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Can immoral acts be justified by love?

Updated on March 14, 2011

Can Immoral Acts be Justified by Love? The first question that pops into my head is what immoral acts are we talking about here? Certainly there are varying degrees of immoral behavior.

I suppose that the short answer to this question is, sure! Anything can be justified, and depending upon the motivational level of the person asking the question, it's almost a certainty that the conceived immoral act will, in fact, be justified and done.

The question ought to be, should an immoral act be justified by love? That, I am afraid, is a question that simply cannot be answered universally.

When I was in my sophomore year in college, I took a required ethics class. I loved this class, but there was one test that I literally bombed. One of the questions on the test was "Try to prove that man must follow an objective good."

I couldn't answer that question because I personally do not believe man can be expected to follow an objective good. What is good for me is not necessarily what is good to you, or anyone else for that matter. Certainly there are rules we can agree on (most of us, I would guess). Most people would say that murder is wrong, but even some people will try to justify murder if it is a crime of passion. So if there are some few people who can even find room in their personal ethics for a murderer to be justified, how can we agree on anything with unanimity?

In my personal code of ethics, I try not to justify my actions when I know what I am doing is wrong. But I'll be damned if I'm going to change my personal code of ethics to match someone else's, because at that point they are no longer my ethics but someone else's.



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    • Coolbreezing profile image

      James Dubreze 9 years ago from New York, New York

      Yes it’s true that what’s immoral to me maybe morally right to another. It’s the same principle I used to determine that perfection has variable values in the sense that it’s not consistent with all views. It’s obvious what’s perfect to me may not be perfect to you. I believe we both agreed that the same approach can be taken towards immorality. However, I think we shouldn’t place judgment on others who committed an immoral act until we know what that act is. Although some murders can be justified doesn’t make it right. Taking someone life if it’s not self defense is always wrong …even in some cases of war. It’s wrong under the humanitarian value that is morally understood by us as people …killing another human bean is wrong. Some acts that are considered immoral are not always true in all situations; it will depend on the value of the person judging it. In cases of infidelity some would say that infidelity is wrong under all cases where others would disagree. As imperfect bean, we should not use our immoral judgment to justified others who has committed an act that is not consistent to all views.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 10 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Can anyone "prove" that a man "must" follow an objective good? Isn't that something one would do as a matter of personal moral choice?

    • crashcromwell profile image

      crashcromwell 10 years ago from Florida

      I think I'm going to send my old Professor a link to this page and see if he can weigh in on the subject. I may not be able to prove it, but maybe he can!

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 10 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Right away, I would say no; immoral acts cannot be justified by anything. But that's just not realistic, is it?. I don't know anyone, myself included, who wouldn't do something immoral for the sake of a loved one. And morals vary depending on the individual. What's immoral to me may be perfectly acceptable to another.

      Good hub. Tough question.

      "Try to prove that a man must follow an objective good."? Wow!