27 Ninjas and the Catholic Moral Tradition

January 10, 2009 § 5 Comments

Although the [Catholic moral tradition] did witness the development of a casuistry which tried to assess the best ways to achieve the good in certain concrete situations, it is nonetheless true that this casuistry concerned only cases in which the law was uncertain, and thus the absolute validity of negative moral precepts, which oblige without exception, was not called into question. – Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendour

Combox warriors are often inventing “27 ninjas” scenarios as a means of polemically undermining moral clarity on such fundamentals as the absolute prohibition against killing the innocent.

Such theories however are not faithful to the Church’s teaching, when they believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behaviour contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law. – Ibid.

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§ 5 Responses to 27 Ninjas and the Catholic Moral Tradition

  • Kevin B. says:

    I once met someone in the comboxes who argued that VS was merely John Paul II’s opinions as a private theologian, not in any way part of the infallible magisterium, and not binding on Catholics (something about how it’s only addressed to the bishops of the world.)

  • William Luse says:

    You can meet all kinds of people in comboxes.

  • zippy says:

    Kevin B:The cafeteria remains open for business, that’s for sure.Bill:<>You can meet all kinds of people in comboxes.<>Yes, and when you meet hundreds of a particular kind you write blog posts you can refer them to or copy/paste so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself from scratch :-).

  • Todd V says:

    I agree that “27 ninja scenarios” could be imagined to justify many things. See also my late comment on abuse of the principle of double effect (freely taken from Anscombe) in your prior post. Todd V

  • Yeah, but what if it’s twenty-<>eight<> ninjas?Oh, you mean that doesn’t work either? Guess I’ll go back to avoiding evil and attempting to do good.

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