Thursday, 28 October 2010


Left Footer has posted the following moral conundrum:

If I had a button on my desk, and every time I pressed it a child would be saved from abortion, and lightning would strike and kill an abortionist, or pro-abortion legislator, or facilitator, or vociferous and effectual promoter, or someone who legislates or agitates to forcibly teach my grandchildren the rightness of intrinsically immoral acts, then what would I do?

I feel the need to add my penn'orth to this:

Some years back someone close to me wanted to have an abortion, she was 24 weeks pregnant and had "just" decided she didn't want the baby. I was scandalised and offered to take the child as my own, she wouldn't do this and procured the abortion, getting her mother to pay for it. I sought some advice and solace from an enclosed nun I knew. She told me there was no choice, life must always be saved, it is never a matter of choice.

This has stayed with me, some things are not a matter of choice; life is one of these things.

Is it not the case that it is the Devil's tactic to offer us choices? Are choices really that far removed from temptations? OK, choosing whether to go to Edinburgh or Glasgow university was a choice I made and not a diabolically instigated choice at that, but there are so often in life choices that affect others and these are the ones that I think should be looked at with caution. If you are faced with a choice and that choice affects others who have no real opportunity to remove themselves from the influence of your choice, then my guess is that choice is not a real choice and is actually diabolically inspired.

Your decision when faced with that choice will be based on your feelings and feelings are very unreliable.

Could it not be the case that those that stayed with Our Lord on Calvary did so because they could not do anything else, it was not an active choice? Those that thought about what was happening chose to flee.

I'd argue that Our Lady never made a choice in her life by weighing up pros and cons, she was always motivated by the desire to serve the Lord.

So there is my view; desire should always trump feelings and choice must be avoided where possible. The original philosophical proposal stinks as do most of this genre because they presuppose we can rationally make decisions and choices (and that some of these may even be correct), when really it would be better if we never did anything of the sort.

Post script: please read Joe's interesting and more disciplined philosophical musings on this theme here


Robert said...


I agree with you whole-heartedly. This modern choice thing we have, whether it be in choosing groceries, choosing college, choosing vocations, choosing spouses or choosing life, can be very dangerous, misleading and even scandalous.

Seeking God's will is the way to go, yet God's will so seldom enters into the equation.

I read this by Chesterton the other day:

"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."

Seeking God's will and blessing, and showing gratitude to God in all things!

Thank you for a thought-provoking essay.

Anonymous said...

Choices are the sacraments we make for ourselves: they permanently mark our souls, but they do not bestow grace.

Rita said...


Thank you for your comment. I'm not sure I understand this "sacraments we make for ourselves", I will meditate on this. My main point is, that if we truly desire to love and serve God, then we cease to make any choices, as it is God who directs our life.