Analysis of the moral act. A proposal
II.d.1. Effects and means
In complex actions, decision-action does not usually refer to the intended object but rather to a means which leads to the intended end. The means chosen to attain the end has with respect to the end the same relation with respect to unintended effects: it is their cause, or, in other words, it is a means which produces them. As we have seen, the executed means, because it is the object of a voluntary act, must always be good. There cannot be a good will which chooses evils means in order to attain a desired end. Such an election would suppose bad will even though the ends were good. This is what from a philosophical perspective the non sunt facienda mala ut eveniant bona of St. Paul to the Romans illustrates.
There can exist other means which are not the object of the decision: when the action (executed by the decision) produces effects which lead to the intended end, these effects are means to the end. Properly speaking these intermediate effects between action and end cannot be denominated consequences of the action. Their relation with the act of the will is distinct from that of tolerated effects or consequences of the action; concretely, means not directly executed are desired by the very act of the will which desires the end, that is, by the intention. Intention, in desiring the end, also desires all the events that lead to the end (64). In summary, neither does this case allow a consideration as to whether the means are effects or consequences.
Thus tolerated effects are not means but foreseeable consequences -they do not happen by accident- which always or at least very often follow the action being carried out, thus falling within the realm of voluntariness (65); they are not what is being attempted (although they are voluntary in their own way). Thus there can be tolerated evil effects to a good action. These tolerated effects correspond with neither the intention nor the election. If they did correspond to them, they would be the end or moral object.
The effects or consequences thus are events which derive from the execution of an action, but are objects neither of the intention (they are neither ends nor means) nor of the decision (they are not the action).
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