July 29, 2007 § 30 Comments
William Luse has a couple of interesting posts up at WWWtW which deal with double-effect. Of particular interest is the second post in which Professor Luse quotes Anscombe at length. I found the following excerpt of particular interest:
The distinction between the intended, and the merely foreseen, effects of a voluntary action is indeed absolutely essential to Christian ethics. For Christianity forbids a number of things as being bad in themselves. But if I am answerable for the foreseen consequences of an action or refusal, as much as for the action itself, then these prohibitions will break down. If someone innocent will die unless I do a wicked thing, then on this view I am his murderer in refusing: so all that is left to me is to weigh up evils. Here the theologian steps in with the priniciple of double-effect and says: “No, you are no murderer, if the man’s death was neither your aim nor your chosen means, and if you had to act in the way that led to it or else do something absolutely forbidden.” Without understanding of this principle, anything can be – and is wont to be- justified, and the Christian teaching that in no circumstances may one commit murder, adultery, apostasy (to give a few examples) goes by the board.
On this understanding, double-effect serves virtually the opposite purpose to which so many modern people attempt to put it in order to justify atrocities like the Tokyo, Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki bombings: double-effect justifies refusing to do evil when that refusal has unintended evil consequences.
July 25, 2007 § 5 Comments
It occurs to me that the reason why antiwar activists are so strongly attached to the mantra of “Bush lied” (besides the reality that he and his officials did lie on numerous occasions) is that they are attempting to square a nation that embraced a manifestly unjust, unnecessary war with their confidence in the functioning of our system of government. – Daniel Larison
July 9, 2007 § 7 Comments
The enemy of my enemy can still be my enemy. But even if he is I might like him better than I like you.
Apparently it isn’t enough to acknowledge that Islam is a demonically-inspired public enemy which must be resisted to the martyr’s end. No. This is not sufficient.
Let he who fails to hold that Islam is worse in every conceivable way than advanced modern liberalism be anathema.
A century of unprecedented slaughter and war, 40 million “legally” murdered infants with thousands more killed every day, and forced hedonistic sexual indoctrination of children may be “evil” and all; but hey, it is our kind of evil. It is the diet coke of evil. Their evil is the realtruebad kind. Ours is the okaybestwestern kind.
And let he who fails to acknowledge the inherent preferableness of yummydietcoke evil to realtruebad evil be banished from our sight.
July 2, 2007 § 2 Comments
When I rail against positivism some people may think I’m a bit of a nut. (I may actually be a bit of a nut, for that matter). But you don’t have to take my word for it:
12 We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.