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Word Count: 491
THE CURRENT DEBATE In recent years there have been two emerging traditional Roman Catholic ways of dealing with an intrinsically evil act such as abortion One way is to evaluate the act itself using a three-step process The first is to state or ask the intention of the act that was committed The second is to look at what was involved in the act itself The final step is to search out the circumstances which may have determined the decision to commit the act This idea of focusing on the act itself is formally known as the deontological method or the basic good theory The second theory that has emerged is that of a proportionalist or teleological method It describes moral decision making as the process of assessing the proportion of value and disvalue in specific actsOConnell 205 Although OConnell agrees with many of the points within both of these theories he also feels that using just one of them as your guide is not the best way of evaluation He proposes a compromise between the two a relational-responsibility method An intrinsically evil act is an act which in and of itself is evil no matter what the circumstances That is are there specific external acts that irrespective of intention ought to be judged as always wrong and therefore never to be intended by human personsOConnell 209 Traditional Catholics view abortion as one of these intrinsically evil acts Yet in Timothy OConnells The Current Debate his third alternative suggests that there may be some certain times and certain circumstances under which there might be no way around committing an intrinsically evil act Both of these points have their weaknesses about them The teleologicalproportionalism method has a hard time filling in through time and does not always apply Likewise the basic goods theory has a certain degree of incommensurability which may cause conflict when deciding which life
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