One question you might have is whether learning about double effect is all that important. The answer is, yes. Yes, it is! The principle of double effect is an important moral principle that frequently comes into play in people’s lives. It helps you to understand how it is possible to make difficult decisions in situations in which a real moral dilemma exists without sinning. One of the reasons it’s important for you to learn about how double effect is properly applied, is to avoid abuses of it found in wrong moral theories.

The principle of double effect seeks to rectify human actions in cases of moral dilemma when a choice will result in both good and bad effects that are foreseeable. It is used to determine when these kinds of choices can be made without committing sin. However, we must be careful to apply the criterial taught in this course so that double effect is justified. It’s important to understand how double effect works, and how it applies, because it provides a way of maintaining the goodness and integrity of human actions.

Although the principle of double effect is complex, it’s well worth your effort to learn. Living an upright and praiseworthy moral life in Christ is not only about our own salvation, it’s also about informing culture, supporting the common good, and helping others to live virtuous lives and attain salvation. 

Objective: In this course, students will learn about double effect and how to properly apply it. Students will learn about moral dilemma and how to deal with it in a justified way.

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 1 - What Is Meant By Moral Dilemma

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 1 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 1 - What Is Meant By Moral Dilemma - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 1 - What Is Meant By Moral Dilemma - VIDEO

    • Lesson 1 - What Is Meant By Moral Dilemma - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 02

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 2 - The Act Must Be Good or Neutral In Its Object

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 2 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 2 - The Act Must Be Good or Neutral In Its Object - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 2 - The Act Must Be Good or Neutral In Its Object - VIDEO

    • Lesson 2 - The Act Must Be Good or Neutral In Its Object - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 03

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 3 - The Possible or Inevitable Evil Consequence Must Not Be Intended

    • The Principles of Double Effect - Lesson 3 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 3 - The Possible or Inevitable Evil Consequence Must Not Be Intended - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 3 - The Possible or Inevitable Evil Consequence Must Not Be Intended - VIDEO

    • Lesson 3 - The Possible or Inevitable Evil Consequence Must Not Be Intended - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 04

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 4 - The End Does Not Justify The Means

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 4 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 4 - The End Does Not Justify The Means - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 4 - The End Does Not Justify The Means - VIDEO

    • Lesson 4 - The End Does Not Justify The Means - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 05

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 5 - The Concept of Proportionality

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 5 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 5 - The Concept of Proportionality - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 5 - The Concept of Proportionality - VIDEO

    • Lesson 5 - The Concept of Proportionality - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 06

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 6 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part I

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 6 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 6 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part I - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 6 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part I - VIDEO

    • Lesson 6 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part I - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 07

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 7 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part II

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 7 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 7 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part II - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 7 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part II - VIDEO

    • Lesson 7 - The Catechism and Double Effect Part II - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

  • 08

    The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 8 - Two Common Abuses of Double Effect

    • The Principle of Double Effect - Lesson 8 - Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 8 - Two Common Abuses of Double Effect - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 8 - Two Common Abuses of Double Effect - VIDEO

    • Lesson 8 - Two Common Abuses of Double Effect - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

Instructor(s)

Instructor Bio:

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (joyintruth.com), an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children. Professor Bartels is Chairman of the Theology Department.

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Professor of Theology, Department Chair