Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Moral Hazard

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 23, 2009

When Benedict XVI commented that the massive distribution of condoms is not a solution to the AIDS epidemic, but in fact makes it worse, several European leaders and the Western press denounced him. They said that he had the facts wrong and that his position is dangerous because it threatens the lives that condoms save.

Of course, the Pope did not have his facts wrong and, even more importantly, he clearly had in mind a rather simple syllogism: Promiscuity is the leading cause of AIDS; public endorsement and distribution of condoms tends to increase promiscuity; therefore fighting AIDS with condoms is like fighting fire with gasoline.

But because Benedict challenged the world to think about this issue—to consider whether the public recognition, approval and support of promiscuity can contribute to health at any level—the Western elite moved to silence and discredit him. Though they postured as defending human life, the real motive is fairly clear: Those who do evil hate the light.

In this context, Time magazine’s weekly “Lexicon” entry for March 9th was particularly instructive:

Moral hazard n. — The idea that people may take more risks when they know there’s a safety net in place. USAGE: “Administration officials say it is impossible to help large groups of borrowers without introducing some degree of what has come to be known as moral hazard.” —Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2009

Really, it doesn’t seem too difficult a concept to grasp.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,914 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,086.48
54% 46%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 16 hours ago
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - 16 hours ago