instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Objections to the explanation

The closer I read the "Is There a Lesser of Two Evils?" article, the less satisfactory I find it.

On the first pass, I noticed that the conclusion was needlessly muddled. Then I noticed the huge chunk of open issues that was begged in asserting:
What would be the object in voting for an imperfect candidate? It would be to limit the evil that a more extreme candidate would do.
Then I noticed what a mess was made of explaining intention as a source of morality in human acts:
If the object of the act is to limit the evil that would occur if the worse candidate, or legislation, succeeded, then the intention must be predominately directed to that object. It should not be primarily to lesser purposes, such as keeping a party in power, aiding this group or that or to some personal advantage derived from policy choices.
An end "must be predominately directed to" a means? How exactly would that work?

The article's treatment of circumstances is pretty well scrambled too:
Finally, the circumstances can also determine whether we can choose the lesser evil.

Father Davis affirmed this in noting that such a vote is justified, made morally possible, by the need to exclude a worse candidate....
But wasn't excluding a worse candidate just said to be the object of the act?

Finally, the whole "scandal caused by the appearance of voting for evil" angle is puzzling to me, considering the fact that Americans vote by secret ballot. Just how remote from the actual act of voting does the author think the act's object is?

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