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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why Has No One Yet Tried To Argue That Cooperation With JAX's Evil Is Morally Permissible?

A commenter in this post brings up an important point: Publix provides Plan B abortion pills in its pharmacies and so, when you shop there, you are cooperating with evil. Why are people not protesting and boycotting Publix?

This is important, and it gives me an opportunity to explain my current problem with the Jackson Labs debate.

Many institutions do evil: Publix sells Plan B pills, McDonalds donates to Planned Parenthood, shoe company X uses slave labor, etc. Can I associate with these institutions even though I am cooperating with the evil that they do? Can I invite them to my town and buy their products?

These are important questions which should be examined closely, using proper analysis of the principles of material cooperation with evil. Thankfully, the answer to the question will often be "yes, you can associate with this institution because your cooperation with evil is sufficiently remote." For example, in the case of buying from Publix, it is most likely permissible moral cooperation with evil because (1) I don't intend the evil that Publix engages in by selling Plan B pills; (2) I have an important reason to be involved with Publix, namely, getting food from my family and I don't have any other better options; (3) my connection to the Plan B abortion is sufficiently remote."

But here is my problem with the Jackson Labs debate:

No one has yet attempted to conduct a similar moral analysis with regard to Jackson Labs.

Maybe JAX-Florida is morally permissible cooperation with evil, just like Publix. I'm sincere when I say that I'm open to the possibility of being persuaded that the Jackson Labs deal is morally permissible. But why hasn't anyone tried to conduct this moral analysis and explain it to me and the rest of the community?

Remember, the NCBC's explanation was embarrassingly faulty: The NCBC argued that since HESC research is not currently being done by JAX, JAX therefore isn't engaged in any evil. And since JAX is not engaged in any evil, then the land sale can't possibly be a cooperation with evil, because evil is non-existent. The clear error in this analysis is that JAX is currently engaged in evil, contrary to the NCBC's premise.

Now, Professor Waldstein has tried to give an explanation for supporting the JAX-Florida deal. He argues that the JAX-Florida deal is good idea because of the opportunity to dialogue. But this argument is defective too.

Are those the only arguments in support of Jackson Labs? Why has no one tried to seriously argue, using the principles of material cooperation with evil, that supporting the new Jackson Labs facility in Ave Maria is morally permissible cooperation with the evil that Jackson Labs is engaged in?