A church teaching that seems like hypocricy-help me out

The church teachs that the ends do not justify the means. that is it is not moral to commit a sin so that good my come. but the church also teachs that there is such a thing as just war. 2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

  • there must be serious prospects of success;

  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

The idea that there is any kind of success in war is just insane-war destroys homes the economy, causes damage to civilians and to the soldiers that is lasts a life time.
the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. you can not ellimanate evil with evil becuse immorality does not create a moral end. the only conclusion I can come to with this hypocritical teaching is that the church is sucking up to governments or that the moral standerds that apply to the individual does not apply to governments. my biggest problem with this teaching of the church is that the church is supposed to be infallable when it comes to morality yet here is a teaching on morality that contradics another teaching. So what is the deal with this?

No, one has to take into account a couple of things; the idea that one has a legitimate right to defend one’s life and the fact that other warring parties could cause long term damage, death and destruction if you allow them to take over the country (ie communism, fascism, ect)., so in fact defense of the country brings about a greater good (and defending your sovereignty is not immoral). To use weapons in self defense is not inherently evil.

So was it wrong to fight the Nazis?

We cannot simply stand by while others suffer it is just pointless. Inaction is just as bad as over reaction.

War is hell indeed but isent it even worse when the good people of the world stand by and do nothing? If our grand parents and parents had stood by and done nothing when World War Two was unleashed where would we be? More importantly Where would the Jews and Gypsys and all the other peoples Hitter hated?

The terrors of war are indeed terrible i am not saying it was right to nuke japan or carpet bomb cites but it was either that or live under a Nazi flag.

Would it have been just to let the Nazis continue to massacre millions of people and take control over Europe and the world Would it have been right to let the Japanese invade the United States of America?

Is it unjust to stop militant muslims from killing innocent people and working towards converting the entire world to be subject under their muslim law? I don’t think so. Is it just to let the muslims in Sudan to take christian slaves rape at will and the rest of the world do nothing? The last I heard…we are doing nothing…is that just? I don’t think so.

I guess it is a matter of perspective.

Of course war is evil. The Church could not and did not condone the starting of the former Governments attack on Iraq. We defend ourselves ONLY if we are attacked and only from those who attack us , we don’t throw the first punch.:shrug:Carlan

Conveniently, my friend, I have been doing a little bit of study into the 5th commandment myself. I think I have a solution to what I think may be your problem:

[quote=jpk1313]The church teachs that the ends do not justify the means. that is it is not moral to commit a sin so that good my come.
[/quote]

I believe you perhaps refer to section 1753? That is, actions that are intrinsically wrong (lying and calumny for example) are never justifiable means regardless of the intention (willed end). From the CCC:
*"**1753 *A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. the end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that, in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving)."

You then quote 2309 under the 5th commandment section, and follow it with this statement:

my biggest problem with this teaching of the church is that the church is supposed to be infallable when it comes to morality yet here is a teaching on morality that contradics another teaching.

As I see no contradiction myself you will have to point to me where you think one is. I suspect you perhaps think something along these lines:

**1.) **The means do not justify the ends (means that involve bad things are always wrong)
**2.) **War involves bad things
3.) The Church preaches the possibility of just war while holding 1.

If so, your problem is 1. 1753 seems to only say “intrinsically disordered” behavior can never be a justifiable means. Therefore, it seems to me the Church does not say your means can’t carry unfortunate evils that FOLLOW from the behavior as an unfortunate consequence (just war for example), but rather she says the behavior itself cannot be wrong if it is your means. However, some behaviors are not intrinsically disordered (not wrong in themselves) yet involve unfortunate things, such that these unfortunate consequences require the good produced by the behavior outweigh those evil consequences. That is, the intention (end willed) must be objectively good if the means carry unfortunate things. If the means are wrong in themselves, however, it doesn’t matter how good your intention is, it is forbidden.

Lets look at the taking of human life. Doing it for the sake of killing would always be wrong. 2268, however, is not a condemnation of all behaviors that involve killing, but rather intentional (willing as an end; rather than means) killing (note: that area contains other ways killing is wrong, such as 2269). This suggests that not all taking of life is intrinsically disordered behavior. Your indication of just war is such an instance where taking of life is not so (death penalty would be another in some rare instances). Therefore, there is no contradiction between these two teachings at all. Taking life can be a legitimate means in some rare circumstances. At least that is my fallible reading of it and it appears to me to be very sound ;).

The language of just war (and the 5th commandment) can be confusing as it suggests we must balance these unfortunate evils of war with the ends. It sounds like ends justifying the intrinsically disordered means. But we must remember that the taking of life is not intrinsically disordered. There is such thing as the possibility of just execution. It is unfortunate that one die, but that act of execution is not wrong in itself, it only becomes wrong if that unfortunateness of death is not outweighed by the good of it (Such is ironically the case if it is willed as its own end just under that ‘weighing’ factor since there would be no good to outweigh the unfortunateness of taking life.)

I hope that helps you find some relief my friend. I know how distressing these things can be. Perhaps, though, it might be helpful to reflect on the phrase of St. Anselm “Fides Quaerens Intellectum” (the other way, understanding seeking faith, is impossible and leads to despair), as there will be many apparent contradictions you may find in the Church teaching, but I have yet to find a true contradiction. Always put faith to reason (to avoid ‘drinking the coolaid’ so to speak), but understand reason only stands at all when there is faith.

In Christ,
-Dranu

War is always evil, but sometimes, when all other means to defend innocent life have been tried & failed, & only as defined in the Catechism & as a last resort, it is the lesser of 2 evils.

The Church, in Her infinite wisdom, does not turn away from facing these moral dilemmas.

**There are many moral absolutes. Murder, the intentional, premeditated killing of an innocent person, is always wrong! Killing someone to defend them from sure death & only as a last resort when all other means have failed, is not morally wrong!
**
Abortion is always a grave evil, yet the Church teaches that if there are only 2 candidates up for an election & both are pro abortion, but one is against embryonic stem cell research & the other isn’t, you can morally vote for the anti embryonic stem cell research candidate.

We always strive for good, but sometimes our only choice is the lesser of 2 evils!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

I’m not so sure of your premise.
What was the Church’s stance on Desert Storm? The Vietnam or Korean Wars?

Did the Church condone the US going to war with Germany even though the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? Pearl Harbor is the only time our soil was attacked, save the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers.

From the writings below it sounds like the conditions WERE met for us to go to war w/Iraq.

Just wondering on the Church’s stance on these items, because I fear the answers may be as much political as religious.

[quote=Mark77]War is always evil …it is the lesser of 2 evils
[/quote]

Perhaps (I’m inclined to think you are right), or perhaps it always produces evil consequences, but regardless of which it is, sometimes the choice to go to war is righteous and good.

When you choose the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we must often choose the lesser evil so that
less evil is inflicted. I often experience this dilemma when going to vote. But ironically,to my understanding, failure to choose the lesser evil is equivalent to choosing the greater evil.

As a young NYC Police Officer, I was called upon to use extreme force on many occassions. Stopping one man who preys on the innocent, was the greater good.
I inflicted bodily harm on several criminals. My intent was solely to protect others, myself, and society as a whole. My intent was not to harm them, only to stop their evil deeds, and bring them before the bar of justice. My use of physical force was not evil or sinful, as there was no intent to offend God.

War is just on a much bigger scale. A servicemans sacrifice and ordeals are much greater than mine were.

When you choose the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil.

Your choice might entail ‘necessary evils’ so to speak, but what I am saying is that making of the choice cannot be called evil unless you ought not do it. A choice to go to war can be a good thing, despite the choice entailing evils.

I am just saying that because some may confuse that with the idea that the choice is inherently wrong (in which case the Church forbids it).

I think that the way we have to look at this issue of war is that we have the right to self-defense. It’s not the same as abortion, where an innocent person is directly targeted for killing.

So when a nation goes to war in a just fashion, the government of that nation is doing its job, which is to protect the people of that nation from an attack. Just as it would be all right for me to shoot at someone who was at that moment trying to kill me or seriously endanger me, so a nation has the right to go to war against a nation which is attacking it.

Thus, being in a state of war is not *intrinisically *wrong, and in fact, God ordered the Israelites to go to war from time to time, thus showing that warring is not intrinsically wrong. However, like so many other things in life, it can be done in immoral ways: attacking another nation without a good reason and targeting the civilian people are two of the major ways in which warring can be done in an immoral way.

One of the saints of the Church, Joan of Arc, is specifically honored for leading French troops into battle against the English. There are no doubt others, but she comes to mind.

The Church has never been pacifist. Justice sometimes requires the force of arms.

Of course there is just war theory. You don’t believe that a Christian country, or even a nonChristian country that is attacked by an aggressive regime has any right to defend itself? Or that other countries come to its aid? Is this what you are saying?

[QUOTEThe church teachs that the ends do not justify the means. that is it is not moral to commit a sin so that good my come. but the church also teachs that there is such a thing as just war.

The idea that there is any kind of success in war is just insane-war destroys homes the economy, causes damage to civilians and to the soldiers that is lasts a life time.
the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. So what is the deal with this?
[/QUOTE]

There is a vast difference between defense and offense in war. Offensive war is not considered just war and defensive war is only considered just war when total annihilation is imminent and a defensive maneuver could prevent it. I do not know if there is an example to explain this although I will try. If you had a loved one who was being beaten severely by an older bully and you were standing there watching, would you intercede to stop the bully or would you simply watch as your loved one was being repeatedly beaten severely without relent?

Perhaps you would stand by passively and watch your loved one being pulverized and do nothing, I do not know your position on this. I would stop the bully if it were in my power. The same holds true for just war it may be used to stop a forcible aggressor from annihilating an entire populace, should discernment from the Church decide that severely aggressive and offensive war is being waged on a people.

Christ Himself said before his crucifixion that He could call legions of angels to “defend” him against the offensive acts of the Pharisee and Roman Governors and that those faithful would defend him if His Kingdom were of this world. Christ told Saint Peter to “put away his sword” when Peter wanted to “defend” Christ as this is the point at which Christ submitted Himself to the crucifixion.

The entire discernment for just war in the Catholic sense is whether the action is offensive or defensive and will save an entire populace from annihilation from a brutal force attempting to extinct a race of people for the purpose of taking all that they have, including their lives.

The Swiss government supplies the Swiss Guard that defends the Pope against attacks on his person. That Guard is not in any way offensive and are not authorized to wage offensive war against any person, they are there only to offer defensive maneuver to protect the Pope. In the same way, just war is allowed when a brutally offensive aggressor is clearly attempting to destroy a nation of peoples.

An Eye for an Eye
38"You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
43"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies* and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The church would have been justified in waging war with those who were killing them in the first few centuries yet they did not and what happened? the church took over the roman empire. War is never justifiable in my mind or Christs (see above). The just war theory is to me a moral rationalisation whose primary purpuse is to protect the church from war mongering politians who would start murdering those who speak out against them. When war is started to oppose that war is considered an act of sedition against the state. just look at what went on during the 60’s where opposition to the war made you un-american and it is the same today. Why should we support our troops who are nothing more than thugs trained to murder people at the command of a warmongering politians. The so called war on terror is a joke and a really sick one at that. If you compare the war on terror to the war on drugs going into afganastan and iraq is like bombing london becuse there are drug dealers. Not to meantion that there would not even be terrorist’s if america would just stop oppresing people and hoarding resourses and enter into the dialog they had been trying to for years. War is never right. But you may say was it not right to go fight the nazi’s? No. It was an appropriate action but it was not right. The Church could have ended it if it had spoken up and made protest just as it did in the days of rome.
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Good does not triumph over evil by using evil means but by simply being present. If goodness is present then any evil is made powerless by the very act of forgivness.

4"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies[a]? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.*

Before an answer to this, do you admit there is no contradiction of teaching as you mentioned if the means are not intrinsically evil (since that is the only thing ‘the ends don’t justify the means’ prohibits)? In other words, do you see the difference between a means which causes regrettable things, versus a means which in itself is bad?

I assume your only contention now is that war is wrong in itself (i.e. a just war is impossible)? And since, according to you, a war is intrinsically wrong (just war is impossible), you are claiming just war theory contradicts the teaching that intrinsically evil means can never be used?

If so, at least recognize that the Church teaches just wars are possible (so She doesn’t contradict herself, even if you, yourself disagree with her views on war and perceive wars as intrinsically wrong).

And for your contention that wars are always wrong, would you suggest we should have just sat by with our arms folded (or at least non-violently protested) as Hitler rampaged through Europe and committed genocide (for according to your theory it would have been evil to interfere with force)? So no matter how horrible the enemy, soldiers who resist them with force, to protect others, would be doing something intrinsically evil? Or is it possible that the use of force is regrettable, but just, given the circumstances?

It was an appropriate action but it was not right.

If it was wrong, then it could not have been appropriate. For appropriate means allowable, and no wrong is in itself allowable, wrong is only allowable if it is not a means or ends (e.g. unfortunate consequences). I think you are confusing regretable circumstances with intrinsically wrong acts.

The church would have been justified in waging war with those who were killing them in the first few centuries.

I would argue otherwise. They are not an opposing nation, but citizens. It would have been rebellion, not a war between sovereigns.

Explain that to the old ones that survived the onslaught of Hitler and Hirohito, or Saddam, and Po’Pot.

the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.

Exactly… Read my first comment.

The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. you can not eliminate evil with evil because immorality does not create a moral end.

Your supposition is that all war is evil. That is the only way your opinion becomes valid in this discussion. Again… I offer up that defending against such vile and demonic tyranny as those men I mentioned above is not in fact, evil.

the only conclusion I can come to with this hypocritical teaching is that the church is sucking up to governments or that the moral standards that apply to the individual does not apply to governments. my biggest problem with this teaching of the church is that the church is supposed to be infallible when it comes to morality yet here is a teaching on morality that contradicts another teaching. So what is the deal with this?

Again… Your opinion is skewed because you see all war as evil. In an of itself it may be when instigated for and by evil means. And, again I refer you to why wars are fought. Typically an aggressor initiates an unjust war, and just nations respond in order to defend and put down as it were, a tyrannical nation who initiated an unjust war.

BTW… Statements in your post #16 is historically and factually inaccurate.

You asked for help… You got it.:thumbsup:

The primary human society is the family. A human family has the right to live and prevent it’s destruction. Just as larger human societies flow from families so do their rights and duties.:twocents:

Uh, ever heard of the just war theory developed by the RCC?

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