More on Assassination The help


More on Assassination

The help received from all has been greatly appreciated and I think the crux of the issue is succinctly stated:

I guess my point is that the enormity of the victim's crimes does not turn an act of assassination into a moral act. It might be a justifying circumstance for an otherwise neutral act, but it cannot make something evil into something good.

With this I must agree--the act is objectively evil. Now we ask another question--is it necessarily a sin? It would certainly be a sin for me to either participate or to suggest this as a solution to any problem. But is it always and everywhere a sin? I think the answer to that must be "No." And this is one of those rare instances that demonstrates the flip side of the problem I was having over at Disputations a while back discussing good. Could assassination be an instance of an apparent good that while objectively evil carries with it more of the real good than many other apparent goods? Now this is dangerously close, no, it is stating the the end justifies the means--which is false. But somehow there is a calculus of the evils involved in this. Certainly one might acknowledge that the act is often evil, but there are circumstances under which it is required (a la just war) thus, acting in conscience, one might not actually commit a sin in doing something of this nature, but one would be committing an objectively evil act. (Just as in the same way a woman who procures an abortion under protest and duress commits an objectively evil act but does not sin in the course of it.) But where does such an argument lead?

I don't know why I think of this. It just puzzles {n.b.: originally bothers, see comments box} me that God would look as harshly upon one who put an end to the slaughter of millions by one death as He would upon the slaughterer.

Then there is another question--if in the course of a war or battle one person is singled out above all else--is THAT assassination or is it enemy combattant. And yet another question--if the assassination stems from one having no loyalty to the one assassinated--let's say the Hitler assassination was committed by Slovenians--is that covered in the course of war or in the course of battle? Again, can a higher loyalty override the loyalty to the state (render unto Caesar. . .) thus, in Bonhoeffer's case, does a loyalty to God override a loyalty to Hitler? What do we make of the case of Judith and Holofernes?

Oh, it is a complex issue isn't it?

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 30, 2003 7:57 AM.

Leaving Blogger I have considered was the previous entry in this blog.

It Would Seem In the is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll