This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Doing evil that good may come of it

The great danger of this sort of thinking was condemned long ago by St. Paul (Romans 3:8), and was long after summarized by Pope Paul IV:

“Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (cf. Rom 3:8) — in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general.”[1]

The principle is simple: it is never permissible to do evil so that good may come of it. “The greater good”—a common justification for acts such as abortion, torture, etc., is never a valid excuse for the choice of intrinsically evil acts, because the act in each case—the “object” rationally chosen by the will—is in itself evil. As noble and free as the human will might be, it cannot change an evil act into a righteous one simply by having good intentions, any more than a good intention can turn vinegar into wine. Each act must conform to the good.

[1] HV, 14.

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