Morality of voting for Bully over Beast. Immorality of voting for Zero-Chance. Let’s look at the Double-Effect theory.

double effect

  • One candidate is a bully and could be hurtful to some human rights.
  • One candidate spells the end of America and has always been, is now, and will certainly be catastrophic for human rights in every way imaginable.

Can one vote for a lesser of two evils?

No. That’s a diabolical invention, consequentialism, the ol’ doing evil that good may come of it rubbish, whereby, says Saint Paul and the Holy Spirit, those who do this are justly condemned to hell (see Romans 3:8). What if you only have two viable options?

The Double Effect Theory championed by Saint Thomas Aquinas

(1) The kinetic action actually taken must not be intrinsically evil (e.g.: taking abortifacients), but must be good or at least indifferent. In this case, the action is as mundane as pulling a lever or pushing a button in a voting booth. That’s an action which is simply indifferent.

(2) The bad result cannot be intended, though you know it will be there. Thus, if you vote for the Bully over against the Beast, you know that there will some bullying going on that you don’t like, but you don’t want that. You intend the good that will come of your action, and that good can simply be that the Beast is blocked from taking office.

(3) The good result must be at least proportionally as good as the bad result is bad. That’s a definite go. No matter what happens with the Bully, that will be incomparatively better than that which will happen with the Beast. Note that this step is not to be equated with the condemned system of proportionalism since other steps counter the tendency toward relativism that this step could have with a malicious user of the theory.

(4) The good result cannot be directly caused by the bad result. That which happens by default when blocking the Beast from taking office, so that the Bully swears into office, is not a direct result, but a falling back to a default. You could say that the Beast was not elected (good) because the Bully was elected, but only inasmuch as you can also say that the Bully took the office by default when the Beast was not elected. Here it is the intention which is important: you are not so much electing the Bully as blocking the Beast. This isn’t just semantics.

  • Voting for the Bully over the Beast is commendable.
  • Voting for a candidate who has zero chance of winning is a vote for the Beast. Being falsely self-righteous about your self-righteous feelings about the Bully helps no one in the world, including you.

I know some people have very strong feelings about voting for the Zero-Chance guy. “I voted for Jesus!” they say. Jesus doesn’t want the job. Really. He’s already the Lord of History. And the Zero-Chance guy who unavoidably also has faults and who gladly accepts your votes, does he really want the good of the country before God and man? Just sayin’…

Note to DOS, DOJ, IRS et alii. I didn’t use any names did I? Also the ol’ beauty and the beast possible reference is all confused here, or is it? A question mark, you say? Yes. But it’s clear to everyone what I mean, you say? That’s in your imagination. And that’s what will keep me from being harassed. Well, I take that back. Some of you guys do whatever you please. Whatever. I’m just trying to discuss moral principles… Free speech…


Filed under Politics

10 responses to “Morality of voting for Bully over Beast. Immorality of voting for Zero-Chance. Let’s look at the Double-Effect theory.

  1. Monica Harris

    Thank you, this could be very helpful ( as I hold my nose). And also for mentioning the Zero-Chance guy, who unfortunately is/is not Jesus.

  2. Well then, WRITE IN A NEW NAME…………..

    Thanks Fr. George..You ALWAYS make us think.

    God bless YOU

  3. I never argue this from a moral perspective. I always argue it from a practical perspective. If we accept the choice, then we’ll get two more junky candidates (probably even worse than these two) in the next election so that we can whine some more next time around– in other words, sowing the seeds of our own destruction. The only way to stop getting junky candidates is to demand better by not voting for either one. Now. Meanwhile, when we throw our votes away by accepting an unacceptable choice, we let everyone know that the Catholic vote is worthless and doesn’t matter, and they can do what they want to us.

    • Father George David Byers

      @ Andrew — You know, I blame Fox News for their incessant promotion of Trump, giving next to no time to Rubio et alii. Terrible. But I suppose this is also a lack of prayer among Catholics, a lack of Catholic identity. I think a persecution is upon us one way or the other. “Thank God, for Jesus still loves you, has not forgotten you, and will bring much good fruit from this persecution,” said a Roman friend.

  4. Cathy

    Father Byers, I have to agree with Andrew. The candidates on both sides of the aisle have been increasingly more evil. Majority control has been given to the Republican party in both the House and the Senate. In the face of Obama’s “yes we can”, effectively both houses have done little but concur. We are a representative government until we accept and vote for those who do not represent us. If we accept this, the sham of a representative government continues.
    Indeed, a persecution is upon us. Our once Catholic institutions are willfully less and less Catholic. Beyond the betrayal of political institutions, this is ultimately most painful. In as much as the innocent are deserving of due process within our society and within the Church, those who promote evil while presenting themselves as Catholic are deserving as well. When a child is not worthy of good, solid and faithful correction, and is given, say, a high honor within the Church in spite of his evil deeds, who sorrows for his/her immortal soul and the souls who have accepted such evils as keeping with the Catholic faith?

  5. sanfelipe007

    No one sorrows more, over a soul lost, than Jesus.

  6. If we could get enough Catholic who care, we could start a ground swell that would solve the problem. Join the peaceful non-violent, non confrontational movement! STEMM (STOP THE EVIL, MOTHER MARY) ! There are no dues, no membership cards, just a rosary! Say the rosary EVERY DAY for the world and the USA. Our beautiful Blessed Mother said there is NO problem that cannot be solved by the recitation of the Rosary! If we got enough Catholics (the remnant) to say the rosary we would see wondrous things happen. I feel like a cheerleader – Pray ! Pray! Pray! GO! MARY GO!

    Please join us and please encourage your family and friends to join us too!.

  7. the egyptian

    Just some thoughts from a lay man and a dairy farmer to boot.
    If perfection was required by Christ there would maybe been 2 apostles
    to quote another priest blogger do not let the pursuit of perfection stand in the way of the good.
    it seems to me that Jesus worked with the flawed and changed the world, sometimes the flawed are his instruments (not to confused flawed with the truly evil)

  8. the egyptian

    as an aside I was taught by my parish priest in the mid 1970s that we must vote for the Kennedys because they are catholic, when pressed he informed us 18year olds that god would change their ways on abortion etc. I got kicked out of class for muttering that i would vote for Satan than Teddy

  9. Marie

    Thank you for that post, I was always demonized for not having voting MCCain or Romney. I knew it was the right thing to do.

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