Proportionalism?


#1

In other thread I have already asked this question without getting a clear answer but I think it is worth a new one.

One can not try to achieve a superior good using evil means. (it is not licit to do evil that good may come of it (cf Rom 3:8))

According to the Church teaching, mutilation is intrinsically evil. Now, if this is so and if you read Mark Chapter 9, it seems to me that Jesus recommends ***to do an “intrinsic evil” act ***(please, I do not intend being blasphemous), even if it is in a figurative manner, in order to achieve a superior good or to avoid a “worse evil” as a sin. In this case mutilation, according to Jesus, should not be considered “intrinsically evil”. I do not thing Jesus could have made such a speech if this wouldn’t be OK. Was Jesus a proportionalist?

How is that possible?

Regards,

Jose


#2

Well,

I know for certain that if I were to chop off one hand then one foot and pluck out one eye I would end up with one prosthetic hand one prosthetic foot and an eye patch.

Yet sin would still remain, I always thought this was in regards to sacrifice in a non literal sense given the words that follow.

49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Salted with fire would seem to say salted with fire by Him and not us. (Not that I am qualified to translate)

-D


#3

[quote=josea]In other thread I have already asked this question without getting a clear answer but I think it is worth a new one.

One can not try to achieve a superior good using evil means. (it is not licit to do evil that good may come of it (cf Rom 3:8))

According to the Church teaching, mutilation is intrinsically evil. Now, if this is so and if you read Mark Chapter 9, it seems to me that Jesus recommends ***to do an “intrinsic evil” act ***(please, I do not intend being blasphemous), even if it is in a figurative manner, in order to achieve a superior good or to avoid a “worse evil” as a sin. In this case mutilation, according to Jesus, should not be considered “intrinsically evil”. I do not thing Jesus could have made such a speech if this wouldn’t be OK. Was Jesus a proportionalist?

How is that possible?

Regards,

Jose
[/quote]

The Scripture is not intended to be literal. It illustrates that we must remove or avoid all “things” that cause us to be tempted to sin.


#4

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]The Scripture is not intended to be literal. It illustrates that we must remove or avoid all “things” that cause us to be tempted to sin.
[/quote]

I totally agree. Jesus was not making a case for revisionist moral theology.

Josea,

You mistakenly frame the above passage from Mark 9 [43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, [/color]10 into the unquenchable fire…] as Jesus having a sinner choose between perpetuating in a pattern of sinful behavior [font=Arial]or choosing an action that is intrinsically evil (self-mutilation). Jesus is actually presenting the choice between the consequence of dying in unrepentant serious sin and taking the necessary measures to break with the occasion of sin. I believe that the point Jesus is making here is not to prescribe or condone or make a proportionalist rationale for choosing an intrinsic evil. Rather, pointing out the reality that given the choice between the consequence of dying in the state of serious sin (eternal damnation) versus decisively breaking with the mechanism/infrastructure that facilitates the occasion of sin; one should choose the latter. In the case that this would ultimately entail self-mutilation (last resort) to enable that person to break with the bondage of mortal sin, then, then I believe that Jesus is prescribing the choice between the lesser of two evils, which is morally permissible. Regardless, Jesus assuredly was not presenting the proportionalist principle of “proportionate good”; i.e., there is no proportionalist “loophole” for one to choose an evil (ex, contraception for “medical reasons”) that good may come of it. [/font]
[font=Arial]

[/font]I recall the hiker in some western USA state last summer whose arm became lodged in under a rock. He ultimately had to choose to amputate/sever his arm his to save his life. In this sense, this was not a case of self-mutilation, but self-amputation in service of saving his life – if you can see the analogy here.


#5

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