Legitimate defense


#1

Legitimate defense cannot only be a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life (CCC 2265). Preserving the common good of society *requires rendering the aggressor unable to inflict harm (CCC. 2266). *

Does this means that we should kill every terrorist or tyrant or any evil leader to protect the innocent?


#2

Prudential judgment is called for. This is the genesis of the “just war” theory. Defending Europe from Islamic invaders at Lepanto, for instance, was a just war.


#3

Agree…but the entire context is important….the prudential judgment to act…take action…belongs to legitimate State authorities…not the Pope or the USCCB…or even the individual citizens.

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.67

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.

So…the President and Congress may “waffle and tap dance politically”…using all of the “nuances” that they can muster…but Judgment will hold them accountable…objectively and subjectively. Much has been given to the USA…much is asked of us…and we will singularly and collectively be Judged in that context…by the Just Judge.

Pope Benedict XVI once said (don’t have actual quote reference)…when nations go to war both sides lose. I was confused…and thought “no way”…then my thoughts changed…looking at WW-II…all sides lost incredible numbers of military and civilian persons…but we won right? Beyond causalities…the Axis Powers (Germany et.al.) lost everything as soon as the War ended…right away. But, the Allied Powers (USA, et.al.)…are losing today…and have been for decades…just look at the Western World…we have become nearly a “basket case” – politically, diplomatically, economically, culturally, even militarily (our poor military is not being asked to fight and kill an enemy on a battlefield…but distinguish between citizens and combatants in cities/towns/hamlets…and while fighting…simultaneously…build a community…a create an environment suitable for a local market economy…build/train a police force…build/train a military force…run elections and help setup an operating government) – it is an incredible…and impossible task…esp across cultural and religious divides…all this “stuff” is the result of us “winning” WW-II…because based on our victory…our hubris, our World economic and military power and diplomacy and our economy went on “steroids”…that initially made us feel/think/seem that we were invincible…then we met the the real enemy in of WW-II…and the enemy is us. Everyone says the greatest war we ever won was WW-II…wrong…the greatest war we won was the Cold War…not a shot fired in actual war (lots of skirmishes and “puppet wars” and “banana wars”)…but no “Mano-a-Mano” … USA vs USSR in a nuclear war…and everyone contributed…served as volunteer or drafted…paid taxes for a deterrent Military force structure that was credible for the mission at hand…and Democrats and Republicans agreed for 50 years on a single strategy…Deterrence.

Pax Christi


#4

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

It's both - and, not either - or.

This is consistent with Church teaching that we parents are the primary educators of our children in the faith. Not the Church and certainly not government. And so, we are also our family's primary defender. That amounts to just a bit more than calling 911.


#5

[quote="fabio_rocha, post:1, topic:330559"]
Legitimate defense cannot only be a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life (CCC 2265). Preserving the common good of society *requires rendering the aggressor unable to inflict harm (CCC. 2266). *

Does this means that we should kill every terrorist or tyrant or any evil leader to protect the innocent?

[/quote]

Remember that while legitimate defence may result in a fatality it does not mean you MUST kill an enemy. If an enemy surrenders it is not allowed to kill him where he stands.


#6

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