Evil for the win!
May 29, 2013 § 26 Comments
Suppose Bob has a plan to achieve good end X.
Suppose that in order to succeed at achieving good end X, Bob’s plan requires that Dave must form an evil intention.[*] Suppose further that Bob plans to act in some concrete way – say by speaking to Dave – in order to convince him to form that specific evil intention.
Bob’s act – perhaps of speaking to Dave – is formal cooperation with evil. Bob is deliberately trying to produce a specific evil intention in another human being. Bob’s plans will fail if Dave fails to form the specific evil intention.
In the terminology of double-effect, the evil effect (Dave forming a specific evil intention to commit a specific evil act) is a necessary cause of the good effect that Bob seeks. But an act can never be justified, under the principle of double-effect, when an evil effect is required as the cause of the intended good effect.
[*] This reasoning holds even if it is part of Bob’s plan for Dave’s evil intention to be thwarted by circumstances.