Are assassinations ever acceptable?


#41

The United States didn’t enter WWII to stop the holocaust. I’m not sure that this was the motive of any of the allies.


#42

The United States entered the war because it was directly attacked. Which is of course also a basis for a just war, as “we who follow Christ” are not required to sit idly by and watch our country be taken over by an invading enemy either.

I don’t think a lot of people realized the extent of the Holocaust except those in the areas where it was happening, and they weren’t in a position to be getting the word out. But in this day and age, we would be more likely to know what is going on and it would to me certainly justify participation in a military action.


#43

As a Friend, the time to prevent the occasion of war is not when they ensue, but to work towards it’s prevention.
It is Jesus himself who calls us to peace, to love our enemies…Paul wrote to be at peace with all men, as far as it was up to us.
“An eye for an eye leaves us both blind”.
No one is suggesting we do nothing…a good source to understand how to “wage peace” is found in the book, “Quakers and Nazis”.


#44

The vast majority of Catholics support peace-making efforts, diplomacy, the UN, etc. and are not in a hurry to rush into armed conflict.
That’s a little different from implying we will not go to war under any circumstances.


#45

While I am against all participation in war, I do see a distinction between entering a conflict because one is attached and willfully planning the direct murder of ones political foes.
I don’t know how any follower of Jesus of Nazareth would support the murder of an individual for political expediency.


#46

It is not for political expidiency, but rather to save the lives of those being killed by the tyrant.


#47


Though Catholic doctrine condemns tyrannicide as opposed to the natural law, formerly great theologians of the Church like St. Thomas (II-II, Q. xlii, a.2), Suarez (Def. fidei, VI, iv, 15), and Bañez, O.P. (De justitia et jure, Q. lxiv, a. 3), permitted rebellion against oppressive rulers when the tyranny had become extreme and when no other means of safety were available.


#48

Yes, I’m now fully seized of this. I am not one to argue with Pius XII. :wink: God Bless!


#49

What if i was a being that could literally think people out of existence. Would it be considered a necessary evil to assassinate me because of my power.


#50

No. There has to be more reason than “he has power. It’s possible for him to do evil.”


#51

But to literally think someone out of existence is a very terrifying power to have for a human being. What if such a person had a uncontrollable anger or mental illness and could not control it? I think, besides the moral question, people would try to kill such a person just because of the tremendous power of it.

But i guess that doesn’t mean that’s the moral thing to do.


#52

The power to kill is always terrifying to the people on the receiving end. I’m not less dead if you use a rifle than if you use this hypothetical power.

Some people might try to murder the ‘thinker’ just because they’re afraid.
But your question was whether it could be justified.

I say it cannot be justified unless the ‘thinker’ actually begins killing people.


#53

You should read up on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


#54

It is alleged that Pope Pius was in on a plot to assassinate Hitler.


#55

Uhhhh Christians have fought plenty of wars. It’s perfectly fine for Christians to fight in their nations military.


#56

War is an extension of politics. Why is it better for 10k men to die fighting on a battlefield than for 1 man to drink a poisoned tea and stop the deaths of 10k soldiers?


#57

Just War theory doesn’t stop with the declaration of war. Not only must one go to war for just reasons, but one must also act justly in the conduct of the war. Not every military action is morally justified merely because the overall cause is just. So assassination has to be judged as a method even in the context of a just war. And Catholic moral theology doesn’t operate on a solely consequentialist basis, so “Fewer people will die if we do it this way” is not, by itself, an automatic justification.


#58

I understand, but the point is that when the assassination is part of a war we start down the entire path of thinking you just mentioned, starting with whether the war is just, and then is it a just act in the conduct of the war, etc.
It’s not an assassination standing in a vacuum which would be judged by a different standard.


#59

Most Christian churches, including ours, have made their peace with Christian participation in war, yes.

Childoftheday is a Friend, what others sometimes call a Quaker. They have never joined in that particular cultural acquiescence.


#60

Ah. I see.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.