need advice


#1

pardon me for asking this question again, but i want an an answer in a more nuanced way.I own a supply house, and a contractor wants to buy electrical supplies to use in building a strip joint, would there be a moral problem selling him the products, which could be a total amount of $40000? what if the owner of the strip joint, comes to me instead of the contractor to buy the electical products, is there a moral problem selling him? some products might be shipping to the job site. the contractor(a customer of mine) tells me if i don not sell him, he will go to my competitor.

thankyou


#2

louie12:

You would be bound by any legal civil contract you made with anyone. If that’s not the case you would be morally bound by your word or promises within your capacity to carry that out. But don’t forget that any agreement that is made to anyone else is also a verbal contract. Of course you could deny that as well if there are no witnesses, but then you would be breaching a higher moral precept you will have to live with, and within small business communities the word eventually gets around quick on what kind of reputation you have as an honest individual. (explains why some businesses go belly up quickly too.)

So, first legal side, then the moral side, otherwise you can do as you wish, (within the law of course).

AndyF


#3

The only “moral problem” in either case would be if the $40000 price is unfair. Sales of electrical supplies are morally neutral. You are not culpable for the use they are put to after the sale.

:twocents:
tee


#4

your cooperation would be remote and not proximate. you’re too far removed from the sin of the strip club’s owner to be culpable.


#5

I certainly believe there is a moral problem here. Being involved, even if only indirectly, with the opening of a place whose sole or primary purpose is to promote grave sin is a serious moral problem. What if they were building an abortion clinic? While I am sure this would be a nice bit of business for you, I do not think that money is clean. I would not sell the contractor supplies to be used on this job.


#6

You are not in any morally problematic position. The contractor is building a building. The building isn’t anything other than a building. Only the acts of individuals are moral or immoral. Selling electrical supplies at fair market value is a morally neutral activity.
Ask yourself if it is permissible to sell toilet paper for the washrooms. Morally there is no difference. It is simply supplies to be incorporated in the building.
Let the employer of the staff worry about the morality of his actions.

Matthew


#7

Let’s put it another way: how sure are you that any building to which you supply electrical parts is not the site of some mortal sin?

Restaurants: Gluttony

Health Spa: Pride

Stock Brokerage: Greed

Apartment Building: Sloth

Low Cost Housing: Jealousy

Movie House: Lust

Sports Arena: Anger

Looks like you are out of business. Unless you determine that your cooperation is remote and beyond your control.

Oh, and any other business you may enter? Are you sure that no one you are dealing with is sinning?

Seriously, I understand your question. But put it into perspective; it just so happens this one caught your attention.

The world has need for martyrs - for the word “martyr” means witness. But you might want to ask yourself, given that undoubtedly you have supplied electrical parts to other businesses in which mortla sins have been committed, whether refusal to supply in this instance (since it would appear that there is no moral issue in place on your part - too remote) is going to accomplish anthing; will it stop the builidng? Will it stop the contractor? Will it change any midns or hearts? Will there be reprecussions? If so, who else will feel them - family?


#8

I responded the last time you asked this question. You got good advise then and now. I think you just can’t let go of the idea that you will somehow be responsible for the actions of those who will occupy the building. In and word, you are being overly scrupulous.

If you have any doubts after hearing from the majority here who have sited the Church’s stance on the issue (proximate culpability), then by all means talk to your priest about it. I’m sure he will tell you the same thing–you are not responsible for the behavior of others who might buy your electrical supplies. It’s just that simply. Really. :slight_smile:


#9

This is not a valid comparison. It is not valid because all these places have legitimate non-sinful purposes. A strip has only a seriously sinful purpose. So yeah, let’s put this “into perspective”. It is okay to help someone who is a sinner, we all are. It is never okay to help someone sin.

Several years ago, Planned Parenthood tried to open a “clinic” in a large city in Kansas. Major contractors all got together and decided to refuse to bid on the project to build their facility. These contractors, in turn convinced all other contractors not to take on the job. Planned Parenthood was forced to try to bring in an out-of-state contractor. The local contractors convinced local supply houses not to do business with the out-of-towners.

The result, the clinic was not built.

Sure, the contractors and suppliers were not responsible for the sinful actions committed by those who operate and are served by and kill their children in Planned Parenthood facilities. But they certainly did the right moral thing.


#10

The developer is building a building; the fact that it’s immediate projected use is a strip club does not prevent it from being a restaurant.

I don’t question the fact that it has been identified as a strip club and I don’t question your moral assessment of it; however, you seem to be making the presumption that anyone and everyone involved with the joint is committing a mortal sin; mortal sins can be committed anywhere and everywhere. Undoubtedly there is more opportunity and certainly a great deal of encouragement to commit one in the strip club. But to make a presumption that anyone and everyone entering is going to do so goes farther, I think, than the Church will; the Church usually stops at “occasion of sin”.

The bottom line is that this is certainly more obvious a source of sin than the other examples I gave, but all of the other examples are sources of mortal sin too. We seem, however, to focus much more on sexual sins than we do other sins; does that make them less sinfull, or less mortal, because they are not sexual sins?

The issue is that remote as opposed to proximate is the basis for the answer. I applaude those who stopped the abortion clinic, but to answer the OP’s question, unless he can get everyone on board, that isn’t going to happen here, and unless he gets some significant support as opposed to going it alone, he may accomplish nothing positive. By moral law he is too remote to be responsible and may sell the electrical supplies. By civil law, if he has contracted to sell and refuses now to do so, he may be liable for at a minimum, any additional costs of supplies, lost contract time, and any further monetary damages either the developer of future owner can show.

Your comment about the construction trade in Kansas doing the “right moral thing” seems to equate with an opinion that if the OP sells the electrical parts, he is doing moral wrong; however, that is not what Moral Theology holds. It might be better to say the folks in Kansas did a better moral thing.


#11

I am afraid I disagree with much of what you wrote.

You are factually correct, but what is only a possible use is of no interest when compared to what is the **intended **use.

I don’t question the fact that it has been identified as a strip club and I don’t question your moral assessment of it; however, you seem to be making the presumption that anyone and everyone involved with the joint is committing a mortal sin; mortal sins can be committed anywhere and everywhere.

You have correctly assessed my position. The bartender serving drinks, the plumber who fixes a leaky faucet, everyone involved in keeping the place a going concern is committing a mortal. Why, because they are contributing to the sin of others.

(paragraph continues…)

Undoubtedly there is more opportunity and certainly a great deal of encouragement to commit one in the strip club. **But to make a presumption that anyone and everyone entering is going to do so goes farther, I think, than the Church will; the Church usually stops at “occasion of sin”. **

I believe this is an incorrect assessment of the church teaching. Let’s look at a snippet from the Catechism.

1789 Some rules apply in every case:

  • One may never do evil so that good may result from it;
  • the Golden Rule: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."56
  • charity always proceeds by way of respect for one’s neighbor and his conscience: "Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ."57 Therefore "it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble."58

The bolding for emphasis is mine.

I recommend reading this whole section on Moral Conscience. Here is a link. It will not take long. It will make it clear that your position as stated above is incomplete. I think once you understand this section, you may revise some of your statements. Also please take a look at “Proliferation of Sin” which explains how we sin by cooperating in the sin of others.

This is the area that is leading you and I to draw different conclusions.

The bottom line is that this is certainly more obvious a source of sin than the other examples I gave, but all of the other examples are sources of mortal sin too. We seem, however, to focus much more on sexual sins than we do other sins; does that make them less sinfull, or less mortal, because they are not sexual sins?

I would describe the examples you gave as, at best, remote occasions of sin for some. However, a strip club is inherently sinful as it is opposed to human dignity and exploits the “dancers” for selfish reasons. Patrons of the club, sin even if they do not look at the strippers or experience lust, because their patronage support the exploitation of people.

As for the issue of sexual sins… Well, yes, I concede that these seem to get a good deal of attention. They even got the attend of the Blessed Virgin Mary who said at Fatima that more people will go to Hell for the Sins of the flesh than for any other sin.

The issue is that remote as opposed to proximate is the basis for the answer. I applaude those who stopped the abortion clinic, but to answer the OP’s question, unless he can get everyone on board, that isn’t going to happen here, and unless he gets some significant support as opposed to going it alone, he may accomplish nothing positive. By moral law he is too remote to be responsible and may sell the electrical supplies. By civil law, if he has contracted to sell and refuses now to do so, he may be liable for at a minimum, any additional costs of supplies, lost contract time, and any further monetary damages either the developer of future owner can show.

It seems to me you are saying that unless he can stop it from being built, he should go ahead and help build it. I disagree. Being able to prevent public sin is different than cooperating with it.

Your comment about the construction trade in Kansas doing the “right moral thing” seems to equate with an opinion that if the OP sells the electrical parts, he is doing moral wrong; however, that is not what Moral Theology holds. It might be better to say the folks in Kansas did a better moral thing.

Again, I disagree with your conclusions. Please take a look at the sections I referenced in the catechism. I would be very interested in the viewpoints of others.

And thank you for keeping this a civil and respectful discussion. :slight_smile:


#12

I believe if one specifically knows that one’s product is going to be used for sinful purposes, one should probably not sell that product. True, your product is morally neutral, but will you be able to sleep at night knowing that men and women are degrading themselves in part due to the product you sold and the profit you earned.

Now, as a business man you have to make some practical decisions. I would sit down with your contractor and say something like, “I respect you and the work your do, and I’m not trying to tell you how to run your business; however, I have a very deep faith life, and I have some real issues selling my product to be used in this kind of establishment. I want your business for future projects, but I need you to respect my concerns on this deal, and would like to refer you to my competitor for this job.” If he can’t respect that, then perhaps he’s not someone you want to do business with anyway, but I suspect, after the initial shock of someone actually standing up for his principles, he will have more respect for you.


#13

So if you were a grocer you would let anyone “even if only indirectly involved” with a strip club starve? What if you were a Doctor? Refuse to treat them?

Why limit it to strippers and club owners, why not refuse to do business with liars? Mass-skippers.

Ooh! how about adulters and fornicators?

“I’m sorry Janet, you got divorced from Fred a few years ago and I saw you with a man at the Waffle House Friday! I’m going to need to see your Declaration of Nullity before I can sell you that sheetrock to redo your bedroom. I simply can’t be party to your fornicating!”

Yeah I can see Jesus doing that!

Give me a break.


#14

You take this absurd lengths. These statements have destroyed your credibility on this issue.

Your position is not consistent with Church teaching. You do not refer to the catechism texts mentioned previously. Therefore I can only assume that you are not interested in what the Church teaches and only in what you think is right.

To be faithful Christians, we must conform our conscience to what the Church teaches. Not the other way around.


#15

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