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Old Apr 13, '12, 7:20 pm
Uzziah1 Uzziah1 is offline
Join Date: April 12, 2012
Posts: 221
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Lying in the confessional

Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
But certainly the end does not justify the means. A circumstance or intention can not make "good" what is objectively evil.
I'll deal with this first.

You are wrong, Christian friend. It actually tends to be sinful to not balance means and ends.

A simple hypothetical:

Mass murdering bad guys build two 20 megaton thermonuclear devices, and install each device into container ship containers and bury one such container in a container pile in one 6000 container container ship, and the other device in a container pile in a second 6000 container container ship.

One anchors in Charleston Harbor and is due to detonate at 9:45 a.m. The other anchors in New York Harbor and is due to detonate at 10:00 a.m.

At 9:43 a.m., a spy organization from a country friendly to America calls the White House and reports on the two boats, their contents, and detonation schedule.

Skeptical, the White House waits for 9:45 to come around.

Boom. Charleston Harbor and 1,000,000 people are gone.

Shocked, the President calls the Joint Chiefs, who report that careful inspection by New York authorities wit binoculars reveals that there is a man on top of the container pile on the New York ship in a lounge chair holding what appears to be a well-manufactured spring loaded dead man switch.

The President says, "What can we do?"

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs reveals that this problem has already been foreseen, and a protocol is already in place. 50 miles south of Manhattan, in Burlington County, New Jersey, is McGuire AFB. There a Tomahawk Missile equipped with a very small, high-yielding neutroin bomb lies in a shed, ready for launch at a moment's notice. If the Tomahawk delivers the neutron bomb before detonation of the ship's weapon and explodes just above the ship, the neutron shower will cause mass doublings with the thermonuclear device's primary's fissionable core, before compression, poisoning the primary beyond repair, preventing anything more than a conventional detonation.

There is one hitch: Whereas if the thermonuclear device goes off, 10,000,000 must die, if the neutron bomb goes off, 10,000 must die.

The President yells, "I DON'T WANT TO ORDER THE DEATH OF 10,000 HUMANS!"

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says, "Mr. President, the end -- 10,000,000 dead -- CLEARLY justifies the means -- 10,000 dead. By a factor of a thousand. For heaven's sake, LAUNCH.

The President launches. 10,000 die. The President resigns.

Should the President go to Hell for killing 10,000? Or does the end justify the means?
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Old Apr 13, '12, 7:44 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is online now
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Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 21,042
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: Lying in the confessional

Originally Posted by Uzziah1 View Post
I'll deal with this first.
I am not getting into long drawn out sinerios. I will refer you to the Catechism and Veritatis Splendor. The ends do not justify the means (CCC 1753, 1759, 2399).

I did not read the long story there.

But I will note that the "principle of double effect" is likely what your going to seek to explore. I am well aware of such and it does not ever violate the "ends do not justify the means". One of the very requirements is that the good effect can not be obtained by means of the evil. Any legit application of the Principle of Double effect or Just War Principles etc...will never involve the "ends justifying the means". The end can never make an intrinsically evil means good.

But we have taken the tread off topic... so I bid you a splendid continued Easter Octave.
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Old Apr 15, '12, 7:44 pm
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RedDuke50 RedDuke50 is offline
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Join Date: August 3, 2011
Posts: 904
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Lying in the confessional

Thank you for all of your responses.
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