionate.MM specifically has his knickers in a twist over how I reacted to Gerald Campbell’s claim on Vox Nova that subsidiarity justifies the pro-choice position, and the fact that the entire contingent of contributors gave it a pass or made excuses for it. Trust me, if Francis Beckwith or anyone else at W4 (including our atheist contributor or one of the other non-Catholics) claimed that subsidiarity justifies McCain’s position on ESCR, I’d be the first and loudest objector.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:“…including our atheist contributor”There is actually an atheist contributor amongst you?Not that there’s anything the matter with that; it’s just that I thought all the W4 contributors were, at the very least, Christian.

  • Tom says:

    Someone began a comment to Zippy with the following:<>If your seemingly rigid interpretation is indeed such “that it is never licit to do even a very small evil in order that good may come of it”….<>Just to be clear, that’s not Zippy’s interpretation. That’s Catholic doctrine.Actually it’s even stronger than Catholic doctrine. It’s a truth that follows immediately from the meaning of the word “evil.”

  • Anonymous says:

    Tom,You may want to pick up the Catechism and read 1755 which goes on to state: “The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts – such as fornication – that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.”For example, killing is such an evil.However, killing somebody who is attacking you and/or your loved ones is an acceptable act.

  • Scott says:

    Tom is correct. <>Murder<> (not killing per se), the deliberate killing of an innocent human, is always evil.Big vs. small evils is merely the heresy of proportionalism. If an act is objectively evil, it’s off the table, no matter how small.

  • Anonymous says:

    Scott,Consider the destruction of a munitions factory in a “Just War” by the Allies: the people killed in the factory — would you call this ‘killing’ or ‘murder’?Consider also a person who under the Death Penalty is placed on the Electric Chair: is his death a ‘killing’ or ‘murder’?You see, this heresy of proportionalism you so uttered can be found in its various forms.

  • zippy says:

    Anon:<>You see, this heresy of proportionalism you so uttered can be found in its various forms.<>You might consider reading up on the rudiments of moral theology. <>Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition<> by Kaczor isn’t a bad place to start. You’ll find the kinds of scenarios you bring up discussed, and many more. It isn’t all that difficult, but in Internet discussions people always say things like “just war, hah!” and “death penalty, hah!” as if those incantations in some way undermine the doctrine. They don’t; but they do make me mildly embarrassed on behalf of the folks who utter them with such confidence.

  • Tom says:

    <>You may want to pick up the Catechism and read 1755….<>We’ve all read CCC 1756 too, right?

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    FYI, I have a new post up at W4 relevant to the issue of the McCain candidacy. It supports, concretely, Zippy’s contention that the worst thing about the politics of the lesser evil is what it does to us.

  • Anonymous says:

    “An act [e.g., killing] can fail to be objectively evil and still be evil.”

  • Scott says:

    <>“An act [e.g., killing] can fail to be objectively evil and still be evil.”<>Yep. To sum up: If an act is objectively evil, it is evil and one cannot ever morally choose it. If it is objectively good or neutral, but you have an evil intent, evil as well. Then there is a case where the act is objectively good or neutral, the intent is good, but bad things happen, either anticipated or unanticipated. If unanticipated, no culpability can be imputed to the agent (he was acting in good faith). If anticipated, then we get into the principle of double-effect, which is another kettle o’ fish.Proprotionalism is when one chooses between two objectively evil acts and rationalizes that doing the one isn’t as bad as the other.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Proprotionalism is when one chooses between two objectively evil acts and rationalizes that doing the one isn’t as bad as the other.”I take it you mean:<>Preventing<> a Comprehensive Culture of Death Agenda (i.e., Obama FOCA, etc.) is Just as Bad as Voting For It

  • zippy says:

    <>I take it you mean: …<>No, he doesn’t mean that. Don’t put words in his mouth.

  • JohnMcG says:

    <>Proprotionalism is when one chooses between two objectively evil acts and rationalizes that doing the one isn’t as bad as the other.<>One might conclude from this is that this is means Catholics can find themselves in a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.But that’s not the case. There is always one path that does not entail objective evil. It may not be a pleasant path, and it may have bad results, but it is there.

  • Scott says:

    I did a search on Proportionalism and found Zippy’s other entry< HREF="https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2006/12/proportionalisms-lex-orandi.html" REL="nofollow">here<> which covers the discussion well.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear John,There is always another path–as you pointed out, it may not be pleasant and sometimes it is not even particularly clear. Zippy has outlined one such path if you agree with the arguments he has propounded. I don’t know about the arguments, and I disagree with the path (although not with the ultimate intention) for reasons of political philosophy rather than religion or moral philosophy–however, it is one such path.shalom,Steven

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