Originally Posted by Hokomai
I invite you to comment on a hypothetical situation: a man, Fred, is married to a woman who has a sexually transmitted disease which does not respond to medication. He uses a condom with the intention of preventing the virus responsible for the disease from infection him. If his wife did not have the virus, he would not wear the condom. His intention is not to contracept, but to prevent the spread of disease. The contraceptive effect is an unintended side-effect.
Now I understand that this is not what the Church teaches. But I fail to see the logic. Can anyone explain it to me, when the situation of a woman using oral contraception to protect against acne, or to regulate periods is acceptable to the Church, as the contraceptive effect is an unintended side effect.
There are three fonts of morality:
2. moral object
3. circumstances (esp. the consequences or effects of an act)
All three fonts must be good for an act to be moral.
If a bad consequence is intended, the intention is sinful. If a bad consequence is not intended, that particular bad intention is avoided. But every bad consequence to our actions that can be reasonably anticipated still has moral weight. If you reasonably anticipate that your action will cause grave harm (which is not outweighed by any good effects), then your choice of that act is immoral, even if you do not intend the harm.
Intention is in the first font; bad consequences are in the third font.
If the bad consequences are morally outweighed by the good consequences, and all that you intend is good, the act is nevertheless not moral unless it has only good in the moral object. An evil moral object makes the act inherently disordered, and therefore always wrong to deliberately choose, regardless of intention or circumstances.
So when you asset that the bad consequences of an act are unintended, you do not thereby determine the morality of the act. We still need to know what type of act, in terms of morality, is being chosen. If the chosen act is intrinsically evil, then nothing in the intention or circumstances can justify the deliberate choice of such an act.