Last week, driving to Liturgy Sunday morning, my nephew asked me about torture, and what my thoughts were on it.
I figured this must stem from all the video games, the terrorist attacks lately, etc.
I told him that it would be wrong to torture someone, because Christ told us to love our enemies, etc.
So, he posed this question: What if an individual had set a bomb somewhere, that would kill thousands of people - guaranteed, and this person was apprehended, but, would not divulge the location of this bomb. Would it be okay to torture this person in order to get the information, and thereby, save thousands of innocent lives?
I didn't know how to answer. Again, I would say no. What makes the lives of the thousand worth more than the life of the terrorist. Yes, I know...all passions aside, because my gut would tell me to rip his head off....but, I know that would not be the "right" thing to do.
...and yet...a chance to save thousands of lives. AHHHH!!!!
So, then I started thinking that Christ said that no man had greater love than he gives his life for another. Perhaps I could twist this logic into realizing that I were doing wrong by torturing this individual, and yet I would be willing to "sin"(give my life) in order to save thousands....
....and yet, there's the good shepherd, who leaves his thousands to go and save the one that is lost.
I kind of talked about it and left it up in the air....because this answer was way beyond me.
So, today, once again we were driving to church and he brings it up again. I kind of frown and ask what's with the fascination with torture.
It seems this is a school assignment. He's in 9th Grade....can he possibly be able to answer such a difficult question?
Honestly, hearing that this was an assignment, kind of angered me. Why put this burden on 15 year old kids? What do they know?
My nephew has been "battling" all week to figure out which side to take in this debate. He takes it seriously. He ended being on the side of torture because that's the side for which he could find more statistical data, and he wanted a good grade. However, when I mentioned that he could also find data siting that torture doesn't guarantee the correct answer, only an answer....he was again deflated. He couldn't start over because he needs to present his paper on Tuesday. Not enough time.
However, this whole topic now weighs on him, and I can only imagine on the other kids. To stand up and state that it's okay to torture a human being is a lot of pressure. To stand up and to say you would willingly sacrifice the lives of thousands is also a lot of pressure.
I'm upset that they have to mull such heavy topics at such a young age. They can't even drive yet. They can't vote. They've hardly "lived", and to put such a burden on them seems wrong.....but, then that might just be the "godmother" in me.
What is the correct answer?