Intrinsically Evil?


#1

Are there any material objects which are in and of themselves evil? Or is all matter morally neutral but capable of being used for both good and evil purposes?

I believe that there is no matter which is intrinsically evil, for all things are made of the same basic materials, their physical differences arising from their organization. In fact, the same object can be used for both evil and good, such as a knife which can be used in the securing and preparation of food or to murder someone.

If this is the case then we can only measure the relative good or evil of the effects that a physical object has when it interacts with other physical objects.

In the context of the evil of contraception, a contraceptive pill would then have evil associated with it only if and when it actually had a conctraceptive effect or was used with the intent of having a contraceptive effect.

Thoughts?


#2

If your ultimate question is directed at the “inherent” evil of contraception and specifically the pills used for that end…you have to look at the essence of the pills themselves. They consist of doses of hormones naturally produced (in most cases) by the female body. There is nothing evil about the hormones. In fact, without them the natural female cycle would be impossible as would normal fertility and conception.

Often women with a hormone imbalance in or lacking normal hormone production are put on “birth control pills” and in such cases they are administered not as ABC, but medication to correct an unnatural condition or imbalance–again devoid of any moral offense.

It is the use of these hormones to artificially alter, prevent or terminate a pregnancy that gets folks in trouble with the Church on moral grounds. However, even mother nature uses these same hormones to spontaneously terminate pregnancies through miscarriages where fetal or maternal defects prevent a viable outcome. Call it natural law, natural selection…but you can’t call it evil.


#3

all created things are intrinsically good, read the creation accounts in Genesis. matter and objects can be manipulated by man to produce good effects or evil effects. Things invented by man with a good purpose and good intent can still be misused with an evil intent (knives, lighters). Hormones are naturally occuring substances which when present at the right time in the proper amounts create good effects intended by the Creator. those hormones can be manipulated chemically to produce good effects (correcting an imbalance, curing destrictive symptoms). The good effects may occur alongside unintended evil effects, in which case the substance or treatment may still be morally permissible. Or the substance or treatment can be used with evil intent, to produce an intended evil effect (direct contraception, sterilization or abortion), and yet still produce unintended good effects (clear skin etc.). Things are not evil until manipulated and used with evil intent. They retain the good instilled in them by their creator.


#4

No.

Objects are not evil.
An explosive device left by a terorist is not evil. Evil is an action taken by a creature possesing of free will.


#5

Contraception is not an object, it is an action. Actions can be intrinsically evil. For example, abortion is intrinsically evil. Contraception (use of spermacides, for example) to prevent conception from an act of rape, it not evil. That’s pretty much the only morally licit use of intended contraception that I can think of.


#6

Contraception is not an object, it is an action. Actions can be intrinsically evil. For example, abortion is intrinsically evil. Contraception (use of spermacides, for example) to prevent conception from an act of rape, it not evil. That’s pretty much the only morally licit use of intended contraception that I can think of.


#7

Isn’t pornography intrinsically evil? It might be.

I know that abortion is intrinsically moral in one case at least: If the medical choice is abort the kid or lose both the kid and the mom – an extremely rare situation – then abortion is moral.


#8

[quote=BibleReader]Isn’t pornography intrinsically evil? It might be.
[/quote]

If your saying that a piece of pornographic literature or film is intrinsically evil, I am inclined to disagree. I agree that the act of creating such an object and the act of using the object for arousal is evil.


#9

Incorrect.

Abortion is the direct and intentional killing of an innocent fetus. It is never morally licit to do such a thing either as an end or as a means.

See Romans 3:8. One cannot do evil such that good may result.

Perhaps you meant to apply the ethical principle of double-effect. If so, you need to be more precise about what is the deliberate action (hint: it is not the intentional and deliberate death of the fetus), what is the good effect of that action, and what is the unintended evil effect of that action.

If the evil effect is intended or if the evil effect is the cause of the good effect, the action is immoral.


#10

[quote=BibleReader]Isn’t pornography intrinsically evil? It might be.

I know that abortion is intrinsically moral in one case at least: If the medical choice is abort the kid or lose both the kid and the mom – an extremely rare situation – then abortion is moral.
[/quote]

Define pornography.

If it is in print, are you saying that the paper and ink themselves are intrinsically evil? I do not think so; the evil is the attempt to use such materials to accomplish an evil goal.


#11

This thread kinda reminds me of the “Guns don’t kill people; I do” remark.


#12

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