Abortion-Tainted Vaccines & The “Classic Sidetrack”… The Fallacy of Moral Equivalenceeditor
Extracts below from the Tradidi Quod et Accepi blog…
One of the favorite tactics used by many people, including those who are trained in moral theology, is the fallacy of moral equivalence, or attempting to convince their interlocutor that there is a close moral comparison between two evils… This is what happened when we first raised our concerns with a traditional priest regarding his order’s early qualified acceptance of the COVID19 vaccine.
[This priest] attempted the classic sidetrack by pointing out that if we pay taxes, we are certainly contributing to government-funded abortions. “How is that really any different?” he asked. Ah, there it is — the faulty appeal to moral equivalence.
Well, it is different — vastly different! And we can easily show this by starting with the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the Gospel of St. Matthew. It is where Fr. Dominic Prümmer, O.P. starts in his Handbook of Moral Theology. The specific episode (Matt. 22:16-21) begins with St. Matthew relating that the Pharisees and Herodians plotted together to trap Our Lord. They approach Christ, patronizing Him with fake sycophantic accolades, then attempt to move in for the kill: “Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” Our Lord calls them hypocrites and then demands to see “the coin of the tribute”. He then responds with His own question: “Whose image and inscription is this?” When, with some surprise (as Monsignor Giuseppe Ricciotti surmises in his book, The Life of Christ, regarding this incident), Our Lord’s opponents reply that the denarius is “Caesar’s”. Then, to their wonderment, Christ provides us with those famous words that we all know by heart: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
As various Doctors and Fathers of the Church (as well as countless moral theologians) have pointed out regarding this passage, Our Lord did not say, “Well, first, determine to what use the tribute (tax funds) will be put, then if you deem it immoral, don’t pay it.” The Jews knew well that Rome was using the tribute collected in Palestine and other far-flung provinces of the Empire for the funding of many immoral activities, including the building of temples to the Roman “gods” and the striking of idolatrous images. As Monsignor Ricciotti explained, “. . . let them render it to Caesar, for the simple fact that they accepted and used the coin showed that they also accepted the sovereignty of the one who had issued it. . . Jesus adds the injunction to render also to God, not only to make his answer complete but also to emphasize the first injunction to render to Caesar.” Read entire article here