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Monday, November 29, 2010

Be A Good Rapist?

The Holy Father, as a private theologian, opined that the use of condoms with the right intent might be a step towards the good.

Let's run with that.

If conception is always a gift - and it is a point of Catholic doctrine that conception is always a gift - then a rape that does not result in conception is a greater evil than a rape that does result in conception.

So, isn't a rapist who rapes with the intent to impregnate desiring the good?

If we are going to argue that intention can lessen the evil of an act (a neat trick with an intrinsically evil, act, but let's pretend), couldn't we argue the rapist who intends to impregnate is making a much greater move towards the good then the rapist who uses a condom to prevent mere disease transmission?

After all, the latter only intends a transient temporal good, while the former intends an immortal good, the creation of a new human person.

So, while rape is always damning, at least the one who intends to impregnate is more cognizant of what the sexual act entails and is making a greater move towards the good.

Nicht wahr?


Matheus F. Ticiani said...


Isn't that the case you're making on the post below, in which you declare emergency contraception in case of rape to be immoral?

I don't get it...

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Yes, I just cut-and-pasted from the post below.

I had tons of what i think are good points in the post below, but I think this one is especially telling.

Like the thought experiment I proposed for Jimmy Akin, it highlights the difficulties with the papal remarks.

Patrick said...

This gets into a similar Mother Teresa controversy where she was receiving donations from a dictator whom she knew had gotten the money through bad activities. When questioned by a reporter, she said "I don't care how the money gets to us if we can do good with it. I may be helping this person gain heaven." In God's eyes, how much of a good outcome is required to overcome the bad actions? God allows good through evil actions all the time. How he'll count it in heaven may be another story entirely.

Viator Catholicus said...

While you rightly point out that the Pope's comments were not an act of the Magisterium (thank you!!!), your argument is flawed.

In the Pope's comment, the use of a condom by a male prostitute with HIV might signify some development in moral awareness.
Now concerning this, the use of the condom is obviously not contraceptive. The sexual cannot ever be a marital act, nor can it ever lead to procreation. Thus, although the homosexual prostitute will engage in an objective evil of sodomy, subjectively, his intention to not pass on his HIV may show moral awareness developing (even if he has a far way to go).

The homosexual prostitute chooses 2 moral objects: a morally evil object in the sinful sexual relationship; a morally good object in prevent a disease (again, this is not a case of contraceptive marital sex).

Now, you do some injustice to Catholic teaching. Ontologically speaking procreation is always good, but not always morally so. To will to procreate when one does not have ius ad corpus is a morally evil object. (This is why the Church condemns IVF and other reproductive technologies that divorce procreation from the marital act.)
Meanwhile, in your example, the rapist is also an aggressor. A rapist has no moral right to procreate. Ceertainly, a child is always a gift -from God- and not a product, but one must be properly disposed to receive that gift of parenthood (i.e. performing a marital act). Rape is never a marital act. The rapist commits a sin of violent injustice against both woman and any baby conceived by the rape. He treats the woman as an object and the child as a product (just as someone trying to conceive a child by IVF). And in fact, by intending to procreate, he intends another evil because he has no right to procreate.

A better comparison with the Pope's example would be, I think, if I was plotting to steal my coworker's car. I could plan to hide in the parking garage at the end of the day and knock him on the head and then take the car. Or, not wanting to physically harm him, I might decide to grab his keys which he leaves on his desk when he goes to lunch. In no way is my act good. But, my concern to not harm him perhaps indicates some growing (albeit little) moral awareness on my part.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Nice try, Viator, but to will to have homosexual sex (which is a necessary pre-requisite to using a condom to prevent disease transmission) is ALSO not a morally good act.

A sodomite has no right to have sex either, no more right than the rapist does.

So the sodomite's intent to reduce sexual disease transmission is no better or worse than the rapist's intent to procreate.

Yet the Pope was fine with the intention.

There is NO difference between the Pope's example and mine.

docknoils said...
This comment has been removed by the author.