here’s the article at NCRegister: Intrinsic Evil: Some Things Are Just Plain Wrong
The article pretends to be a defense of Church teaching on intrinsically evil acts, against other theories, especially consequentialism. But that’s not what it is.
First, intrinsically evil acts and the moral nature of the act are determined by the moral object — something Akin fails to mention at all. Why doesn’t he mention it? because Jimmy Akin has no idea what a moral object is.
Second, in condemning consequentialism, the ethical theory that the morality of acts depend only on the consequences, Akin inadvertently condemns Catholic teaching on the third font of morality, which is the circumstances, especially the consequences. Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor phrases the third font this way: “the totality of the foreseeable consequences of that act for all persons concerned” [Vs 79, 82]. But Akin rejects consequences, as part of the morality of the act, saying:
we don’t have a reliable way of measuring the consequences of our actions. There’s no “goodness scale” on which we can objectively evaluate them. We can only use our gut impressions.
Wrong. The circumstances of an act (third font) are evaluated based on the reasonably anticipated good and bad consequences of the act for all persons concerned. Reason is capable of understanding that actions have consequences. But if any consequence is outside the ability of reason to anticipate, then it does not weigh in the third font. And the moral weight of the consequences is based on the love of God and neighbor: The love of neighbor does no harm. So Akin is unwittingly rejecting Catholic doctrine, in an article intended to teach Catholic doctrine. And the editors at NCR either don’t know doctrine well enough to intervene, or they don’t care.
Third, Jimmy Akin hints, in this article, at an heretical error that he has openly expressed elsewhere, that contraception is (supposedly) only intrinsically evil within marriage. By redefining contraception to only exist, by strict definition, in marriage, Akin approves of an intrinsically evil act based on the circumstance that it is used outside of marriage.
Jimmy Akin’s incompetence in writing theology has caused him to teach many heresies over the years. And his readers and editors do not care. The conservative Catholic subculture thinks itself fit to judge and condemn Pope Francis, but it refuses to correct its own. Anyone deemed “conservative” by the subculture is above criticism, while, at the same time, the Pope himself is lambasted for every perceive error and misstep.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.