This Flowchart Will Tell You When Cooperation with Evil is Immoral

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  • Holy gigantic words I don’t understand, Batman!! Maybe a video??

    • There were some vocabulary words that I was not at liberty to ignore. Sorry, Robin.

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  • Ioannes

    This is awesomely amazing! Great design skillz!!! I love this kind of stuff, epic pew outdo themselves once again

  • Justin Case

    I downloaded an app to alert me of businesses and brands that were immoral to support (abortion, euthanasia, forced labor, et al). I uninstalled it the next day. Basically I couldn’t buy anything – gas, food, movies, electronics, internet, music, and much more – without violating my conscience some way. In our present society and economy, are we supposed to live with the bare minimum, requiring a serious justification for almost everything we consume?

    • Ryan Mayer

      Actually, the graphic helps us to do what we need to while limiting our cooperation with evil. It’s impossible to avoid ALL cooperation with evil. But it would be better if that cooperation were more remote. Some cooperation is always immoral, some is not. Therein lies the genius of this graphic.

    • Ryan is spot on. We can’t truly avoid all cooperation with evil, and that’s OK. I’m sure we could find some examples in the life of Christ where He “cooperated” with evil in this technical sense.

      Not all cooperation with evil means that the cooperator bears some responsibility for the evil done. In fact, consider Jesus telling people to pay their taxes. It was evident that some of the tax revenue would go toward evil acts perpetrated by the Romans. But the more remote your cooperation, the less you need to concern yourself with what happens. That said, if you have a choice between two otherwise identical courses of action, and one is slightly more remote than the other, or the evil that you would cooperate in in slightly less evil, then you ought to take that option.

      We aren’t consequentialists. However, when it comes to remote cooperation with evil, we are proportionalists.

      • Jacob

        Hi David, this really is a great flowchart! I think your clarification above that “when it comes to remote cooperation with evil, we are proportionalists” is a very important one (perhaps another footnote?). I’ve had to explain to many that one can never actively do evil so that good comes from it, but this is different than “double effect,” where something evil is concomitant with a good, or at least morally neutral, deed.

  • streiff

    a friend in academia asks where these scenarios fit

    (1) the point on the flow chart where refusing to cooperate with evil will ruin your family

    (2) the point on the flow chart where cooperating with evil, but privately disagreeing, will ruin your family

    • Could you elaborate or provide a concrete example?

      Sorry for the delay.

  • Good Old Dad’s friend

    I have a question: The Bishop says: “Have nothing to do with that.” (An unapproved apparition.) “Tell your friend to have nothing to do with that.” You go to your friend and relate what the Bishop said. The friend becomes irate and red faced in rage, acts as if she wants nothing further to do with you, rolling up her window and preparing to drive off. She gives money to the apparition organization, aggressively continues to promote the apparition, uses her influence to make a vulnerable elderly lady spend $450-500 on a framed picture, which the seer proclaims will have special protections for the one who buys it and hangs it in their homes, which is the same that the friend has purchased and has hanging as well. She drives all day, trying to bring others with her, to go to a “church?” (no tabernackle, no daily or regular Mass) to recite some prayers, and then drives all the way back…she is also planning to have people come to her residence every Saturday to recite certain prayers the appartion group suggests…trying to promote the apparition to others. When I was again treated with a bit of friendship with her I avoided the subject. But just recently, after she told about the long trip, I commented that she had probably passed many churches where Jesus was present in the Blessed Sacrament, to go to a place where he was not present. She became enraged and became insults and said she would not call me again. That if need, I should call her. I have not called her. I feel she is in serious spiritual trouble by “disobeying our Bishop.” She dismissed him by saying she didn’t think he knew very much about it–not like she does….she feels she is an expert. She is convinced she is correct to embrace the apparition as authentic. To me this disobedience is a sign of the possible deception of the Devil. Certainly a serious sin. Sin of pride. That she gets angry at another who disagrees over an unapproved apparition is also a very negative sign of “bad fruit.” What should I do/or should have done with regard to her?

    She has free nationwide long distance, internet, etc. and thus could call and contact the Bishops of Austin, TX,Humbolt, KS, and the local Bishop of the Seer, who all say “have nothing to do with it”, “do not give money,” “it has nothing to do with the Catholic church,” and the Austin diocese does not allow the seer’s spiritual director to say Mass. I struggle with my own anger at her for being disobedient to our Bishop, and also her nasty anger towards me for not agreeing with her. Sometimes I am so angered at her behavior I wonder if she is “possessed.” I am avoiding her, and making no effort to reconcile with her. In my mind it is up to her to correct her bad behavior, and when she turns away from her pride and disobedience, and humbly repents, she can contact me and inform me of this change, and her regrets at what she has done. I think the sin of simony is being committed by the Seer who sells this picture for $450-500 for the spititual gifts it brings, and those who purchase it also commit the sin of simony for believing they can purchase spiritual gifts! What advice do you have for me in this situation? Thank you in advance.

    • Boo

      I’m not David but I hope you don’t mind me offering my ‘two-cents’ worth, as I can identify with the scenario…

      You have done the right thing. You have passed on the Bishop’s message and have charitably warned her. You have not contacted her, nor returned the abuse (both right!) and have tried, where a gentle opportunity presented itself, to again appeal to reason. Her response was clear, so is your conclusion about it.

      As Matt 18:15-17 suggests, in this case, you continue to avoid her, (if you were a parent/spouse/close family member, your duty might be different). You should avoid her firstly because she refuses to listen, secondly, because it becomes a proximate occasion of sin for you to be around her. (Galations 6:1)
      The danger to you is the anger, (although justified) that you have, which may cause you to ruminate on it all and then get sucked into the frustration and anger about this false apparition, neglect your duties, or have the justified anger turn into lack of charity…. it’s a fine line! Even those who see through the false apparitions are in danger of falling into sin because of them, that’s how insidiously evil they are! (Been there!) Maddening, isn’t it?!

      As for your friend, she will see no reason at this point, all you can do is try to stay in a state of grace and pray.

      I find that if there’s an issue for me that is hard to pray about because of my tendency to stew over it and then get into trouble, I ask God to take it. For example: Lord, from now on, every time I do such and such a thing (go to Mass, pray the rosary, fast, whatever) I offer it for this person/situation/intention. I’m now going to forget about this arrangement, because it is not good for me to think about it. But YOU will remember that my WILL is asking you to do this.

      However, you would also be obliged wherever you can to charitably and firmly warn anyone around you who you see are in direct danger of being sucked into these false ‘apparitions’, even at the further ire of your friend. But above all PRAY.

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  • Ashton

    Thanks David, it is a great flowchart. One request – would it be possible to provide a landscape version so that I can put this up as a facebook banner?

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  • CZeke

    Meanwhile, the version by Rorschach from Watchmen just goes “Don’t do it” halfway through the first box.