Author Topic: What is "moral impossibility"?  (Read 305 times)

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Offline SimpleMan

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What is "moral impossibility"?
« on: November 24, 2021, 10:35:49 AM »
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  • This is a term I've often heard used, but have been hard-pressed to understand exactly what it means.  Could someone shed some light here?  Examples?

    Offline Stanley N

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 11:24:29 AM »
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  • Context would help, but "moral" is usually contrasted to strict or "physical", which would be 100%.

    "Moral" is not strictly 100% but nearly so; exceptions involve unusual or rare circuмstances.

    It is "morally impossible" to court without it being an occasion of sin, thus courting is a necessary occasion of sin.

    Arranged marriages eliminate courting, so courting isn't strictly necessary, but it the "morally necessary" route in most Western societies.


    Offline Marion

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 11:53:02 AM »
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  • morally possible = morals allow to do it
    morally necessary = morals force to do it (duty)
    morally impossible = morals forbid to do it

    (from de.wikipedia.org/Ethik)
    That meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church. (Dei Filius)

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 11:57:32 AM »
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  • morally possible = morals allow to do it
    morally necessary = morals force to do it (duty)
    morally impossible = morals forbid to do it

    (from de.wikipedia.org/Ethik)

    With all due respect to J**pedia, they are actually wrong in this case, at least the term OP is asking about, thrown about by Traditional Catholics. Maybe seculars re-purpose the word, I don't know. I didn't go to a secular college.
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    Offline Matthew

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 12:08:50 PM »
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  • The answer is going to parallel CERTAINTY. Laying out the difference here might help understand moral impossibility.

    Metaphysical certainty - a machine can't become self-aware. The ESSENCE of a thing forbids it.
    Scientific certainty - this is a bit dicey, since (sorry to break the modern world, but) THE SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED. Things are always re-visited, revised, understood better.
    But an example of this would be: water boils at 100C or 212F.
    Moral certainty - certain ENOUGH to make a moral judgment.


    Metaphysical impossibility - a square can't be circle. A thing can't be 2 contradictory things in the same way at the same time. God can't die. Man can't handle the Beatific Vision by his own nature/power (wounded by Original Sin), nor save his soul by his own power, for that matter. 2 plus 2 can't equal 5.

    Moral impossibility -
    Again, moral means "enough to act on" or "enough to make a moral judgment on" because everything human beings do is a MORAL act. We are MORAL creatures. Nothing a dog does is moral or immoral -- saving someone's life, destroying the furniture. Dogs can't demerit by sin OR merit by practicing virtue. Strictly speaking, there are no GOOD dogs or BAD dogs. We just use those terms in reference to how they convenience or help US. How are they good or bad, helpful or harmful, to US.

    It is morally impossible to avoid financially supporting heretics, schismatics, or infidels. YES, a real determined person could go live in the woods, living completely off the land, etc. but given human nature, the state of the world today, etc. the vast majority of men don't have the wherewithal to do this.

    It is morally impossible to save your soul without taking SOME measures to do so, different than the average pagan worldling. You can't raise your kids like the pagans do, dress them the same, give them the same influences, the same entertainments, send them to the same schools, the same colleges, and expect them to magically become children of God at 25 instead of a typical 25 year old pagans. We can debate WHAT we must do -- but I think it's morally necessary to do SOMETHING DIFFERENT than the average pagan family.

    It means that a certain moral pressure is applied, overwhelming to most. Think "peer pressure" on steroids.

    That brings up another analogy: COMPULSION.

    Moral compulsion - what they're doing right now with the COVID jab. Influencing you as a human being -- appeals to altruism, fear, love, etc.
    Physical compulsion - what they're doing in Australia -- rounding up Aborigines and forceably vaccinating them.


    In summary, I would define moral in this context as "for all intents and purposes, flesh-and-blood human beings can consider it" 

    Morally impossible = for all intents and purposes, flesh-and-blood human beings can consider it impossible
    Morally certain = for all intents and purposes, flesh-and-blood human beings can consider it certain
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    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #5 on: November 24, 2021, 03:36:09 PM »
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  • With all due respect to J**pedia, they are actually wrong in this case, at least the term OP is asking about, thrown about by Traditional Catholics. Maybe seculars re-purpose the word, I don't know. I didn't go to a secular college.
    I thought the very same thing. 

    Repurposing Catholic terms is a stock-in-trade of those outside the Church.  This inane contemporary use of the term "immaculate conception" by seculars (and even by poorly-catechized Catholics!) as a synonym for "virginal conception" or "virgin birth" is yet another example of people who are just educated enough or urbane enough to have heard the term, yet don't comprehend the precise meaning.  "Begging the question", while not a theological term, is another.

    What damage a couple of years of community college can do, for people who don't have the intellectual chops to study at even that level.  Just educated enough to make a total fool of oneself.

    Offline Marion

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 03:52:55 PM »
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  • Repurposing Catholic terms is a stock-in-trade of those outside the Church.  

    I'd recommend to cite the Catholic term instead of guessing.

    How do you know that it's a Catholic term in the first place?
    That meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church. (Dei Filius)

    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: What is "moral impossibility"?
    « Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 04:25:42 PM »
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  • I'd recommend to cite the Catholic term instead of guessing.

    How do you know that it's a Catholic term in the first place?
    It's often used in Catholic parlance, and I haven't seen it used elsewhere, at least not until the Wikipedia article link was posted.