The Mother Does Better

Virtue I define as a set of positive properties that do not preclude or private any other positive properties. No virtue excludes a positive choice between two positive principles, say q and p. We would have in some sense a disjunction that pos(p) => ¬pos(q), that equally, pos(q) => ¬pos(p).

A woman in the pain of childbirth who finds that there is a choice to be made between her child surviving or herself losing her life in that same case is in a terrible position - yet the surgeon that saves the life of the mother does well, whereas the mother giving her life for her child does better. Virtue is present in the mother, because in both situations It is the mother's choice to choose for her child whether it should live or whether her own life should be preserved.

Virtue is then in the mother between two positive outcomes - whether her life is saved or whether that of her child in the hands of the surgeon. What could not be virtue is for the surgeon to require the liberty from the woman of the choice, in her stead. No surgeon has the "right" to make such a decision to kill the child if the child is healthy and the woman is not - It is not a positive choice to kill one whilst the other is not in jeopardy. - likewise it is not a positive choice to preserve one for a "short" time when the other is able to be fully preserved whole.

The mother then that does well in the surgery in surviving such a situation indeed does better in saving her child, because it has virtue. The freedom is the mother's and belongs to no other. Leaving the choice to be made by others would remove the decision from the woman and would preclude a positive property - the virtue itself. Likewise if the mother can not consider one option as equal to the other, that if only one of p or q is held positive as a principle by the mother to the exclusion of the other then she can not have the virtue - she has privated a positive property.

Examples of virtue abound, and there is little that can be done to impress upon non-believers that Jesus Christ has freedom over much of what we call "ethics or morality." The truth is that God does not change the set of virtues and "we" are made in His image (The "light of men" which John's gospel opens with concerning John and Christ is virtue.) All men irrespective of race religion or creed are able to understand virtue (as we were created to fill it up.) God in His wisdom does not condemn for the breaking of commandments, only upon whether someone has done well in their faith or not.

Continue To Next Page

Return To Section Start

Return To Previous Page