Destroying Property to save a life


#1

Alright, so destroying someone else’s possession is wrong, and yet saving someone’s life is good.

What if a life were in danger, and there was simply no other option but to destroy another person’s property to save them? Thoughts?


#2

[quote="ThePuppyTurtle, post:1, topic:331091"]
Alright, so destroying someone else's possession is wrong, and yet saving someone's life is good.

What if a life were in danger, and there was simply no other option but to destroy another person's property to save them? Thoughts?

[/quote]

People before things.

Jaws of life come to mind. So do fire axes. If an object is causing physical distress and may result in loss of life, the object must be removed or destroyed, no matter how expensive or priceless its perceived value is.


#3

[quote="mommamaree, post:2, topic:331091"]
People before things.

Jaws of life come to mind. So do fire axes. If an object is causing physical distress and may result in loss of life, the object must be removed or destroyed, no matter how expensive or priceless its perceived value is.

[/quote]

Same. The value of human life far exceeds the value of material goods.


#4

If it’s necessary to punch a hole through the Mona Lisa to save a person’s life, that’s what you should do.


#5

Life before property.


#6

[quote="ThePuppyTurtle, post:1, topic:331091"]
Alright, so destroying someone else's possession is wrong, and yet saving someone's life is good.

What if a life were in danger, and there was simply no other option but to destroy another person's property to save them? Thoughts?

[/quote]

You answered your own question.


#7

This line of reasoning has been applied by those who destroyed abortion clinics, but resulted for them in long imprisonment. It does of course make more sense in terms of accident or disaster scenes.


#8

[quote="Deus_tecum, post:7, topic:331091"]
This line of reasoning has been applied by those who destroyed abortion clinics, but resulted for them in long imprisonment. It does of course make more sense in terms of accident or disaster scenes.

[/quote]

It depends on what angle you are looking at.

If you are looking at it from a legal view, then what they did was 'wrong' since abortion is legal, which just results in them having destroyed someone else's property (and may have also injured or killed people who worked there, which is wrong from a non-legal stand point).

From a non-legal standpoint, but from a Christian one, if none were hurt in the destruction (i.e. best scenario is that no one was in the building), then at least I would consider it morally permissible, or at least a commendable effort, but there are better ways to go about it, such as counseling the women who plan to go in.


#9

OP, this happens all the time with firefighting.


#10

[quote="Deus_tecum, post:7, topic:331091"]
This line of reasoning has been applied by those who destroyed abortion clinics, but resulted for them in long imprisonment. It does of course make more sense in terms of accident or disaster scenes.

[/quote]

There's a moral difference in the imminent need to destroy property and the strategic "need" to do so.

In the case of smashing a window to rescue a toddler, one NEEDS to break the window; there is no other way (assuming a fire, a locked door, etc.). In the case of an abortion clinic, there are legal and societal channels to get such clinics closed wheras there is no other way to save the toddler than by breaking the window.


#11

One cannot make such a blanket statement. Destroying property **can **be wrong. It is not **objectively **wrong.

One must consider the fonts of morality.

1750 The morality of human acts depends on:

  • the object chosen;
  • the end in view or the intention;
  • the circumstances of the action.
    The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the “sources,” or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.

#12

The church teaches about the "universal destination of goods," which means that goods are for the benefit of the whole human race. In the Catechism, this is explained in terms of theft, but I believe the same principle can be applied to the case of destruction:

I. The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods

2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race...

2403 The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.
...
Respect for the goods of others

2408 The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another’s property against the reasonable will of the owner. There is no theft if consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing... ) is to put at one’s disposal and use the property of others.

(the bold highlighting is mine)

If there is "obvious and urgent necessity," private property may be taken, or, I suppose, destroyed. The owner's consent may be presumed.


#13

[quote="Deus_tecum, post:7, topic:331091"]
This line of reasoning has been applied by those who destroyed abortion clinics, but resulted for them in long imprisonment. It does of course make more sense in terms of accident or disaster scenes.

[/quote]

If I may be honest, I honestly had in mind the TV show "Supernatural."

The mains often have to destroy property in attempting to save people from ghosts and such.


#14

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