Tuesday, February 8, 2005

MH - The Faces of Evil

Throughout the next few weeks of Lent, we may be getting into discussions of ethics and morals (on the other hand, when aren't we having this discussion?) and I thought it might be helpful to provide definitions for terms such as material and formal cooperation with evil.

You find these links in the most unexpected places, and so here is an excellent guide to these terms, along with many others. (I know the page is referring to healthcare, but I think the definitions are quite universal.) Read the entire page, and in particular, click on the definitions of double effect, toleration, and intrinsic evil.

As we pass through the self-examination period that many of us undergo in Lent, let's refer to these terms often and meditate on how our occupations, our hobbies, our habits, and our beliefs conform to them. Many of us have been and continue to be guilty of behavior that, through lack of education, makes us unwittingly a party to some bad things. Once educated, however, we assume a responsibility to bring our behavior into conformity with these moral teachings. Ignorance may be bliss, but it only gets you so far, and no farther.

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