Mark Shea does the world a favor and explains consequentialism, a root of many evils…from Crisis:
“There is an old saying that we judge others by what they do, but we want them to judge us by our intentions. That more or less sums up one of the central confusions engendered by our embrace of modernity’s Absolute No. 1 Favorite Moral Heresy: consequentialism.
Consequentialism, for anyone not fully up to speed on basic principles of Catholic moral teaching, is the belief that good ends justify evil means. Despite the fact that this notion has been condemned ever since Paul wrote Romans 3:8, most moderns and postmoderns, including Catholics, deeply believe it anyway.
Consequentialism is not a left or right heresy but a perennial favorite across the spectrum of political allegiances. It undergirds both leftwing commitment to abortion and rightwing commitment to torture. It’s why Planned Parenthood lies for the Greater Good of Protecting Women and why Live Action lies for the Greater Good of Exposing Planned Parenthood. The Axis used consequentialist arguments for bombing London, Rotterdam, Pearl Harbor, and Nanking. The Allies used consequentialist arguments for incinerating children in their beds in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.”
Read the rest here.