Quite often, conduct is declared to be intrinsically evil. The adjective, "Intrinsically", connotes that the conduct is evil in all circumstances. No exceptions. What was never explained to me was the process by which this label gets affixed to the conduct. Does the label get affixed to conduct as a result of running it through the steps of a process? Or is the tail pinned on the donkey arbitrarily and capriciously?
May I suggest a logical process to evaluate conduct?
Conduct can be evaluated by its effect on love. Conduct can have a positive effect, a neutral effect or a negative effect on love.
Conduct can ignite love. Conduct can extinguish love.
Conduct can pop love into the world or push it out.
Let us apply this analysis on a couple of examples.
Why is abortion wrong? It is wrong because it has a negative effect on love. Abortion extinguishes love. It nips love in the bud. The physical reality of mother and child is the platform on which the love of a mother for her child and the love of a child for mother can grow and flourish. Abortion trashes the platform.
Is contraception wrong? It seems to have a neutral effect on love. Contraception has the same effect on love that natural family planning has and chastity has as well. The effect is the same. Unlike abortion, with contraception, the physical reality of parent and child has not yet entered the world. There is not yet a platform for the opportunity to love. Contraception neither pops love into the world nor pushes it out.
Why is feeding the hungry a virtue? It is an act of love. It creates love where no love existed. Love pops into the world.
The effect of conduct on love tells us much about the conduct.
During the thirty-three visit that the Son of God paid to us at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago, the Son of God went about His life igniting love in the hearts of the children of Adam and Eve. How did He do it? Simply by doing good to us and shielding us from harm. He was our benefactor. His final gift was the gift of His life upon the cross to guarantee that His love for us was genuine. If His love for us were counterfeit, it would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed Him. But it did not. It survived. His heart was filled to the brim with love for us as He entered the brutal baptism into which we immersed Him and, as He exited it, He continued to love us nonetheless. Buckets of blood spilled through the wounds we opened in His body but not a drop of His love for us - not a drop.
Therefore, let us be benefactors not malefactors. Let us do good to our neighbor and protect our neighbor from harm.
Let us prefer conduct that pops love into the world. Let us avoid conduct that pushes love out of the world.
Shall we not bring a little logic to our judgments?
Saying its so does not make it so - no matter how loudly it is said - no matter how repeatedly it is said - and no matter who is saying it.
The why matters. Rational minds find it difficult to accept a naked conclusion, that is, a conclusion without any premises. What persuades are the premises.
Moreover, anyone who tries to stifle the working of our rationality is in all probability an agent of the serpent, our enemy. God is relying on our rationality to get us out of the predicament into which Adam and Eve brought us. Like foolish children, they ran away from their home with God in paradise and took us with them into godlessness. It was a bad move. Godlessness sucks. God expects that our rationality will cause us to flee from the sourness of godlessness and seek the sweetness of paradise. At least, that is God's plan. We should be encouraged to develop our God given gift of rationality not discouraged. The God given gift of rationality is our way back to our home in paradise.