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Cruz on Choice: The Curse of Free Will

Ex-CBCP President Oscar “the Borg” Cruz wrote a new post on his blog, and once again it defies logic, reason, and grammar. But what’s surprising in this post is it seems to defy Catholic theology as well. Then again, that could just be his poor writing skills. You be the judge.

He starts by praising the concept of “pro choice:”

“It is salutary to hear and encouraging contemplating. It is very human in its substance and humane in its implications. ‘Pro Choice’ properly means and correctly implies that all ordinary adults in particular, have their respective intellectual faculty plus will functions to depend on and use accordingly.”

Fair enough. But then it gets weird. Whether our choices result in good or bad, we take it for granted that choice is something that we have; choice implies having options. But Cruz seems to think that the choice we take for granted is optional:

“Strictly speaking wherefore, choosing instead what is inherently wrong and in effect unjust can be made an option – but for a cost always, for a profound and pervasive cost at times.” (emphasis mine)

After revealing his premise — that choice is optional — he starts to reveal his argument: We should not make choosing bad things a choice. Only the option that leads to what is good — by Oscar’s standards — should be given to people.

But again, his argument changes direction. While he first argued that choice is optional — that people can choose to make unethical choices — he now says that choice is not optional — that people can only choose what is ethical:

“Again, given his or her operative deliberative faculty, a man or a woman is only free to choose what is ethical or moral – certainly not what is unethical or immoral.” (emphasis mine)

Finally he reveals his twisted logic. He says that choice is only good to have when there are only good options to choose from:

“The phrase wherefore ‘Pro-Choice’ is great to contemplate and noble to act upon, not unless it is intentionally coined and twisted in order to purposely accommodate – – favor or defend – the freedom to choose what is objectively vicious or evil, purposely depraved or nefarious.”

So let’s review Oscar’s argument (the most recent version of it anyway). He is arguing that choice is good unless there are options that lead to bad outcomes. But there are always options that lead to bad outcomes. Does it then follow that choice is bad? Shockingly, Oscar thinks it is:

“Is there really a right or sound choice between life or death, between peace or war, between integrity or deceit, between poverty and development, and so on?”

Each person can and does make right or sound choices (based on their own judgment) on a daily basis. Although individual choices may be different , there is a right or sound choice between the options you mentioned above.

Catholic morality is based on prescribing a certain criteria for choosing among sound and unsound options. Why would such a criteria be necessary if only sound options were available? So yes. Most people believe — Catholic theologians, especially — that there is a “right or sound choice.”

“Is there? If there really is, then this is really a helpless world, a cursed humanity!”

Has Oscar heard of a Catholic doctrine called “free will“? For Oscar’s benefit, Catholics believe that free will is God’s gift to man. Is Oscar saying that free will is not a gift but a curse? Does he really think the world is helpless?

Oscar Cruz should go back to the seminary and brush up on his theology. (While he’s at it, he should brush up on logic, grammar, and rhetoric as well.) His message is not consistent with the creed he professes, which may lead some of his flock to do evil. Therefore, going back to the seminary is, by his own standards, the moral and ethical thing to do.

Does he have a choice?

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