Category Archives: Ethics

The Seal of Confession and the Utilitarian Imperative

The sacrament of confession, according to Catholic teaching, involves a seal of confession for the priest involved. A priest who is hearing a confession cannot speak freely about, make reference to, insinuate to others, or by any means do anything … Continue reading

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Moral Accountability and an implicit argument against Naturalism

Suppose that the Atheist responds to any and every moral argument for the existence of God that God is not required in order to purchase the objectivity of moral values or duties. Perhaps the Naturalist would argue that (i) Naturalism … Continue reading

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Permissible Slavery?

It is generally affirmed among those with a modern western temperament, which I clearly share, that slavery is simply and strictly wrong. As Abraham Lincoln memorably said “if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” However, are there any circumstances in which … Continue reading

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The Decalogue; Jesus, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham

The ten commandments were revealed by Moses coming down from the mountain, and presented to Israel on two tablets – why two tablets? When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he responded by giving a twofold answer; “You … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on Deontology and Virtue Ethics

I was just thinking about the early modern agenda to mathematize the whole enterprise of knowledge, including medicine. The early moderns managed, to their credit, to mathematize the field of physics, but though this is often hailed as their greatest … Continue reading

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Short argument against Euthanasia

Here’s a short argument against Euthanasia which I was thinking about yesterday. It seems to me that those who promote Euthanasia often couch their argument in the language of human rights. They argue that people have the right to decide … Continue reading

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Capital Punishment and the difference between the social good and justice

People have often argued that the death penalty is not morally legitimate in our civilized society which has the means to safeguard the social good without putting some very dangerous individual to death (for instance because we have prisons which … Continue reading

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Utilitarianism, Pleasure and Happiness.

Suppose the Utilitarian suggests that there is no logically possible world in which some act is morally wrong, and in which that act does not result in a depreciation of at least one creature’s ‘pleasure to pain’ ratio. I think this … Continue reading

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German Bishops and Contraceptive Technologies

Recently it was announced in Germany that Catholic hospitals would be treating rape victims with a morning-after pill. It was established that the morning-after pill is not an abortifacient (at least under certain conditions), and that it can be legitimately … Continue reading

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Natural Law Theory and Objective Prescriptive and Proscriptive Duties

Some Christian thinkers have suggested that we can, in fact, derive an ought from an is; that we can derive an imperative from an indicative. They argue that Natural Law theory may license this claim. let us understand that what is … Continue reading

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