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Author Topic: When harboring religious refugees, is lying permissible?  (Read 2598 times) Average Rating: 0
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Maria
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« on: January 24, 2013, 11:18:35 PM »

In another thread, this topic was brought up.

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I am going to start a new thread to discuss this realistic question regarding hiding refugees from an ungodly government who seeks to kill them. For example, Nazis vs. Jews/Orthodox Christians was a real issue because Nazis imprisoned and killed both Jews and Orthodox Christians.

This threat is very real today in Iran where a U.S. Citizen is being held without bond and may be executed for preaching the word of God in an atheistic Islamic country.

If this scenario were to happen today, is lying permissible when harboring religious refugees from authorities who have outlawed certain groups and who seek to kill them?
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 11:28:49 PM »

Yes.
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 11:31:59 PM »

Yes. The Egyptian women lied about Moses in Exodus and God blessed them for it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 11:45:57 PM »

I think that in any scenario to save someone's life it may be permissible to lie.

Say you were walking down a path and a mother and her daughter came up to you and asked you to help them, and that two men were coming to kill them. They didn't have time to flee, and so they hid in bushes nearby. The two men came up and demanded you to tell them where they had went. If you lie you save the two, but if you tell the truth you directly cause their deaths. The only acceptable response is to lie.

If you give the above scenario's underlying motivation as "religion," then it is no different than lying to harbour religious refugees.
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 11:57:41 PM »

St. John Chrysostom in one of his homilies on Matthew says that we are only to obey the civil authorities to the extent that what they ask doesn't violate our faith--in which case, you would no longer be rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's, but unto the Devil. We have no commandment to render anything to the Devil. Helping a regime murder other Orthodox Christians would obviously be violating our faith, therefore, I see no obligation to support or tell the truth to such a regime.
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 12:00:33 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 12:06:18 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 12:07:54 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 12:22:50 AM »

Some more examples of deception or lies being used for a greater good:

- Rahab the harlot lied in in Jos. 2 to hide righteous men from their enemies (cf James 2:25, and Oration 40.19 of St. Gregory the Theologian)

- An Archangel lied about his identity in Tobit (Tob. 5 and 12)

- An prophet of Israel hid his identity in order to trick the king of Israel into unwittingly condemning his own actions (1 Kings 20:35-43)
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 01:36:10 AM »

The CONTEXT of the situation Maria brings to this thread was in a discussion regarding the dictates of conscience over against the Church.
So what if the Church, in an older era of anathematizing Jews and wanting to burn heretics, declared Jews heretics and wanted to burn them at the stake: asked if you had a Jew hiding in your house in that case, what would you do? What if it wasn't Ceasar, but the Bishop?

And to make it very contemporary: what if the Church once again were to have the authority to persecute heretics and unbeleivers? Would you go along with the Church's error?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 01:46:36 AM by BrotherAidan » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 11:37:11 AM »

The CONTEXT of the situation Maria brings to this thread was in a discussion regarding the dictates of conscience over against the Church.
So what if the Church, in an older era of anathematizing Jews and wanting to burn heretics, declared Jews heretics and wanted to burn them at the stake: asked if you had a Jew hiding in your house in that case, what would you do? What if it wasn't Ceasar, but the Bishop?

And to make it very contemporary: what if the Church once again were to have the authority to persecute heretics and unbeleivers? Would you go along with the Church's error?


You are not very familiar with the Orthodox Church history are you?
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 11:16:45 AM »

The CONTEXT of the situation Maria brings to this thread was in a discussion regarding the dictates of conscience over against the Church.
So what if the Church, in an older era of anathematizing Jews and wanting to burn heretics, declared Jews heretics and wanted to burn them at the stake: asked if you had a Jew hiding in your house in that case, what would you do? What if it wasn't Ceasar, but the Bishop?

And to make it very contemporary: what if the Church once again were to have the authority to persecute heretics and unbeleivers? Would you go along with the Church's error?






You are no
t very familiar with the Orthodox Church history are you?

Kind of a smart Alec response. Ok. I am not a Church historian but I have read at least a little. Certainly the iconodules followed conscience against the official Church's error. I would be happy for you to refresh my memory with additional examples
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 12:08:35 PM »

Kind of a smart Alec response. Ok. I am not a Church historian but I have read at least a little. Certainly the iconodules followed conscience against the official Church's error. I would be happy for you to refresh my memory with additional examples

The position of the Church always was that icons can and should be venerated. Heretical iconoclast emperors have persecuted the Church, but iconoclasm was never officially adopted by the Church.
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 12:28:36 PM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Someone please tell me that Orthodoxy does not actually advocate letting people get away with murder.
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 03:46:03 PM »

Everyone lies almost constantly, why the hand wringing over such scenarios?
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 03:49:54 PM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Someone please tell me that Orthodoxy does not actually advocate letting people get away with murder.

To leave someone to God's judgment is not to let anyone get away with anything.

In "The Brothers Karamazov" there is an interesting story about a murderer who repents sincerely of his crime in Geneva, but is caught and killed by the state because, after all, he committed murder. People were weeping, moved by his repentance, but said, "Oh well, you still have to die." Divine justice is not like that.
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 03:50:56 PM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Someone please tell me that Orthodoxy does not actually advocate letting people get away with murder.

Are you kidding, of course Orthodoxy supports letting people get away with murder. I think it is like somewhere in the creed. They replaced the filioque with it.

Come on, William let's not be silly. Orthodoxy doesn't do anything. Orthodox people do. If you are going to talk about people, then pretty much any insane situation you can imagine will likely be true. Imagine one of the largest religious organizations in a world conspiring to allow some its religious leaders to engage in what that world considers some of the most despicable of sex crimes?

Science fiction right?
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2013, 04:15:23 PM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Someone please tell me that Orthodoxy does not actually advocate letting people get away with murder.

To leave someone to God's judgment is not to let anyone get away with anything.

In "The Brothers Karamazov" there is an interesting story about a murderer who repents sincerely of his crime in Geneva, but is caught and killed by the state because, after all, he committed murder. People were weeping, moved by his repentance, but said, "Oh well, you still have to die." Divine justice is not like that.

Isn't it, though? Someone truly repentant would accept whatever punishment as being for their own good. That's in Orthodox prayers about being sick and going through suffering and stuff.
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2013, 04:17:16 PM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Someone please tell me that Orthodoxy does not actually advocate letting people get away with murder.

To leave someone to God's judgment is not to let anyone get away with anything.

In "The Brothers Karamazov" there is an interesting story about a murderer who repents sincerely of his crime in Geneva, but is caught and killed by the state because, after all, he committed murder. People were weeping, moved by his repentance, but said, "Oh well, you still have to die." Divine justice is not like that.

Isn't it, though? Someone truly repentant would accept whatever punishment as being for their own good. That's in Orthodox prayers about being sick and going through suffering and stuff.

Indeed. But in the anecdote from Abba Agathon and Abba Alonius, it's not about the murderer, but about the care that others ought to have for him.
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2013, 12:10:09 AM »

Kind of a smart Alec response. Ok. I am not a Church historian but I have read at least a little. Certainly the iconodules followed conscience against the official Church's error. I would be happy for you to refresh my memory with additional examples

The position of the Church always was that icons can and should be venerated. Heretical iconoclast emperors have persecuted the Church, but iconoclasm was never officially adopted by the Church.

Like I said, I am neither a church historian nor an illiterate rube; my recollection was that SOME in the Church, with SOME power becaue of the support of heretical iconoclast emperors, made it difficult for the iconodules. I didn't recollect that the faithful, pure Church in its entirety had been persecuted for its correct veneration of icons. But maybe my memory needs refreshed.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2013, 12:25:01 AM »

Iconoclasm was largely an imperial initiative, assisted when it came to councils by iconoclast Anatolian bishops. Those killed and tortured for venerating icons were killed and tortured at the command of the iconoclastic imperial government, with the assistance of the imperial military which was largely supportive of the imperial policy of iconoclasm. The iconoclastic bishops would have supported the punishing of those whom they saw as heretics, but they were not the ones executing and torturing people. They did not have the power to do so in the Byzantine Empire, AFAIK.
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2013, 12:42:14 AM »

The CONTEXT of the situation Maria brings to this thread was in a discussion regarding the dictates of conscience over against the Church.
So what if the Church, in an older era of anathematizing Jews and wanting to burn heretics, declared Jews heretics and wanted to burn them at the stake: asked if you had a Jew hiding in your house in that case, what would you do? What if it wasn't Ceasar, but the Bishop?

And to make it very contemporary: what if the Church once again were to have the authority to persecute heretics and unbeleivers? Would you go along with the Church's error?






You are no
t very familiar with the Orthodox Church history are you?

Kind of a smart Alec response. Ok. I am not a Church historian but I have read at least a little. Certainly the iconodules followed conscience against the official Church's error. I would be happy for you to refresh my memory with additional examples

Mr. Smart Alec was referring more to your presumption that the Church was the entity responsible for burning heretics (in reality, the state punished heretics and in the Orthodox Eastern Roman Empire, this was done largely with bureaucratic means--building permits, fines, exile--and not through execution, especially not burning, which only appears to have happened once in Constantinople. As for maiming, this was a punishment employed largely for political, not religious enemies of the state. Mostly, it was heretical emperors who were more likely to kill or maim Orthodox individuals.) and that Jews were anathematized--I don't recall that, seeing that there would be no need, as the Jewish-Christian split happened in Apostolic times.

So, the Church was not setting the policy. Indeed, as one finds examples of Fathers supporting the imperial policy against heretics and Jews, one also finds Fathers opposing it.

But, if the intent is to judge the state and its policies based on today's values of religious freedom, the argument fails. I think, however, that today and in ages past, you would find that, if the Orthodox government or for some odd reason the Orthodox Church wanted to kill Jews and heretics, you would find faithful Orthodox Christians hiding them from being killed because, at a moral level, it is a terrible thing to turn someone over to face death, whether justly or unjustly--especially given that the line between justice and injustice is not always clear and certainly shifts and blurrs, ISTM, when you factor human vs. divine justice.
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2013, 12:44:49 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.

Absolutely Maria!

At this moment of time my answer to your question would be NO. There are boundaries not to be crossed and this is one of them for me.

In other words I agree with the sentiment I disagree with the tactic.

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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2013, 12:53:11 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.


Absolutely Maria!

At this moment of time my answer to your question would be NO. There are boundaries not to be crossed and this is one of them for me.

In other words I agree with the sentiment I disagree with the tactic.



Opus,

If you were harboring a good person who was innocent in your eyes but who was sought after by the authorities, would you tell the truth of his/her whereabouts and thus contribute to his/her execution?

What other alternatives could you use?

I gather you could say that he/she was not in your house truthfully if you had permitted them to escape through a private tunnel that led into the forest?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 12:54:20 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2013, 12:54:15 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."

Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.

Absolutely Maria!

At this moment of time my answer to your question would be NO. There are boundaries not to be crossed and this is one of them for me.

In other words I agree with the sentiment I disagree with the tactic.



Are you saying you would not lie to protect people from death?
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2013, 01:41:22 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."
Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.


Absolutely Maria!

At this moment of time my answer to your question would be NO. There are boundaries not to be crossed and this is one of them for me.

In other words I agree with the sentiment I disagree with the tactic.



Opus,

If you were harboring a good person who was innocent in your eyes but who was sought after by the authorities, would you tell the truth of his/her whereabouts and thus contribute to his/her execution?

What other alternatives could you use?

I gather you could say that he/she was not in your house truthfully if you had permitted them to escape through a private tunnel that led into the forest?


Maria and Shanghaiski

I have seen way to much damage due to lies and I consider it worse than murder. It is a border I will not cross. I do not know how I would deal with the situation you propose, but I probably would not lie. It might help to memorize all of the bad jokes in the bad jokes thread but I haven't done that.  In other words, I have not the wit to get me out of the situation you propose without lying.

I guess what I am saying is that lies can cause a spiritual death in a person that continues throughout their life. It is a potent and horrible weapon. It is not a tool that I think I can rationally utilize and justify because in the mind of all people (both rational and deranged) lies are justified for one reason or another.

Like I implied I do not really know how I would respond to this situation, I only know how I would respond if I were the one that is placed in danger.

I hope this somewhat clarifies my thinking on the matter.
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2013, 02:16:45 AM »

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Maria and Shanghaiski

I have seen way to much damage due to lies and I consider it worse than murder. It is a border I will not cross. I do not know how I would deal with the situation you propose, but I probably would not lie. It might help to memorize all of the bad jokes in the bad jokes thread but I haven't done that.  In other words, I have not the wit to get me out of the situation you propose without lying.

I guess what I am saying is that lies can cause a spiritual death in a person that continues throughout their life. It is a potent and horrible weapon. It is not a tool that I think I can rationally utilize and justify because in the mind of all people (both rational and deranged) lies are justified for one reason or another.

Like I implied I do not really know how I would respond to this situation, I only know how I would respond if I were the one that is placed in danger.

I hope this somewhat clarifies my thinking on the matter.

Opus,

This is why I started this thread as I honestly do not know how I would respond. Yet, we are living in perilous times where we might need to harbor innocent people or even our priests. In fact, we may be persecuted ourselves.

I know that if we give into lies and dishonesty, that it is only a mere step toward denying our Holy Faith. Thus, I am praying for the grace to be courageous in the face of evil and to accept martyrdom if that be God's will.

Lord have mercy.

In Christ,
Maria

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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2013, 02:49:30 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."
Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.


Absolutely Maria!

At this moment of time my answer to your question would be NO. There are boundaries not to be crossed and this is one of them for me.

In other words I agree with the sentiment I disagree with the tactic.



Opus,

If you were harboring a good person who was innocent in your eyes but who was sought after by the authorities, would you tell the truth of his/her whereabouts and thus contribute to his/her execution?

What other alternatives could you use?

I gather you could say that he/she was not in your house truthfully if you had permitted them to escape through a private tunnel that led into the forest?


Maria and Shanghaiski

I have seen way to much damage due to lies and I consider it worse than murder. It is a border I will not cross. I do not know how I would deal with the situation you propose, but I probably would not lie. It might help to memorize all of the bad jokes in the bad jokes thread but I haven't done that.  In other words, I have not the wit to get me out of the situation you propose without lying.

I guess what I am saying is that lies can cause a spiritual death in a person that continues throughout their life. It is a potent and horrible weapon. It is not a tool that I think I can rationally utilize and justify because in the mind of all people (both rational and deranged) lies are justified for one reason or another.

Like I implied I do not really know how I would respond to this situation, I only know how I would respond if I were the one that is placed in danger.

I hope this somewhat clarifies my thinking on the matter.

It is important to remember that the commandments are all governed by love, and are in intended to guide us toward this chief virtue. The state of the Christian is one of spiritual freedom in the light of this highest commandment, which the perhaps scandalous example from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers I quoted demonstrates quite dramatically.

I will grant you, it is an extreme example but I trust that the saying was passed down to us for a purpose. That purpose seems to be to tell us that there is a priority at times given to a certain virtue, in contradistinction to others sometimes within the economy of the fallen world.

I remain convinced that in such an instance, the evangelic thing would be to act in such a way as Abba Alonius suggested, and then repent later for the sin of lying. I would much rather repent of sinning in this way, then have to repent for having led to the death of a brother. But I understand that if perhaps one is profoundly wounded by this passion (lying), one would feel grieved at the prospect of assenting to it, even for a greater purpose. One would hope in this instance that God in His mercy would not allow one to be confronted with a circumstance that would cause such a temptation.
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2013, 03:19:02 AM »

I'm surprised by some of the responses here. Saints lied all the times, and not over stuff like murder, but about things like not wanting to be bothered by people. And this is stuff in things like hagiographical texts, which are supposed to teach us proper morality and to embiggen our souls. *shrugs*
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2013, 03:25:50 AM »

Quote

Maria and Shanghaiski

I have seen way to much damage due to lies and I consider it worse than murder. It is a border I will not cross. I do not know how I would deal with the situation you propose, but I probably would not lie. It might help to memorize all of the bad jokes in the bad jokes thread but I haven't done that.  In other words, I have not the wit to get me out of the situation you propose without lying.

I guess what I am saying is that lies can cause a spiritual death in a person that continues throughout their life. It is a potent and horrible weapon. It is not a tool that I think I can rationally utilize and justify because in the mind of all people (both rational and deranged) lies are justified for one reason or another.

Like I implied I do not really know how I would respond to this situation, I only know how I would respond if I were the one that is placed in danger.

I hope this somewhat clarifies my thinking on the matter.

Opus,

This is why I started this thread as I honestly do not know how I would respond. Yet, we are living in perilous times where we might need to harbor innocent people or even our priests. In fact, we may be persecuted ourselves.

I know that if we give into lies and dishonesty, that it is only a mere step toward denying our Holy Faith. Thus, I am praying for the grace to be courageous in the face of evil and to accept martyrdom if that be God's will.

Lord have mercy.

In Christ,
Maria

Yes Maria, I haven't responded to a post for a while and I also believe the topic you brought up is worthwhile. More importantly to me, I appreciate the kindness of your response. Thank you Maria.
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2013, 03:29:02 AM »

I'm surprised by some of the responses here. Saints lied all the times, and not over stuff like murder, but about things like not wanting to be bothered by people. And this is stuff in things like hagiographical texts, which are supposed to teach us proper morality and to embiggen our souls. *shrugs*

Plus One.  Too much Kant in this thread.
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2013, 03:33:14 AM »

From the Gerontikon:

Abba Agathon once asked Abba Alonios whether it is ever acceptable to lie, and Abba Alonios replied that it is acceptable. "When?" asked Abba Agathon. The Elder answered: "Let us suppose that two men have committed murder before your eyes and that one of them has taken refuge in your cell. The magistrate is searching for him and he asks you: 'Did a murder take place before your eyes?' If you do not tell a lie, you are handing him over to death. It is better for you to leave him unconditionally to the judgment of God, for He knows all things. It is clear from this, therefore, that at times a lie is preferable to the truth."
Thank you for quoting this advice from Abba Alonios. I had read it before.
This is a good quote to use against the use of capital punishment.
We all need time to repent.


Absolutely Maria!

At this moment of time my answer to your question would be NO. There are boundaries not to be crossed and this is one of them for me.

In other words I agree with the sentiment I disagree with the tactic.



Opus,

If you were harboring a good person who was innocent in your eyes but who was sought after by the authorities, would you tell the truth of his/her whereabouts and thus contribute to his/her execution?

What other alternatives could you use?

I gather you could say that he/she was not in your house truthfully if you had permitted them to escape through a private tunnel that led into the forest?


Maria and Shanghaiski

I have seen way to much damage due to lies and I consider it worse than murder. It is a border I will not cross. I do not know how I would deal with the situation you propose, but I probably would not lie. It might help to memorize all of the bad jokes in the bad jokes thread but I haven't done that.  In other words, I have not the wit to get me out of the situation you propose without lying.

I guess what I am saying is that lies can cause a spiritual death in a person that continues throughout their life. It is a potent and horrible weapon. It is not a tool that I think I can rationally utilize and justify because in the mind of all people (both rational and deranged) lies are justified for one reason or another.

Like I implied I do not really know how I would respond to this situation, I only know how I would respond if I were the one that is placed in danger.

I hope this somewhat clarifies my thinking on the matter.

It is important to remember that the commandments are all governed by love, and are in intended to guide us toward this chief virtue. The state of the Christian is one of spiritual freedom in the light of this highest commandment, which the perhaps scandalous example from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers I quoted demonstrates quite dramatically.

I will grant you, it is an extreme example but I trust that the saying was passed down to us for a purpose. That purpose seems to be to tell us that there is a priority at times given to a certain virtue, in contradistinction to others sometimes within the economy of the fallen world.

I remain convinced that in such an instance, the evangelic thing would be to act in such a way as Abba Alonius suggested, and then repent later for the sin of lying. I would much rather repent of sinning in this way, then have to repent for having led to the death of a brother. But I understand that if perhaps one is profoundly wounded by this passion (lying), one would feel grieved at the prospect of assenting to it, even for a greater purpose. One would hope in this instance that God in His mercy would not allow one to be confronted with a circumstance that would cause such a temptation.

Thank you for your thoughts about this Symeon. I need to both sleep and reflect on this at this moment.
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« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2013, 08:03:15 AM »

I think in most cases there are ways to work it out so one does not have to lie.
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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2013, 08:16:19 AM »

Iconoclasm was largely an imperial initiative, assisted when it came to councils by iconoclast Anatolian bishops. Those killed and tortured for venerating icons were killed and tortured at the command of the iconoclastic imperial government, with the assistance of the imperial military which was largely supportive of the imperial policy of iconoclasm. The iconoclastic bishops would have supported the punishing of those whom they saw as heretics, but they were not the ones executing and torturing people. They did not have the power to do so in the Byzantine Empire, AFAIK.

And that is the most horrific situation, when the State and Church (or bad bishops) are are alligned in error and persecution. The mantle of righteousness of the ecclesiastical body becomes the justification for the immorality and error of the governing body.
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« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2013, 01:42:08 PM »

Iconoclasm was largely an imperial initiative, assisted when it came to councils by iconoclast Anatolian bishops. Those killed and tortured for venerating icons were killed and tortured at the command of the iconoclastic imperial government, with the assistance of the imperial military which was largely supportive of the imperial policy of iconoclasm. The iconoclastic bishops would have supported the punishing of those whom they saw as heretics, but they were not the ones executing and torturing people. They did not have the power to do so in the Byzantine Empire, AFAIK.

And that is the most horrific situation, when the State and Church (or bad bishops) are are alligned in error and persecution. The mantle of righteousness of the ecclesiastical body becomes the justification for the immorality and error of the governing body.

Which is why I think Ezekiel 9 should be read at episcopal consecrations, as a warning. "Start in the holies," means "start with my priests."
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« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2013, 02:44:51 PM »

Quote

Maria and Shanghaiski

I have seen way to much damage due to lies and I consider it worse than murder. It is a border I will not cross. I do not know how I would deal with the situation you propose, but I probably would not lie. It might help to memorize all of the bad jokes in the bad jokes thread but I haven't done that.  In other words, I have not the wit to get me out of the situation you propose without lying.

I guess what I am saying is that lies can cause a spiritual death in a person that continues throughout their life. It is a potent and horrible weapon. It is not a tool that I think I can rationally utilize and justify because in the mind of all people (both rational and deranged) lies are justified for one reason or another.

Like I implied I do not really know how I would respond to this situation, I only know how I would respond if I were the one that is placed in danger.

I hope this somewhat clarifies my thinking on the matter.

Opus,

This is why I started this thread as I honestly do not know how I would respond. Yet, we are living in perilous times where we might need to harbor innocent people or even our priests. In fact, we may be persecuted ourselves.

I know that if we give into lies and dishonesty, that it is only a mere step toward denying our Holy Faith. Thus, I am praying for the grace to be courageous in the face of evil and to accept martyrdom if that be God's will.

Lord have mercy.

In Christ,
Maria

Yes Maria, I haven't responded to a post for a while and I also believe the topic you brought up is worthwhile. More importantly to me, I appreciate the kindness of your response. Thank you Maria.

You are very welcome.
Please continue to share your thoughts and inspirations.
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« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2013, 02:47:40 PM »

Iconoclasm was largely an imperial initiative, assisted when it came to councils by iconoclast Anatolian bishops. Those killed and tortured for venerating icons were killed and tortured at the command of the iconoclastic imperial government, with the assistance of the imperial military which was largely supportive of the imperial policy of iconoclasm. The iconoclastic bishops would have supported the punishing of those whom they saw as heretics, but they were not the ones executing and torturing people. They did not have the power to do so in the Byzantine Empire, AFAIK.

And that is the most horrific situation, when the State and Church (or bad bishops) are are alligned in error and persecution. The mantle of righteousness of the ecclesiastical body becomes the justification for the immorality and error of the governing body.

So true.

This is why we must continue to pray for our bishops that they will keep on the straight and narrow road that leads to heaven, guide their flock, and protect their vineyards.
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« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2013, 02:59:57 PM »

I'm surprised by some of the responses here. Saints lied all the times, and not over stuff like murder, but about things like not wanting to be bothered by people. And this is stuff in things like hagiographical texts, which are supposed to teach us proper morality and to embiggen our souls. *shrugs*

Plus One.  Too much Kant in this thread.

Except it seems that the reasons for the conclusions here have nothing to do with the crisis Kant found himself in. Really, it is quite interesting that some Kant's most important work and insight so disturbed him that is quickly thrust him into writing some his most ridiculous and simplistic work, which of course is what most people have read by him if they have read anything at all.

For Kant, he found himself in a world where the Law remained as a standard of judgement but whose content had become denuded or completely rendered a secret unto itself. In this sense, Kant perfectly captured one of the hallmarks of modernity and explained oft the reactions to such a situation. A world in which all are guilty, but none can express why or able to repent of it.

For a quick literary take on the situation, see Kafka's In the Penal Colony.

(It can be said this is the situation for the Christian (thus perhaps those reacting here are in fact reacting for the same reason Kant did) and that the understanding of the Law by Christ engendered such a world, but that is a complex discussion for another time.)

EDITED: Weird pseudo-double post? Took forever to post.
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« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2013, 03:30:40 PM »

To save a Christian life?  Without hesitation.  Not even for a moment.

But then again, I consider lying to the government to be a virtue in almost any situation.
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« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2013, 03:32:59 PM »

For a quick literary take on the situation, see Kafka's In the Penal Colony.

Even quicker: http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/kafka/beforethelaw.htm
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« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2013, 03:42:56 PM »

For a quick literary take on the situation, see Kafka's In the Penal Colony.

Even quicker: http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/kafka/beforethelaw.htm

I would suggest that Kafka is not dealing the Kantian revolution as such in this parable (although the thematic of this parable and of The Penal Colony get wrapped up together well in both The Judgement (not as edited by Brot) and the The Castle). But hey, why not post more Kafka?
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« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2013, 03:54:52 PM »

The Judgement (not as edited by Brot) and the The Castle).

Did Max Brod tamper with that? I only have the text he published in 1925. 
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« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2013, 04:16:35 PM »

The Judgement (not as edited by Brot) and the The Castle).

Did Max Brod tamper with that? I only have the text he published in 1925. 

Es tut mir aber vollkommend leid! I meant The Trial not The Judgment. This would be easier for my brain to process in German, but not by much.

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« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2013, 04:59:54 PM »

I meant The Trial not The Judgment.

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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2013, 03:06:24 PM »

The thing is, if you didn't lie, perhaps one can depict as the non-liar as an accessory to murder...

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« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2013, 07:38:52 PM »

The thing is, if you didn't lie, perhaps one can depict as the non-liar as an accessory to murder...


In the above scenario, they would be an accessory.
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