I get that it is permitted in certain circumstances, self-defense, protection of others, just war eTC… the intention may not be to kill but it’s a double effect
but traditional catholic thought has taught that lying for example, is always evil and that the ends do not justify the means. but wouldn’t the same arguments apply, you could lie in self-defense or protection of others, the intention may also not be to lie but you have to resort to it.
Lying is always intrinsically evil. That does not mean that it is always a mortal sin, just that it is always grave matter. (also don’t get lying mixed up with deception).
If I remember from my moral theology lesson, I think that lying is always intrinsically evil because God cannot lie, making it of evil (lack of good) origin? (Again correct me if I’m wrong in saying this…my specialty does not lie in the moral theology spot).
Now as for killing, you cannot mix that with murder. Murder is the ultimate intention of ending one’s life for the sake of ending it (either just because or for other reasons such as anger, jealousy, etc.). Killing however is not the intent of ending the person’s life for no good reason, but rather a double effect (like you said). To stop terror, someone that is committing this terror fully may need to be killed.
As to why killing is not intrinsically evil can be (maybe) because God can end life whenever he wants to. For instance read anywhere in the Old Testament (:D) and God is said to have “killed” “destroyed” or “ended” life. But we all know that saying God killed someone is limiting God to human conditions, which is obviously sort of a fallacy. But just as God can justly take away human life (for the sake of being the creator) he can allow humans to also partake in this just act against evil. It’s kind of like how God made the Ten Commandments and yet still gives the Catholic Church authority to create Laws and Doctrines that need to be followed.
Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this should do a decent job of summarizing.
The reason killing is not always wrong is that human life, in its earthly state, requires a civil society; that society requires laws; and laws, to be effective, require to be upheld, sometimes by killing.
If it is never acceptable to kill, then there can be no civil society (the question then being who has that authority and under what conditions).
While lying seeming to be “more evil” than killing also seems too difficult for me to accept, one explanation might be: human life in its natural-body form is inherently temporal, so upholding it is not always paramount; whereas truth is eternal, and so upholding truth should be.
I have frequently read and have been told by priests who are scripture scholars, that the Commandment reads “Thou shalt not murder” rather than the familiar “Thou shall not kill.”
This would make more sense. We ARE permitted to take a life in defense of our own or another’s life, we ARE permitted to fight in a just war, and Jesus never did abrogate any of the Ten Commandments–they are still the moral law. Killing for just reasons is permitted–murder is not.
There can be a problem, though, if one is killing in defense, that it can become an act of revenge rather than justice. A soldier shoots and kills an enemy soldier. But a soldier does not have justification for hacking up the body of the person he killed out of hate or revenge, etc.
current catholic thought seems ot say that killing is not always wrong but lying is. there is not much clarification on this issue. and st. Augustine and st. Thomas Aquinas taught is was never allowable to tell a lie, even ot save a person’s life