From our “Consequentialism is Great When Cops Do It” File

One of the standard “Shut your trap” arguments put forward by those who argue for the”realism” of the Noble Lie is that cops lie and commit other Noble Evils for the greater good.

Here’s where that line of reasoning goes: Exclusive: FBI allowed informants to commit 5,600 crimes

5658, to be precise. Including helping facilitate the operation of a brutal crime ring.  But it was all for the Greater Good. So the Church is wrong when she teaches:

1789 Some rules apply in every case:
– One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

– the Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”

– charity always proceeds by way of respect for one’s neighbor and his conscience: “Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ.” Therefore “it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble.”

It turns out that, in the New Faithful Conservative Catholic moral theology, doing evil that good may come of it is often fantastic: “wise as a serpent” and all that. And the Golden Rule does not apply to political opponents. And making your brother stumble so you can really nail him in a sin and expose him is actually what God wills and the Church is totally wrong about that.

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  • Morgan Wolff

    Well put Mark.

  • I’ll say one thing for Catholic consequentialists: it’s a valiant effort to escape from living in hypocrisy. It often feels like earlier times were more comfortable professing an ideal they knew they were not living up to. We’re less comfortable with that (to our credit), but sometimes aren’t so sure what to do about it.