Choosing the lesser good = immoral


#1

Not all moral choices in life are where you are given the choice between good and evil.

Sometimes you are given the choice between a good and a lesser good.

I’m under the impression that God thinks that choosing the lesser good is immoral.

Imagine a table with two choices: $5 and $5000. Choose $5 and God acts as if you lost $4995 and committed a sin.

Am I seeing this in a wrong light?

I’m seeing this from when God punishes people with hell because they refused to suffer. They choose a good of not suffering versus the greater good of God with tons of suffering.


#2

One ought not necessarily say that choosing the lesser good = immoral.


#3

Yes you are seeing this in the ‘wrong light’.

God does not punish you for choosing between two or more morally good or morally neutral options. These are prudential matters.

I don’t even understand your money example of the $5 and $5000.


#4

Such can fall under an imperfection.

One could have done something better that one was not obliged to do - but one choose instead a lesser good.

Still a* good *(just less perfect).


#5

Yes, I agree. Among acts that are moral, different acts have different degrees of perfection. An imperfect act is by definition not sinful, even though it falls short of the most virtuous choice.

Most often, the imperfection of the act is found in the person who acts. The degree of faith and love expressed in our moral acts gives each act a greater or lesser degree of perfection.


#6

Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Suffering is a deception from the Truth. Suffering is a story we entertain about our lack of faith, like “I can’t/won’t change/last”

This lack of faith leads us into a world of suffering (hell in itself).

Faith (trusting) in Truth/God and its Love is the Light that sets us free from suffering.


#7

The above posters are correct. Following your logic, it would be immoral for any Christian to get married, because it is a “lesser” good for them than the priesthood or religious life in regard to the holiness which they practice.


#8

After having read several of your recent posts…do you think maybe you have a case of clinical depression?
We can’t give medical advice, but you seem really REALLY down about everything. Especially God.
I think maybe a visit to a kindly priest is in order. You can find one.
They’re out there. If you truly can’t call your Chancery offices and tell them you need help.
God bless.


#9

The example is choosing between two things - one good and one better.

God wants us to choose the better no matter what.

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I have a great deal of anxiety and worry. Clinical depression, no. I can enjoy things and do enjoy things.

So the cross is optional? I didn’t know Christ made it optional for those who followed him. When did this happen?


#10

In this scenario, you seem to be directly correlating monetary worth to moral worth in that the scenario assumes that $5000 is somehow morally better than $5.

I would say your motivation for making either choice has much more to do with whether or not you are choosing the “lesser good.”


#11

Google “supererogation”… :thumbsup:


#12

“supererogation” = when you have really large sprinklers for ones garden.


#13

“supererogation” = when you have really large sprinklers for ones garden.

That would be choosing the greater good, after all, when a normal sprinkler wouldn’t be wrong…


#14

“If a man presses you for one mile, go with him two…” We don’t necessarily HAVE to go two, but we will gain more merit if we do. But it would be wrong not to go at all.

Morally neutral acts are always ultimately morally good acts, because they do not offend God and are “referred” or “annexed” to charity. Picking up a blade of grass while on a walk, for instance.

Garrigou-Lagrange talks a bit about how it can be hard to know where the line where laziness (or some such vice) ends and simple mediocrity begins, especially when one has a particularly high amount of ability or grace. It’s somewhere buried in his Three Ages, I think in the chunk on heroic virtue. You’ll have to search for it on your own - a good read, anyway.

It’s online:

christianperfection.info/


#15

The more I read this site, the more I am convinced that no one is getting into Heaven.
To God, earth is nothing but a big game to him-- how can he trip up souls today…
“I know, I’ll put $5 in front of him and I’ll put $5000 in front of him. If he chooses the $5000 I will call him greedy. If he chooses the $5 I’ll say he is wasteful and apathetic…” Either way, the soul loses…

And to think I came on here hoping to read something encouraging; helpful and invigorating… This site sucks the life right out of me.


#16

BobC…,
Suffering is inevitable as long as we have this material body/mind. How much we suffer is up to us. If we can’t let things go we suffer more. I’m terrible at letting things go as much as I try. For instance I am at my mother’s home in the spring summer and fall mowing her lawn. In the winter it is to shovel the drive and keep a roof free of snow as well. I also see her at least once per week sometimes more and try to stay in touch with phone calls as well. I have brother that lives about 2 miles from her and the only thing he does is call her daily. I live about 10 miles from her(not far really)
So as much as I’d like to think I’m a good son and helping my mother(beatitudes would apply somewhat) when I being mowing, shoveling or whatever the case may be I begin to get angry about my brother not doing anything at all. This is on me-I am suffering because of me not him or his actions or nonactions. I am allowing myself to suffer until I snap out of it and realize it isn’t him but me. So then I try to remember to make work my prayer and that works for a bit then I’m off again(suffering) then I remember and come back to the present moment. This is where I don’t suffer-in the here and now.
My point is that we suffer as much as we let ourselves-it is up to us not others. Carrying our cross is hard work, but hard work can bring satisfaction and even joy-it doesn’t have to bring suffering-we let that happen.

 May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.

#17

#18

I think you’re missing the point.

I’m not using “monetary value” as a correlation to moral worth, I’m using it as a METAPHOR.

Since you missed the point, let’s use a different scenario.

A house is on fire.

You have a choice to run inside the burning house, risk your life, and save one person’s life. You can choose to do this once or twice. Two people are trapped inside the house.

If you don’t save two lives, you’ve committed murder of the one you left behind. Saving one life is not morally good since you’ve committed the sin of omission, murdering the second.

If one chose the lesser good (saving one life) they’ve committed a sin.


#19

Nope.

Sins of omission have to do with things one is obliged to do and one deliberately do not do them.

One is not necessarily obliged to run back into a burning house to save another’s life. Such would be an incorrect premise. It is not murder. It is a sadness but not murder.


#20

And that is what happened. One deliberately did not run back a second time.

So therefore this is a sin of omission, and murder.

One is not necessarily obliged to run back into a burning house to save another’s life.

So Matthew 25:41-46 is null and void.


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