Thursday, November 16, 2017

Secular deontology

Consequentialism is a popular theory in secular ethics. Its popularity is due in part to the fact that it has a grain of truth. There are many situations in which the foreseeable impact of our actions should factor in our decisions. 

However, consequentialism is deficient as a stand-alone theory of ethics. A typical alternative to consequentialism is deontology. That is, in part, an attempt to counter the ruthless logic of consequentialism. According to deontology, some actions are intrinsically right or wrong. Good results don't make a morally forbidden action permissible while bad results don't make a morally obligatory action impermissible. Morality is sometimes independent of the end-results. 

And that's true. However, one weakness of secular deontology is the arbitrary ascription of rights. For instance, deontology is used to defend the LGBT agenda, on the stipulation that there's a human right to homosexual marriage or a human right to use a locker room set aside for the opposite sex, and so on and so forth. Or open borders. Or social services for illegal immigrants. And so on and so forth.  

Secular progressives and SJWs assign rights to protected classes of their choosing, as if that's unquestionable. There's nothing to keep the ever-expanding list of human rights in check. Secular deontology is just as deficient as consequentialism. Each has elements of truth, but without Christian values to curb them, they both become tyrannical.  


  1. So if scripture, rather than social mores, is our guide, then is deontology correct? Are there things that are intrinsically evil regardless of the outcome? At first blush that seems true. But then what does that view do to God's sovereignty and the problem of evil? Is consequentialism better? Or does this hinge on the Creator / creature distinction? He infallibly knows what will come to pass. At best, we are making an educated guess. How do you work through these kinds of questions?

  2. Sometimes the end *does* justify the means. That doesn't imply that the end justifies any means whatsoever.