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Intrinsic Evil Revisited

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INTRINSIC EVIL REVISITED

The traditional idea of’intrinsic evil’ was that an act is morally evil in its very nature. When physical evil is inflicted by the free and conscious decision and action of other human beings in an unjustifiable way it becomes moral evil. The author points out the limitations of this moral absolutism and at the same time admit how it throws clarity in certain areas. Moral good or will of god is considered identical with good of man.

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INTRINSIC EVIL REVISITED

The traditional idea of’intrinsic evil’ was that an act is morally evil in its very nature. When physical evil is inflicted by the free and conscious decision and action of other human beings in an unjustifiable way it becomes moral evil. The author points out the limitations of this moral absolutism and at the same time admit how it throws clarity in certain areas. Moral good or will of god is considered identical with good of man.

The book analyses the pros and cons of moral relativism as upheld by some theologians and criticised by others. It explains the confusion situation ethics can cause but considers the elasticity it can provide on changing moral situations.

The object of the book is to strike a balance between moral absolutism and moral relativism. It states that proportionalism doesn’t dismiss ‘intrinsic evil1 and is different from situation ethics. The book ends with a final invitation for open discussion on this important topic.

Dr.Felix Podimattam

is one of the best-known moral theologians in India and outside. Besides his full time job as a professor, he finds time to write books at an amazing rate. He has authored 77 books. Besides his Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mysore, he holds a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and subsequently a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Alphosian Academy, Rome, His post-doctoral studies were pursued in Washington, DC, U.S.A. At Present he is professor of moral theology at St. Francis Theological College, Kottayam, Kerala.

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER-1
CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL NOTION OF INTRINSIC EVIL
1. Moral Absolutism
and the Problem of Moral Evil 17
2. Moral Absolutism and the Intrinsic Good 20
3. Moral Absolutism and Reason 26
4. Moral Absolutism
and the Commandment of Love 26
5. Moral Absolutism and Conscience 28
6. Moral Absolutism and
Value and Expression of Value 32
7. Moral Absolutism and the Signs of the Times 34
8. Moral Absolutism and
Pluralism of Moral Methodologies 35
9. Moral Absolutism and Anthropological
Findings regarding Moral Absolutes 38
10. Moral Absolutism and
Traditional Pastoral Theology 43
11. Moral Absolutism and
the Question of Exceptional Cases 44
12. Moral Absolutism and the Morality of Growth 47
13. 13- Moral Absolutism and Evolutionary Morality 48
14. 14. Moral Absolutism and Historical Morality 56
15. Moral Absolutism and Character Morality 58
16. Moral Absolutism and Person-Centred Morality 65
17. Moral Absolutism and Individual Morality 67
18. Moral Absolutism and Compromise Morality 72
19. Moral Absolutism and Tension Morality 76
20. Moral Absolutism and Morality of Lesser Evil 81
21. Moral Absolutism and Epikeia 82
22. Moral Absolutism and
One-Dimensional Morality 95
23. Moral Absolutism and
Weakness of Its Basis: The Natural Law 97
24. Moral Absolutism and Weakness
of Its Basis: The Teaching of the Church 103
25. Moral Absolutism and
the Principle of Double Effect 113
26. Moral Absolutism and
the “Three-font Principle” 115
27. Moral Absolutism and Distinction
between Ethical Norm and Ethical Imperative 118
28. Moral Absolutism and Eschatology 121
29. Moral Absolutism and
Contemporary Moral Theologians 123
30. Moral Absolutism
and St. Thomas and Intrinsic Evil 132
31. Moral Absolutism and East Asian Ethics 134
32. Moral Absolutism and Other Realities 135

CHAPTER-2
CRITIQUE OF MORAL RELATIVISM 152
1. Moral Relativism in General 152
1.1. Nature of Moral Relativism in General 152
1.2. Critique of Moral Relativism in General 154
1.3. Relativism of “Moral Frameworks” 154
1.4. Cultural Relativism, No Ground for Moral Relativism 156
Morality, Not to be Identified with the Mores of One’s Group 160
Morality, Not the Result of Feelings 161
Morality, Not as Relative as Some Think 165
Inconsistency of Moral Relativism 172
Support from Comparison with Art 174
2. Situation Ethics 176
1. Nature of Situation Ethics 176
2. Causes of the Origin of Situation Ethics 178
3. Characteristics of Situation Ethics 182
4. Critique of Situation Ethics 184 Strengths of Situation Ethics 184
5. Weaknesses of Situation Ethics 185

CHAPTER-3
DEFENSE OF MORAL RELATIVITY 199
5. Notion of Moral Relativity 199
5. Vindication of Moral Relativity 210
5. Support from Traditional Moral Theology 210
5. Support from Theological Reasoning 212
5. Answer to Objections 220
5. Implications of Moral Relativity 233
5. Moral Generalizations as Maxims Rather Than Laws 233
5. Absoluteness of Formal Norms and Relativity of Material Norms 235
5. Some Absolute Moral Norms 239
5. Trinity as Absolute Moral Norm 239
5. Christ as Absolute Moral Norm 242
5. Person as Absolute Moral Norm 246
5. Love as Absolute Moral Norm 247
5. Other Absolute Moral Norms 249
CONCLUSION
END NOTES
BiBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

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