My moral views on the issue of self defense


#1

I believe that people using lethal force in self defense is wrong.

If somebody is an attacker in a self defense situation, since they are attacking another person, a person doing such a thing is probably not saved. If they are killed in self defense, their chance to get saved and be spared from the horrors of eternity in hell, and to experience heaven with God for all of eternity, are over.

I want to hear what your opinions are on this issue. Of course it all depends on the situation, but what’s your opinion about my beliefs on self defense?


#2

I believe this. I feel if I need to defend my self from a attacking person and it’s either killed or be killed I am going to do what I have to to save my life and that of my friends and or family. I will never stand idle while a person is trying to attack me. It’s a rather hard topic for many to discuss but I believe in self defense and I believe in defending what’s mine in a moral manor.


#3

You have an obligation to protect yourself and your family. If an unsaved person dies due to their own violent actions then that is on them. It is not your responsibility to die so they can have a chance at salvation. In any case you have no way of knowing the judgement that will be on their soul as I’m sure if their act of violence was due to mental illness they would not be held as culpable as someone who is sane.

Self defense is permitted by the Church.


#4

This is not what the Church teaches.

Also, what if the person who is being attacked is not saved? If they defend themselves and survive they then may repent and be saved. Or, what if the person who was about to be killed defended themselves and help to bring many others to Christ in their remaining lifetime.


#5

Lord Jesus Christ, you are our merciful God. God become Man to redeem us from our sins. Open our eyes to the debt of love that we owe you, for your unspeakable merciful love for us all. Open our hearts to give ourselves to you through those whom you place into our lives, so that by our mercy toward them we may win mercy from you.

Dear Jesus, forgive this School for there sinned against me, and my family.

Dear Jesus, I am confused? to be Christian is to be merciful, if I I’m not merciful can I still be a Christian?

Dear Jesus forgive this School for showing no compassion, for there sin against my ill father in new york.

Dear Jesus forgive this school for they wanted me to choose between my daughter Christine’s wedding, or a school policy.

Dear God, forgive me, I have sinned against a school policy. I chose my daughter’s wedding, and for this I had to carry this sin for hundred and 197 days.

Dear God I am confused? You say, “a subject wants” what they may not need what they so obviously wants, My daughter Christine wants her family on her side, on her wedding day, is it not a mother’s moral duty to give blessing, her mothers blessing, on this special day, a day of joining two family in a marriage, should a mother neglect this duty, and not attend her daughters wedding.

Dear God I am confused? The distance from the place of Jesus’ beating, (Praetorium) to Golgotha, the place of His crucifixion, is an estimated 650 yards (just less than half a mile). He carried the cross part of the journey, until becoming too weak to continue, then it was passed to an African bystander named Simon, who carried it the remaining distance, I was punished by this school for 197 days the wedding was 3471 miles in New York. Should I forgive them for they have sinned against me and my family.

Dear God I have been punished, I lost my job because I did not put my hands in someone else’s pockets. Was this person a true Christian? this person was offering to pay for return flights from New York to London. God I am confused if I took advantage of this offer, I would have missed the best man’s speech. Would my daughter and her new family forgive me for this, or would I have been condemned for abandoning her on her wedding day. Also God did this Christian man commit’s a sin but tempting me to leave the wedding before the best man’s speech.

Dear God I was condemned on 4 March 2013, and I was punished for a total of 197 days. I was condemned if I was to go to my daughter’s wedding on 9 June 2013, and I was also condemned if I did not go. How was I to make this right?

Dear God I have been a Catholic all my life. I worked in a Catholic school, a school that showed no mercy, a school that gave no mercy. A school that gave an ultimatum. A school that gave no compassion for my father that was ill. A school that said to be back at work at 8:30 AM 10 June 2013. Or face disciplinary hearing, and get dismissed.

This school that was prepared to set aside its own health and safety, the school expects me to travel over 16 ½ hours. A school that takes what was left of me. A school that expects me to give all that’s left of me, and work a full day.

I believe God guided me on this day, as I know the school would have committed its ultimate sin.

The creation of Adam and Eve.
When Adam and Eve, the parents of the human race, rejected God’s love they lost the supernatural life which they had received when they were first created. They sinned, as Genesis tells us, they were driven out of Paradise. We are not talking in strange symbolic or metaphorical language. When our first parents sinned, they lost the life of God in their souls, and by losing it for themselves they also lost it for their posterity.

This school for girls was saved on this day, I was unable to travel for 16 ½ hours from New York to England, and to put Gods children at risk. I cannot forgive this school in its behaviour to me. My family and I are now even more stronger as ever before. I have six children, my first child Christine was named after Christ himself. This was her wedding.

God we no longer believe in you, before I go. I am asking you to forgive the school for its sin against me, and my family, just as you committed the ultimate sin against my parents, Adam and Eve?


#6

It is not sinful to defend yourself using lethal force, but only if absolutely necessary to preserve your own life. If you choose to sacrifice your life hoping that your killer comes to repent and turn to God that is your choice, but does not make self defence immoral.


#7

As long as my wife (who is in deteriorating health and soon will need pretty much full-time care) is alive, I would be justified in using deadly force in self-defense, because if I were to be killed, her life would be impossibly complicated. I would say the same if I had small children who were dependent on me, but my kids are pushing 40 (one of them from the wrong side).

If my wife predeceases me, and I have no one who is dependent on me, then not so much.


#8

Everyone is responsible for the state of grace in their own soul. You have the right to defend yourself and others by whatever force necessary. If someone chooses to attack you and is killed in the process, what happens to them next is not your problem.


#9

From the CCC. Bold emphasis mine.

Legitimate defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not."65

2264** Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:**

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.66

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.

The Church has spoken-- whose side will you choose? God bless you, feel with your heart and heed the words of the Church!


#10

:thumbsup:


#11

If you refuse to stop this person wouldn’t you also share some moral responsibility for any future crimes this person commits? I would hate to know that one of my family were victimized are killed while some one stood by and did nothing when they could have prevented it.


#12

The Church’s view on self-defense boils down to:

  1. The one defending should not make it his/her aim to kill
  2. The only goal should be to defend their own life and/or the lives of others

#13

As helpfully provided by SighGuy, paragraphs 2263 - 2265 of the Catechism deal with the issue of self-defence fairly clearly.

But I think it should also be pointed out that killing (or harming) in ‘self-defence’ is legitimate only to “repel force” against an “aggressor” (as the CCC states).

So it is legitimate to kill (or harm) a person if he is about to do physical violence to yourself, to your family or to any innocent person.

BUT it is not legitimate to kill (or harm) a person if he is threatening economic harm, or social harm, or psychological harm, or indeed any non-physical act.

Such is the dignity of the human person, the human body, and the meaning of the commandment that “you shall not kill”.


#14

Lethal force is not necessarily something that you can turn on at just the precise moment required, if it is required. In a fight for your life, you swing the club, you throw a punch, you stab the knife, perhaps you even fire a gun. What makes you think that there is an available option to choose “lethal” vs. “non-lethal”?


#15

I believe in showing mercy to others. Even if somebody attacks another person, that person still deserves to be saved.

Don’t you agree we me that somebody who is defending themselves should try to avoid killing the attacker? Even in a self defense situation, nobody should consciously and deliberately kill the person who’s attacking them, knowing that that person’s soul will suffer the torments of hell. Christ taught his followers to show mercy to people, even to wicked and horrible people.


#16

Obviously if an attacker can be subdued with less than deadly force that’s better but that is or always the case. God and his Church say we have the right to use deadly force if necessary in defending ourselves and our families. Who am I to argue with God?
Are you saying that if someone is attacking one of your family you would rather let your family member be killed if the only way to stop the attacker is to use deadly force?


#17

Why would using deadly force even be necessary?


#18

Please elaborate on what skills and techniques you would employ to simultaneously guarantee you could keep yourself/ your family safe and not kill the attacker. And explain how this will always be possible.


#19

In a self defense situation, the person defending themselves or others, could just shoot the attacker to immobilize the attacker, without the intentions of killing the attacker. They should still defend themselves, but they should also take precautions to make sure that the attacker doesn’t die.


#20

That’s good, so long as:

  • you have a gun;
  • the attacker stands still for you while you aim and shoot;
  • you stay calm and cool and your hand doesn’t shake;
  • you hit your target.

You can see that there is plenty of scope for this not to go well, can’t you!

No one is suggesting you should be focused on killing the attacker. But it may happen.


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.