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Author Topic: To Torture or Not to Torture...that is the essay question.  (Read 2320 times) Average Rating: 0
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LizaSymonenko
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« on: June 02, 2013, 09:24:34 PM »


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.  Smiley

What is the correct answer?

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 09:32:37 PM »

I would kick him in a certain place until he talked.

Really, the only difficulty involved in this lies in interrogation techniques.

If he wants a good grade, he should take the most inane position and back it up, playing to the teacher's stylistic preferences.

EDIT: It's completely nuts that people are trying to weigh moral options in such a scenario.
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 09:36:05 PM »

We are in a fallen world.  Follow your conscience.  Find it in yourself to be grateful that there are people out there that care enough for you that they would do what it takes to protect you.  Once you decide to play the war game, there are no rules.  Is skinning a person alive to get the information needed to save thousands really any worse than burning his skin off with napalm or white phosphorus?  Or blowing his limbs off with a cluster bomb, or his children's legs off with a mine?  What about just simple shooting him in the stomach and letting him die over the next six to eight hours (or days)?  All these things happen in war.  Torture?  Really, what is torture?  Are we really going to split hairs on what is more evil than something else when what we are discussing is evil in the first place?  All rules of war do is give advantage to the enemy.  If you have to kill, do it in a manner that gets it done in the least amount of time with the least number of casualties.  And if that means a few people need to be tortured to reduce that number, so be it.  Look at the people who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  That wasn't torture?  Yet we consider that a price to pay to have saved 5 Million lives - 4 Million of those belonging to the enemy.  Why should we spare 15 year old kids that discussion?  In three more years they will be able to decide for themselves if they want to play the war game.  What you tell them now may determine what they decide.
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 11:19:55 AM »

We are in a fallen world.  Follow your conscience.  Find it in yourself to be grateful that there are people out there that care enough for you that they would do what it takes to protect you.  Once you decide to play the war game, there are no rules.  Is skinning a person alive to get the information needed to save thousands really any worse than burning his skin off with napalm or white phosphorus?  Or blowing his limbs off with a cluster bomb, or his children's legs off with a mine?  What about just simple shooting him in the stomach and letting him die over the next six to eight hours (or days)?  All these things happen in war.  Torture?  Really, what is torture?  Are we really going to split hairs on what is more evil than something else when what we are discussing is evil in the first place?  All rules of war do is give advantage to the enemy.  If you have to kill, do it in a manner that gets it done in the least amount of time with the least number of casualties.  And if that means a few people need to be tortured to reduce that number, so be it.  Look at the people who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  That wasn't torture?  Yet we consider that a price to pay to have saved 5 Million lives - 4 Million of those belonging to the enemy.  Why should we spare 15 year old kids that discussion?  In three more years they will be able to decide for themselves if they want to play the war game.  What you tell them now may determine what they decide.
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 01:32:14 PM »

The ticking time bomb is an old scenario.

Also, what is torture?  A friend told me that when they were in the sandbox some Muj wouldn't tell them where the IEDs were so they opened up an MRE pack of ham and force fed it to him then put an M9 to his head.  Do not pass go, do not collect 72 virgins, go straight to Hell.  It turns out the turd did know where the IEDs were.  They gave him to a mullah to purify and everything was cool.  No one really got hurt.
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 01:44:38 PM »


I know.

My gut tells me to do what is necessary to save the thousands....and yet, I know that we aren't always supposed to do what our gut tells us.  Smiley

...and yes, I do realize that it happens, and that we are "better off" because it does, and perhaps ours are a few of those thousand lives that have already been saved by torturing someone.
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 01:55:43 PM »

I believe that diplomacy cannot be fully appreciated unless one fully understands the horror of the alternative.
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 02:15:22 PM »

I believe that diplomacy cannot be fully appreciated unless one fully understands the horror of the alternative.

Unfortunately (and here's my cynicism showing through), far too few people have that understanding, and the way to acquire it is, well...pretty horrific.
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 02:51:31 PM »

Doesn't matter because torture isn't and has never been a good method of acquiring information from someone. Break a man down and he will tell you whatever you want to hear just to end the pain--even if it is not true. Such is the case with many people confessing to crimes they did not commit because of how harsh interrogation was.
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 03:11:00 PM »

Doesn't matter because torture isn't and has never been a good method of acquiring information from someone. Break a man down and he will tell you whatever you want to hear just to end the pain--even if it is not true. Such is the case with many people confessing to crimes they did not commit because of how harsh interrogation was.

Torture is not effective on the person being tortured.  Nor is it a good means of getting information from him.  It is more effective on the people who hear his screams.   
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 03:47:52 PM »

I think the question is an excellent one for a 9th grader.  Too many schools just have the kids memorize and spew back out facts.  It sounds as if the teacher wants to get the kids to THINK.

In regards to the question, I think valid arguments can be made both ways, largely depending on the individual situation.  I would be naturally adverse to torture as a matter of principle, but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 03:57:28 PM »

Doesn't matter because torture isn't and has never been a good method of acquiring information from someone. Break a man down and he will tell you whatever you want to hear just to end the pain--even if it is not true. Such is the case with many people confessing to crimes they did not commit because of how harsh interrogation was.

You're not quoting that from "24" or something, are you??

Thing is, not all "torture" involves pain. 
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 04:04:15 PM »

Sometimes the very difficult answer in these cases are correct.

But of course, one has to define where to cross the line on torture.  One also has to find out whether torture or non-physical torturous measures are more statistically successful in getting information.  One can argue, depending on what "torture" means, that torture might actually delay saving those people, rather than finding a quick answer to save them.

So for the purposes of the essay, define torture, investigate whether certain "torturous" methods were more effective than "other non-torturous methods", define the "red line" of what not to do while getting the correct information based on the investigation of research, and make a conclusion answering the question "to torture or not to torture".

If the teenager is not graded for accuracy, but for grammar and good flow of argumentation and syntax, then I encourage him to "BS" his essay.  But if he is serious about the question, then, ya, do the research.
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 11:02:42 PM »

In situations like this there are two ways I think of it.

1) The world is confusing enough.  No need for hypothetics.  (It's also almost illogical to KNOW "somebody planted a bomb somewhere for SURE", but have no idea where, but yet knows it will kill 1000s.)

2) You would mostly only worry about being in this situation if you were "part of this world".   We were "set apart from this world", we were told "the children of the world are evil", and we were told "be not of this world".   We were also told in scriptures "to mind ones own business/affairs".  If you are a cop/military you are "part of this world".

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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 11:14:16 PM »

In situations like this there are two ways I think of it.

1) The world is confusing enough.  No need for hypothetics.  (It's also almost illogical to KNOW "somebody planted a bomb somewhere for SURE", but have no idea where, but yet knows it will kill 1000s.)

2) You would mostly only worry about being in this situation if you were "part of this world".   We were "set apart from this world", we were told "the children of the world are evil", and we were told "be not of this world".   We were also told in scriptures "to mind ones own business/affairs".  If you are a cop/military you are "part of this world".



And when someone kidnaps your wife or children, you become part of the world very quickly. 
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 11:53:23 PM »

In situations like this there are two ways I think of it.

1) The world is confusing enough.  No need for hypothetics.  (It's also almost illogical to KNOW "somebody planted a bomb somewhere for SURE", but have no idea where, but yet knows it will kill 1000s.)

2) You would mostly only worry about being in this situation if you were "part of this world".   We were "set apart from this world", we were told "the children of the world are evil", and we were told "be not of this world".   We were also told in scriptures "to mind ones own business/affairs".  If you are a cop/military you are "part of this world".



And when someone kidnaps your wife or children, you become part of the world very quickly. 

Very true, desperate people will do desperate things. 
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 11:59:35 PM »

In situations like this there are two ways I think of it.

1) The world is confusing enough.  No need for hypothetics.  (It's also almost illogical to KNOW "somebody planted a bomb somewhere for SURE", but have no idea where, but yet knows it will kill 1000s.)

2) You would mostly only worry about being in this situation if you were "part of this world".   We were "set apart from this world", we were told "the children of the world are evil", and we were told "be not of this world".   We were also told in scriptures "to mind ones own business/affairs".  If you are a cop/military you are "part of this world".


And when someone kidnaps your wife or children, you become part of the world very quickly. 

Oh, yes.  Doesn't matter what they do to you....but, if someone touches a loved one....God help them.

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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 12:53:13 AM »

The ticking time bomb is an old scenario.

Also, what is torture?  A friend told me that when they were in the sandbox some Muj wouldn't tell them where the IEDs were so they opened up an MRE pack of ham and force fed it to him then put an M9 to his head.  Do not pass go, do not collect 72 virgins, go straight to Hell.  It turns out the turd did know where the IEDs were.  They gave him to a mullah to purify and everything was cool.  No one really got hurt.

Right...because that couldn't possibly have caused serious psychological trauma to him...
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 02:12:03 AM »

Dear Liza,

I wish everyone thought as deeply about and agonized as much over this issue as you have. I believe that it is evidence of true Christian character to be uncertain and wrestle with such complex issues of life and death, torture, human rights, etc. Some things are clearly wrong, like abortion. But examples like this one are much more complex. So, FWIW, I will offer my two cents:

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.

Just my thoughts.


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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 08:56:55 AM »

Perhaps you are correct.  We will see one day.  However, I believe that God will judge those that stood by while the innocent were slaughtered the same as He will judge those that slaughtered them.  That is the basic difference in philosophy that causes such a divergence in our opinions.


Dear Liza,

I wish everyone thought as deeply about and agonized as much over this issue as you have. I believe that it is evidence of true Christian character to be uncertain and wrestle with such complex issues of life and death, torture, human rights, etc. Some things are clearly wrong, like abortion. But examples like this one are much more complex. So, FWIW, I will offer my two cents:

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.

Just my thoughts.


Selam
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 09:27:27 AM »

The ticking time bomb is an old scenario.

Also, what is torture?  A friend told me that when they were in the sandbox some Muj wouldn't tell them where the IEDs were so they opened up an MRE pack of ham and force fed it to him then put an M9 to his head.  Do not pass go, do not collect 72 virgins, go straight to Hell.  It turns out the turd did know where the IEDs were.  They gave him to a mullah to purify and everything was cool.  No one really got hurt.

Right...because that couldn't possibly have caused serious psychological trauma to him...

And how much psychological trauma does a wife, a mother, a child, a father, a friend go through when their loved one comes back home missing his legs or his eyes?  Or most of his skin burnt off like the one guy this person is still friends with on Facebook. 

I bet you the ham was less traumatizing then the M9 to both his kneecaps would have been.  It was also WAY more effective.
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 09:40:54 AM »

Perhaps you are correct.  We will see one day.  However, I believe that God will judge those that stood by while the innocent were slaughtered the same as He will judge those that slaughtered them.  That is the basic difference in philosophy that causes such a divergence in our opinions.


Dear Liza,

I wish everyone thought as deeply about and agonized as much over this issue as you have. I believe that it is evidence of true Christian character to be uncertain and wrestle with such complex issues of life and death, torture, human rights, etc. Some things are clearly wrong, like abortion. But examples like this one are much more complex. So, FWIW, I will offer my two cents:

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.

Just my thoughts.


Selam

...and therein lies the dilemma.

If it were merely "my" life on the line, that would be one thing.

But, this is thousands of lives.

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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2013, 09:49:13 AM »

Why is torture such a no no? Judicial torture was an intrinsic part of the Roman legal system and was retained by the Byzantines.

I suppose the reasoning is that you can't trust a confession that was coerced by torture, but you can trust it when it's not forced. This apparently didn't occur to the ancients. I think that as long as the case against the accused rests on more than just a confession you should be able to incorporate torture into the investigative process.
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2013, 09:49:20 AM »

Thanks goodness for summer breaks, amirite?  Wink
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2013, 10:17:32 AM »

I believe the issue is that we incorrectly believe that we live in a world where there is always a right and wrong answer.

Sometimes we have to choose between two good things and we have to give a good thing to get another good thing (basically the dilema of marriage and monasticism).

Sometimes we have to choose between two bad things. One thing that I have noticed that immobilizes some people from coming out of the mess they made with their lives (and that from my own experience), is that we think we can go from sinner to saint with a fiat of will. If God were *really* good, He would put us in St. Paul's situation and move us from persecutor to saint in a second: a good and a bad choice, we would just have to choose the good one.

That's not so. When you're the swamp, the first step out of the swamp is still in the swamp. It takes time until you get to solid ground and even there you're still dirty and in need of washing. You still will have to walk a good length in that condition until you get clean water. Maybe some more before you get clean clothes. Yes, it is annoying that there are "Pauls" in life, but God does not give that to everybody. For most of us it is struggle from craddle to grave.

That is also related with the problem of evil and why we see God actually demanding evil things in the OT. I don't think He demands them because he wants them, or because He likes them, bu because, given the free-will He gave humanty, Humanity puts itself in a condition where even God can choose only between a lesser or greater evil.
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2013, 10:34:10 AM »

As to the moral question posed by the teacher.

1 - I don't know if torture guarantees truthfulness in that kind of information. People from intelligence service must (or at least should) have studies on that.

2 - *If* we work under the assumption that torture works, I'm sorry to say but the choice is between two evils: being the cause of death and pain to hundreds by omission or being the cause of death and pain to one by action. It's immoral to say that causing evil by action or omission is better or worse, they are both heinous. We can't decide based on our actions being good or bad. The terrorist put us in a situation where any action will be bad. But morality is not in *us* only or in our actions only. This attention on ourselves only is why terrorism is succesful in paralyzing moral societies. It's a small crack of egotism in an overral solid shield of ethics and that's what terrorists use.

3 - We have to balance morality on other issues as well: justice and number.
3a) What is more just? That an aggressors whose intention is to kill hundreds suffer, or that hundreds of innocents suffer?
3b) What is worse? That one suffer or that many suffer?

4 - If the answers for 3a and 3b are (yes), then, in this case, and under the assumption that torture will provide a truthful answer, then, I'm afraid to say, torture is the least bad way to go.

5 - Still there are tortures and tortures. I doubt that skinning the guy will lead him to give the answer. Who doesn't remember the kid who would lie even if the parents or siblings were beating them? What the interrogators want to achieve is information, not just relief of the stressful situation. Even if strength of some sort is used, a panel of intelligence and military specialists should evaluate what and how it happened. Maybe, the excess of torture is what prevented the terrorist from speaking. This sort of detailed analysis of the abyss should be left for the specialists.
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2013, 10:34:29 AM »

That is also related with the problem of evil and why we see God actually demanding evil things in the OT. I don't think He demands them because he wants them, or because He likes them, bu because, given the free-will He gave humanty, Humanity puts itself in a condition where even God can choose only between a lesser or greater evil.

Does God ever demand evil?  Isn't everything done by God good by definition?  Or, are we judging the will of God with our own fallen consciences?  God could have struck down those that he told the Israelites to smite.  But he had Israel do it by His command.  Who knows the reason?  We are not God.
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2013, 10:42:24 AM »

I believe that the issue there is that we think that choosing the smaller evil is evil. It's not.

In having a situation where you have to choose to do evil to an evil person or to a good one, choosing the evil one is good, not because the act itself is good, but because you kept hate of evil at center and chose what was less evil.

The kind of violence we see in the OT was about that. And a lot of the weight we forgot about the Good News, is that they include the news that such genocidical violence was no longer necessary in pro-active manner, at most, as self-defense.


That is also related with the problem of evil and why we see God actually demanding evil things in the OT. I don't think He demands them because he wants them, or because He likes them, bu because, given the free-will He gave humanty, Humanity puts itself in a condition where even God can choose only between a lesser or greater evil.

Does God ever demand evil?  Isn't everything done by God good by definition?  Or, are we judging the will of God with our own fallen consciences?  God could have struck down those that he told the Israelites to smite.  But he had Israel do it by His command.  Who knows the reason?  We are not God.
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2013, 04:51:24 PM »

This is probably somewhat of a selfish answer, but....

If I were put in this scenario, I would not torture the enemy and try as hard as I can to save the people before the bomb goes off. I don't think that ends justify the means. At least if the people die, I will know that it was out of my control and that I at least tried to do the right thing and will have a clear conscience, whereas, if I torture the man and save them, I'll have had to have resorted to unjust means in the process.

Personally, I think that all of these ethical "dilemmas" are a bunch of bogus because they usually focus on a set of circumstances that would rarely (if ever) happen and expect you to try to rationalize something that isn't rational or possible in the first place. For example, they often start off with "and you couldn't do ANYTHING else other than the two options!" Well that's stupid--when would I be in a situation where those were my only two options? You could always at least TRY something different--a third party option--even if you fail at it.
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« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2013, 05:57:20 PM »

3 - We have to balance morality on other issues as well: justice and number.
to hell with justice or whatever we call justice.

justice will not make me less miserable. whatever men under the spiritually draining world we called class society think of justice generally reduces to getting drunk out of retribution

im glad people value men less than maggots in this thread, but i cannot stand for men to be blasted into torture chambers

the responses in this thread are nothing short of horrific but not really surprising from the usual suspects.

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« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2013, 06:07:16 PM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions".
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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2013, 07:03:19 PM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions" and billions of dollars.

Fixed that up for you.
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« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2013, 07:42:20 PM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions" and billions and trillions of dollars.

Fixed that up for you.

Fixed that one up for you too Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2013, 07:57:02 PM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions" and billions of dollars.

Fixed that up for you.
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« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2013, 08:01:19 PM »


im glad people value men less than maggots in this thread


I am afraid that after watching the activities of man on this planet for 52 years, and being a student of History, I do value mankind less than maggots.  Maggots at least perform a useful function.  I have not seen what man does other than destroy.  Nothing that man has created or done matches the natural beauty that was created by God, but everything man touches is tarnished by his sin.  The maggot has never rejected his creator, nor did it crucify Him.  In that regard the maggot, yea even the fecal matter on which he feeds, is greater than man.  Perhaps if I truly understood the Incarnation I would think differently.  But I don't.  And I don't know if I ever will.



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« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2013, 08:42:21 PM »

In situations like this there are two ways I think of it.

1) The world is confusing enough.  No need for hypothetics.  (It's also almost illogical to KNOW "somebody planted a bomb somewhere for SURE", but have no idea where, but yet knows it will kill 1000s.)

2) You would mostly only worry about being in this situation if you were "part of this world".   We were "set apart from this world", we were told "the children of the world are evil", and we were told "be not of this world".   We were also told in scriptures "to mind ones own business/affairs".  If you are a cop/military you are "part of this world".


And when someone kidnaps your wife or children, you become part of the world very quickly. 

Oh, yes.  Doesn't matter what they do to you....but, if someone touches a loved one....God help them.



Dunno,

Some Anabaptist martyrs (from RC & Protestants) apparently were in a large line to be martyred.   They passed their young children back to their brothers and sisters asking the next in line to raise their children.  While they took the husband, wife, and older children to be executed.

My faith is weak, and you are right, I most likely would cave into the worldly ways.  I have a lot to work on with faith.
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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2013, 08:46:02 PM »


im glad people value men less than maggots in this thread


I am afraid that after watching the activities of man on this planet for 52 years, and being a student of History, I do value mankind less than maggots.  Maggots at least perform a useful function.  I have not seen what man does other than destroy.  Nothing that man has created or done matches the natural beauty that was created by God, but everything man touches is tarnished by his sin.  The maggot has never rejected his creator, nor did it crucify Him.  In that regard the maggot, yea even the fecal matter on which he feeds, is greater than man.  Perhaps if I truly understood the Incarnation I would think differently.  But I don't.  And I don't know if I ever will.

Well man doesn't create..... But with this understanding, I fully disagree.   As I watch the beauty of my children, I am humbled.   The things created by children are incredibly beautiful.




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« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2013, 08:47:37 PM »


im glad people value men less than maggots in this thread


I am afraid that after watching the activities of man on this planet for 52 years, and being a student of History, I do value mankind less than maggots.  Maggots at least perform a useful function.  I have not seen what man does other than destroy.  Nothing that man has created or done matches the natural beauty that was created by God, but everything man touches is tarnished by his sin.  The maggot has never rejected his creator, nor did it crucify Him.  In that regard the maggot, yea even the fecal matter on which he feeds, is greater than man.  Perhaps if I truly understood the Incarnation I would think differently.  But I don't.  And I don't know if I ever will.

Well man doesn't create..... But with this understanding, I fully disagree.   As I watch the beauty of my children, I am humbled.   The things created by children are incredibly beautiful.


Yet the greatest cruelty that I have witnessed is children dealing with other children.  Probably not a big deal if you shelter your children from everything.




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« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2013, 08:50:40 PM »

This is probably somewhat of a selfish answer, but....

If I were put in this scenario, I would not torture the enemy and try as hard as I can to save the people before the bomb goes off. I don't think that ends justify the means. At least if the people die, I will know that it was out of my control and that I at least tried to do the right thing and will have a clear conscience, whereas, if I torture the man and save them, I'll have had to have resorted to unjust means in the process.

Personally, I think that all of these ethical "dilemmas" are a bunch of bogus because they usually focus on a set of circumstances that would rarely (if ever) happen and expect you to try to rationalize something that isn't rational or possible in the first place. For example, they often start off with "and you couldn't do ANYTHING else other than the two options!" Well that's stupid--when would I be in a situation where those were my only two options? You could always at least TRY something different--a third party option--even if you fail at it.

James, what this is - is that people want worldly excuses to disobey God.   This is proof of our weak faith.  We should not torture people.  Torture is against all fundamentals of Christianity and our scriptures.

But as human beings, we rationalize the disobedience of God's will, even through hypothetical situations.  It's like preparing our souls for sin, on a hypothetical future that hasn't happened.

Torture is not a virtue of Christianity.
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« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2013, 09:03:00 PM »

Time has shown over and over that what you get when you torture someone is whatever they think you want to hear, which has nothing to do with the truth.

And what did Jesus think about being tortured, did that not show what God thought about it's futility.
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« Reply #40 on: June 04, 2013, 10:15:14 PM »

As I watch the beauty of my children, I am humbled. The things created by children are incredibly beautiful.

Yup. Then we pollute them and make them as bad as us Sad And what's even worse is that children don't always have as clear an understanding of restraint, so they may emulate the bad behavior they observe from us to an even crueler extent--hence why some of the meanest things I've ever seen done and/or endured were from children. I've seen children steal the crutches and/or other handicap equipment from other children who are disabled just to be mean. I've never seen an adult do that (who wasn't under the influence of alcohol at least).
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« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2013, 12:21:34 AM »

Mankind is an oxymoron!

The first person who proves to me no one with a Coexist! bumper sticker ain't pairing it with something like the above gets $100.
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« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2013, 01:01:24 AM »

Perhaps you are correct.  We will see one day.  However, I believe that God will judge those that stood by while the innocent were slaughtered the same as He will judge those that slaughtered them.  That is the basic difference in philosophy that causes such a divergence in our opinions.

We have no difference of opinion here brother. As I have emphasized repeatedly on this forum, nonviolence is not synonymous with non-action. If prayer, fasting, preaching, loving, sacrificing, and proclaiming the truth is "idleness," then the majority of Saints and monks throughout Orthodox history were guilty of idleness.


Dear Liza,

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.




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« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2013, 01:19:13 AM »

Perhaps you are correct.  We will see one day.  However, I believe that God will judge those that stood by while the innocent were slaughtered the same as He will judge those that slaughtered them.  That is the basic difference in philosophy that causes such a divergence in our opinions.


Dear Liza,

I wish everyone thought as deeply about and agonized as much over this issue as you have. I believe that it is evidence of true Christian character to be uncertain and wrestle with such complex issues of life and death, torture, human rights, etc. Some things are clearly wrong, like abortion. But examples like this one are much more complex. So, FWIW, I will offer my two cents:

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.

Just my thoughts.


Selam

...and therein lies the dilemma.

If it were merely "my" life on the line, that would be one thing.

But, this is thousands of lives.



Actually, this scenario is a present reality every day. Every day in America, thousands of innocent people are murdered. We have the ability to prevent their murders. It would seem obvious that the most certain way to prevent the murders of innocent unborn babies would be to kill the abortionists before they kill these babies. It is not our lives that are threatened, but the lives of thousands of innocent children. So, is it a Christian act to use violence to save these innocents? If not, then why would it be a Christian act to use violence in other situations?

There are nonviolent ways to intervene and save unborn lives. Nonviolent direct action may not seem as effective in saving lives as killing an abortionist would be; but as Christians our actions and beliefs should not be based upon pure pragmatism, but rather on Christian principle. The Gospel is not a pragmatic message. The Christian witness throughout history has always been mocked by the world as weak, naïve, and foolish. The Cross appeared to be the epitome of defeat, but in reality it was the supreme act of eternal victory.

So, we follow the Teachings of Our Lord and actively love even the wicked. And as I said before, we have no right to assume that violence and torture will be more effective than love and Christian witness. Will we trust in the power of the Gospel to transform minds and hearts, or will we trust in our own might and strength?

There is nothing idle about following Christ and loving our enemies. St. Moses the Ethiopian "allowed" his fellow monks to be killed along with himself because he refused to kill any longer. Was he condemned for apathy or idleness? Our Lord "allowed" His disciples to be tortured and killed because He refused to come down off the Cross and slay those who would kill His followers. But I dare not accuse Our Lord or the Saints of apathy, indifference, or idleness. God forbid!

One last thing to consider... Since the Incarnation of Our Lord, I can't think of a single instance in history where a thousand guilty people were killed without innocent people also being killed or injured in the process. The violence of man always leaves the blood of the innocent in its wake. Therefore, human violence is inherently unjust. So let us sheathe our swords and unleash our prayers. Let us agitate, confront, sacrifice, and actively love, but let us never torture or kill. Let us not assume that an infinite God can only work through our finite acts of violence. Instead, let us trust in the spiritual weapons that have been issued to us by our eternal Savior.  


Selam
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« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2013, 08:04:13 AM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions".

Yeah. That is exactly what I was advocating.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2013, 09:51:39 AM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions".

Yeah. That is exactly what I was advocating.  Roll Eyes

I will come back to this thread maybe and explain why the obsession with torture on both sides of the so-called aisle serve the same ideological ends.

But as someone who often shares my sense of humor and politics said, "do we really want to live in a society that feels free to discuss when it is OK to rape women."

If yes, then enjoy most of the posts in this thread.

If no, then you need to start asking a lot of questions which simply are not being raised.
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« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2013, 09:59:55 AM »


Actually, this scenario is a present reality every day. Every day in America, thousands of innocent people are murdered. We have the ability to prevent their murders. It would seem obvious that the most certain way to prevent the murders of innocent unborn babies would be to kill the abortionists before they kill these babies. It is not our lives that are threatened, but the lives of thousands of innocent children. So, is it a Christian act to use violence to save these innocents? If not, then why would it be a Christian act to use violence in other situations?


This was actually a very good comparison.

I would never think to hurt the doctor, because his life is just as valuable as the children's.

Good point.
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« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2013, 10:19:13 AM »

but I recognize that governments often have to do distasteful and disagreeable things in order to protect their citizenry.

of course. defend your class society built upon violence. get drunk in blood like everyone else. good to those that had their spirits deformed to save "thousands" and "millions".

Yeah. That is exactly what I was advocating.  Roll Eyes

I will come back to this thread maybe and explain why the obsession with torture on both sides of the so-called aisle serve the same ideological ends.

But as someone who often shares my sense of humor and politics said, "do we really want to live in a society that feels free to discuss when it is OK to rape women."

If yes, then enjoy most of the posts in this thread.

If no, then you need to start asking a lot of questions which simply are not being raised.

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say here, so I look forward to your explanation.
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« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2013, 10:45:46 AM »

It's the lives of innocents that would be going "to hell" not abstract notions of justice. Their lives, the pain of their relatives and the fear of society of being unprotected in face of terrorists would be the price for you not feeling miserable and being able to sleep at night.

The world is not God. The world does put us in situation where there are no good choices. To choose based on what would make *me* not feel emotional pain is the most selfish and imoral perspective of all.

3 - We have to balance morality on other issues as well: justice and number.
to hell with justice or whatever we call justice.

justice will not make me less miserable. whatever men under the spiritually draining world we called class society think of justice generally reduces to getting drunk out of retribution

im glad people value men less than maggots in this thread, but i cannot stand for men to be blasted into torture chambers

the responses in this thread are nothing short of horrific but not really surprising from the usual suspects.


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« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2013, 11:00:38 AM »

I remember actually arguing FOR torture a year or two ago on this board....now I'm not so sure. This is certainly a toughie.

PP
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« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2013, 11:04:46 AM »

Reading this thread could be regarded as torture in some circles  Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2013, 11:11:59 AM »

I remember actually arguing FOR torture a year or two ago on this board....now I'm not so sure. This is certainly a toughie.

PP
again another issue where you can't decide on where you stand.

have a little backbone sheesh
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« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2013, 11:17:33 AM »

I remember actually arguing FOR torture a year or two ago on this board....now I'm not so sure. This is certainly a toughie.

PP
again another issue where you can't decide on where you stand.

have a little backbone sheesh
I just dont like to make snap judgments on subjects. There is nothing wrong with questioning why one believes things. This is one of them.

Go pester someone else for a while.

PP
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« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2013, 11:52:25 AM »

I remember actually arguing FOR torture a year or two ago on this board....now I'm not so sure. This is certainly a toughie.

PP
again another issue where you can't decide on where you stand.

have a little backbone sheesh
I just dont like to make snap judgments on subjects. There is nothing wrong with questioning why one believes things. This is one of them.

Go pester someone else for a while.

PP

I completely agree.

There is no need for snap judgments.

I wish more folks would put some thought in to what they believe and why they believe it.
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« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2013, 11:56:48 AM »

I remember actually arguing FOR torture a year or two ago on this board....now I'm not so sure. This is certainly a toughie.

PP
again another issue where you can't decide on where you stand.

have a little backbone sheesh
I just dont like to make snap judgments on subjects. There is nothing wrong with questioning why one believes things. This is one of them.

Go pester someone else for a while.

PP

I completely agree.

There is no need for snap judgments.

I wish more folks would put some thought in to what they believe and why they believe it.

this is a topic that does not require much thought for a "judgement".

unless you are trying to be piously self serving I guess
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« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2013, 12:23:37 PM »

Reading this thread board could be regarded as torture in some circles  Smiley

Fixed it  Grin!
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« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2013, 12:30:51 PM »


LOL!  It can be, at times.

I don't understand why everyone simply can't think the way that I do!  Wink
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« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2013, 01:24:11 PM »


LOL!  It can be, at times.

I don't understand why everyone simply can't think the way that I do!  Wink

You took the words right outta my mouth  Grin Grin!
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« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2013, 03:55:12 PM »

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?

Ah, you never considered questions like these when you were 15?
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« Reply #59 on: June 05, 2013, 04:04:04 PM »


No.
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« Reply #60 on: June 05, 2013, 05:30:43 PM »

Ah, you never considered questions like these when you were 15?

I wrote a speech on Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear warfare when I was 17 years old.  It probably would get me kicked out of high school today.  BTW - I advocated the use of gas, but stood steadfastly opposed to nuclear and biological warfare.  The next year I wrote a research paper on the use of mercenaries in modern warfare.  I got the highest marks for both of those.  So, discussing torture at 15 does not seem too out of line.  But this is a much different world today. 
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« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2013, 07:13:16 PM »

Perhaps you are correct.  We will see one day.  However, I believe that God will judge those that stood by while the innocent were slaughtered the same as He will judge those that slaughtered them.  That is the basic difference in philosophy that causes such a divergence in our opinions.


Dear Liza,

I wish everyone thought as deeply about and agonized as much over this issue as you have. I believe that it is evidence of true Christian character to be uncertain and wrestle with such complex issues of life and death, torture, human rights, etc. Some things are clearly wrong, like abortion. But examples like this one are much more complex. So, FWIW, I will offer my two cents:

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.

Just my thoughts.


Selam

...and therein lies the dilemma.

If it were merely "my" life on the line, that would be one thing.

But, this is thousands of lives.



Actually, this scenario is a present reality every day. Every day in America, thousands of innocent people are murdered. We have the ability to prevent their murders. It would seem obvious that the most certain way to prevent the murders of innocent unborn babies would be to kill the abortionists before they kill these babies. It is not our lives that are threatened, but the lives of thousands of innocent children. So, is it a Christian act to use violence to save these innocents? If not, then why would it be a Christian act to use violence in other situations?

There are nonviolent ways to intervene and save unborn lives. Nonviolent direct action may not seem as effective in saving lives as killing an abortionist would be; but as Christians our actions and beliefs should not be based upon pure pragmatism, but rather on Christian principle. The Gospel is not a pragmatic message. The Christian witness throughout history has always been mocked by the world as weak, naïve, and foolish. The Cross appeared to be the epitome of defeat, but in reality it was the supreme act of eternal victory.

So, we follow the Teachings of Our Lord and actively love even the wicked. And as I said before, we have no right to assume that violence and torture will be more effective than love and Christian witness. Will we trust in the power of the Gospel to transform minds and hearts, or will we trust in our own might and strength?

There is nothing idle about following Christ and loving our enemies. St. Moses the Ethiopian "allowed" his fellow monks to be killed along with himself because he refused to kill any longer. Was he condemned for apathy or idleness? Our Lord "allowed" His disciples to be tortured and killed because He refused to come down off the Cross and slay those who would kill His followers. But I dare not accuse Our Lord or the Saints of apathy, indifference, or idleness. God forbid!

One last thing to consider... Since the Incarnation of Our Lord, I can't think of a single instance in history where a thousand guilty people were killed without innocent people also being killed or injured in the process. The violence of man always leaves the blood of the innocent in its wake. Therefore, human violence is inherently unjust. So let us sheathe our swords and unleash our prayers. Let us agitate, confront, sacrifice, and actively love, but let us never torture or kill. Let us not assume that an infinite God can only work through our finite acts of violence. Instead, let us trust in the spiritual weapons that have been issued to us by our eternal Savior.  


Selam

I agree with you and would like to say that the greatest act of Nonviolent action in the US was by Martin luther King, who did with non violent protest what the Civil War could not do.

It is also true that MLK modeled his effort on another great achievement of this type by the people of India under the guidance of Gandhi.

God taught us this when he overcame all with his sons greatest sacrifice, and sent the disciples not to start a war, as the Jews were hoping, but to spread his word and to die in his name while using his actions in the face of the violence that was done to the Lord, without striking back as God could have done easily, was the greatest thing they could do.

Mathew 5
Eye for Eye

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’h 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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« Reply #62 on: June 06, 2013, 03:09:42 AM »

And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
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« Reply #63 on: June 06, 2013, 03:38:12 AM »

Perhaps you are correct.  We will see one day.  However, I believe that God will judge those that stood by while the innocent were slaughtered the same as He will judge those that slaughtered them.  That is the basic difference in philosophy that causes such a divergence in our opinions.


Dear Liza,

I wish everyone thought as deeply about and agonized as much over this issue as you have. I believe that it is evidence of true Christian character to be uncertain and wrestle with such complex issues of life and death, torture, human rights, etc. Some things are clearly wrong, like abortion. But examples like this one are much more complex. So, FWIW, I will offer my two cents:

I think the Christian act is to always err on the side of never actively harming or killing anyone. God is in sovereign control of the potentialities and the consequences. Christ has instructed us to actively love all people, even those who are evil. We assume that torture would save thousands of lives. But what if rather than torturing this individual we loved him and preached Christ to him? Perhaps his heart would be converted and those thousands of lives would still be saved. We know that the truth and love of the gospel has power to save anyone. So my answer would be to trust in the spiritual power of love and the eternal power of the gospel rather than in the temporal power of torture and violence.

Ultimately, God will avenge the innocent and recompense the evildoer. I don't think we will be condemned on Judgment Day for trusting in the power of love and nonviolence rather than in the power of our own violent force.

Just my thoughts.


Selam

...and therein lies the dilemma.

If it were merely "my" life on the line, that would be one thing.

But, this is thousands of lives.



Actually, this scenario is a present reality every day. Every day in America, thousands of innocent people are murdered. We have the ability to prevent their murders. It would seem obvious that the most certain way to prevent the murders of innocent unborn babies would be to kill the abortionists before they kill these babies. It is not our lives that are threatened, but the lives of thousands of innocent children. So, is it a Christian act to use violence to save these innocents? If not, then why would it be a Christian act to use violence in other situations?

There are nonviolent ways to intervene and save unborn lives. Nonviolent direct action may not seem as effective in saving lives as killing an abortionist would be; but as Christians our actions and beliefs should not be based upon pure pragmatism, but rather on Christian principle. The Gospel is not a pragmatic message. The Christian witness throughout history has always been mocked by the world as weak, naïve, and foolish. The Cross appeared to be the epitome of defeat, but in reality it was the supreme act of eternal victory.

So, we follow the Teachings of Our Lord and actively love even the wicked. And as I said before, we have no right to assume that violence and torture will be more effective than love and Christian witness. Will we trust in the power of the Gospel to transform minds and hearts, or will we trust in our own might and strength?

There is nothing idle about following Christ and loving our enemies. St. Moses the Ethiopian "allowed" his fellow monks to be killed along with himself because he refused to kill any longer. Was he condemned for apathy or idleness? Our Lord "allowed" His disciples to be tortured and killed because He refused to come down off the Cross and slay those who would kill His followers. But I dare not accuse Our Lord or the Saints of apathy, indifference, or idleness. God forbid!

One last thing to consider... Since the Incarnation of Our Lord, I can't think of a single instance in history where a thousand guilty people were killed without innocent people also being killed or injured in the process. The violence of man always leaves the blood of the innocent in its wake. Therefore, human violence is inherently unjust. So let us sheathe our swords and unleash our prayers. Let us agitate, confront, sacrifice, and actively love, but let us never torture or kill. Let us not assume that an infinite God can only work through our finite acts of violence. Instead, let us trust in the spiritual weapons that have been issued to us by our eternal Savior.  


Selam

I agree with you and would like to say that the greatest act of Nonviolent action in the US was by Martin luther King, who did with non violent protest what the Civil War could not do.

It is also true that MLK modeled his effort on another great achievement of this type by the people of India under the guidance of Gandhi.

God taught us this when he overcame all with his sons greatest sacrifice, and sent the disciples not to start a war, as the Jews were hoping, but to spread his word and to die in his name while using his actions in the face of the violence that was done to the Lord, without striking back as God could have done easily, was the greatest thing they could do.

Mathew 5
Eye for Eye

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’h 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Amen my friend. Amen.


Selam
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« Reply #64 on: June 06, 2013, 05:54:08 PM »

The tangent on whether we should have nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been moved to Politics.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23353.msg934001.html#msg934001
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« Reply #65 on: June 07, 2013, 02:56:00 AM »

Well, in most of my life since I am American of course I have been pushed more to be in favor of torture because we do it, "for the end justifies the means"


But I feel it should not be done now, ever. For instance, if we are all created in the image of God, even muslim terrorists, are we still not in some sense torturing the image of God when conducting torture?

It reminds me, one byzantine emperor ( I do not know which) said to respect prisoners of war, and to treat them well because even though they are enemies (and usually also heathens) they were still created in the image of God and should be respected.


I feel even in this hypothetical scenario, I should still say no do not torture him because this life is not the one we will live forever in...





random thoughts from half asleep 2:00 AM person
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« Reply #66 on: June 07, 2013, 02:58:06 AM »

but some more random thoughts



But at the same time, in history the church has sentenced heretics to death. but you are killing one who was made in the image of God!!! but well, they still did it... so perhaps it can be argued that if one is against God that it is justifiable, such as torture to save others...

but I do not like that thinking

(wow, three buts in a row I noticed...)
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« Reply #67 on: June 07, 2013, 04:31:50 AM »

Generally, I am opposed to torture. However, I might have to rethink this after reading the American news recently. A woman was taking her baby in a carriage, strolling pleasantly in a park, when all of a sudden, without provocation,  a punk (or two) with a gun came, demanded money and then shot the child in the face, dead in the carriage. AFAIK, this was a true story. I don't know if life in prison or if the death penalty is too lenient for such punks. Perhaps torture is in order for such crimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/us/georgia-baby-killed
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« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2013, 05:56:58 AM »

Generally, I am opposed to torture. However, I might have to rethink this after reading the American news recently. A woman was taking her baby in a carriage, strolling pleasantly in a park, when all of a sudden, without provocation,  a punk (or two) with a gun came, demanded money and then shot the child in the face, dead in the carriage. AFAIK, this was a true story. I don't know if life in prison or if the death penalty is too lenient for such punks. Perhaps torture is in order for such crimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/us/georgia-baby-killed

I understand. I know exactly how you feel. If I am ever persuaded that violence is the appropriate Christian response to evil, then I can assure you that I have some plans already worked out in my mind. But the bottom line is that - in spite of my hypothetical plots - I realize that I can never exact the vengeance that God alone can exact. The evildoers won't escape divine wrath, and the innocent shall "bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10] The wicked flourish for a season, but justice shall prevail eternally. Trust this.


Selam
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« Reply #69 on: June 07, 2013, 03:41:51 PM »

Generally, I am opposed to torture. However, I might have to rethink this after reading the American news recently. A woman was taking her baby in a carriage, strolling pleasantly in a park, when all of a sudden, without provocation,  a punk (or two) with a gun came, demanded money and then shot the child in the face, dead in the carriage. AFAIK, this was a true story. I don't know if life in prison or if the death penalty is too lenient for such punks. Perhaps torture is in order for such crimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/us/georgia-baby-killed

I understand. I know exactly how you feel. If I am ever persuaded that violence is the appropriate Christian response to evil, then I can assure you that I have some plans already worked out in my mind. But the bottom line is that - in spite of my hypothetical plots - I realize that I can never exact the vengeance that God alone can exact. The evildoers won't escape divine wrath, and the innocent shall "bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10] The wicked flourish for a season, but justice shall prevail eternally. Trust this.


Selam
In a way you are right. Still, life in an American prison seems somewhat lenient for such a crime.
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« Reply #70 on: June 07, 2013, 04:07:44 PM »

Generally, I am opposed to torture. However, I might have to rethink this after reading the American news recently. A woman was taking her baby in a carriage, strolling pleasantly in a park, when all of a sudden, without provocation,  a punk (or two) with a gun came, demanded money and then shot the child in the face, dead in the carriage. AFAIK, this was a true story. I don't know if life in prison or if the death penalty is too lenient for such punks. Perhaps torture is in order for such crimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/us/georgia-baby-killed

I understand. I know exactly how you feel. If I am ever persuaded that violence is the appropriate Christian response to evil, then I can assure you that I have some plans already worked out in my mind. But the bottom line is that - in spite of my hypothetical plots - I realize that I can never exact the vengeance that God alone can exact. The evildoers won't escape divine wrath, and the innocent shall "bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10] The wicked flourish for a season, but justice shall prevail eternally. Trust this.


Selam

All that assumes that the evildoers will not convert, repent, and confess, though, doesn't it?
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« Reply #71 on: June 07, 2013, 06:19:01 PM »

Generally, I am opposed to torture. However, I might have to rethink this after reading the American news recently. A woman was taking her baby in a carriage, strolling pleasantly in a park, when all of a sudden, without provocation,  a punk (or two) with a gun came, demanded money and then shot the child in the face, dead in the carriage. AFAIK, this was a true story. I don't know if life in prison or if the death penalty is too lenient for such punks. Perhaps torture is in order for such crimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/us/georgia-baby-killed

They were also very content that their judgements were justified in Jerusalem on what we now call Good Friday.

Jesus taught that all have sinned, and all sin is equal , which he said can be forgiven, except the sin of rejecting him, your pronouncement is no different than the people made on the whore for stoning, we are not any better judge than they,  for which Jesus reply was that the one without sin should throw the first stone. Are we sinless?

This is what God says .
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« Reply #72 on: June 07, 2013, 10:12:10 PM »

Jesus taught that all have sinned, and all sin is equal ...
I missed the part where He said that all sin was equal. Are you putting words into His mouth, words which He really did not say at all? Is it all right to put your own words and your own opinions  into the mouth of Jesus Christ and make Him say things which He did not really say at all?  I don't believe that all sin is equal. Where specifically did Jesus Christ teach: "All sin is equal."
Take for example one person who steals a five cent used pencil from school. And another who without provocation goes around shooting children in the head.  I don't believe these sins to be equal. In one case, no one is harmed and the loss is very small and practically unnoticeable. Still it is a sin of theft.  In the other case, people's lives are ruined forever. Society has to have a way to deter maladjusted punks from hurting innocent people. My sympathy lies with the family who has been victimised by this horrible and painful  crime.
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« Reply #73 on: June 07, 2013, 10:24:25 PM »

Jesus taught that all have sinned, and all sin is equal ...
I missed the part where He said that all sin was equal. Are you putting words into His mouth, words which He really did not say at all? Is it all right to put your own words and your own opinions  into the mouth of Jesus Christ and make Him say things which He did not really say at all?  I don't believe that all sin is equal. Where specifically did Jesus Christ teach: "All sin is equal."
Take for example one person who steals a five cent used pencil from school. And another who without provocation goes around shooting children in the head.  I don't believe these sins to be equal. In one case, no one is harmed and the loss is very small and practically unnoticeable. Still it is a sin of theft.  In the other case, people's lives are ruined forever. Society has to have a way to deter maladjusted punks from hurting innocent people. My sympathy lies with the family who has been victimised by this horrible and painful  crime.

what is heavier, 200 pounds of gravel or a 100 pound boulder?
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« Reply #74 on: June 07, 2013, 10:46:32 PM »

Jesus taught that all have sinned, and all sin is equal ...
I missed the part where He said that all sin was equal. Are you putting words into His mouth, words which He really did not say at all? Is it all right to put your own words and your own opinions  into the mouth of Jesus Christ and make Him say things which He did not really say at all?  I don't believe that all sin is equal. Where specifically did Jesus Christ teach: "All sin is equal."
Take for example one person who steals a five cent used pencil from school. And another who without provocation goes around shooting children in the head.  I don't believe these sins to be equal. In one case, no one is harmed and the loss is very small and practically unnoticeable. Still it is a sin of theft.  In the other case, people's lives are ruined forever. Society has to have a way to deter maladjusted punks from hurting innocent people. My sympathy lies with the family who has been victimised by this horrible and painful  crime.

what is heavier, 200 pounds of gravel or a 100 pound boulder?

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
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« Reply #75 on: June 08, 2013, 04:55:22 AM »

Jesus taught that all have sinned, and all sin is equal ...
I missed the part where He said that all sin was equal. Are you putting words into His mouth, words which He really did not say at all? Is it all right to put your own words and your own opinions  into the mouth of Jesus Christ and make Him say things which He did not really say at all?  I don't believe that all sin is equal. Where specifically did Jesus Christ teach: "All sin is equal."
Take for example one person who steals a five cent used pencil from school. And another who without provocation goes around shooting children in the head.  I don't believe these sins to be equal. In one case, no one is harmed and the loss is very small and practically unnoticeable. Still it is a sin of theft.  In the other case, people's lives are ruined forever. Society has to have a way to deter maladjusted punks from hurting innocent people. My sympathy lies with the family who has been victimised by this horrible and painful  crime.

what is heavier, 200 pounds of gravel or a 100 pound boulder?

I wish Christianity would leave such nonsense to Eastern religions and Yoda.
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« Reply #76 on: June 08, 2013, 07:02:52 AM »

I think we could bear in mind that forensic science is much more advanced today than in ancient times. It used to be that you either needed eyewitness testimony or a confession, since the legal system did not have a sound way to interpret evidence that couldn't talk back. In that context, one can imagine how torture could be seen as a necessary, if regrettable from a Christian point of view, part of legal process.

I don't think you can argue that torture is intrinsically un-Christian, any more than capital or corporal punishment. All these are cruel, but cruelty has always been recognized as necessary to avert greater evils. The question should be more practical: in this day and age, do we actually need to torture people, or to execute them, or to sentence them to beatings or mutilation, in order to enforce the law and maintain stability and security?
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« Reply #77 on: June 08, 2013, 12:31:07 PM »

I think we could bear in mind that forensic science is much more advanced today than in ancient times. It used to be that you either needed eyewitness testimony or a confession, since the legal system did not have a sound way to interpret evidence that couldn't talk back. In that context, one can imagine how torture could be seen as a necessary, if regrettable from a Christian point of view, part of legal process.

I don't think you can argue that torture is intrinsically un-Christian, any more than capital or corporal punishment. All these are cruel, but cruelty has always been recognized as necessary to avert greater evils. The question should be more practical: in this day and age, do we actually need to torture people, or to execute them, or to sentence them to beatings or mutilation, in order to enforce the law and maintain stability and security?

Interesting. I tend to agree.

The entire concept of civil liberty and limits seems always to be viewed as an adaptative process built on a framework of  assumed and generally accepted "givens." Murder is bad" probably being universally at the core ( of course defining "murder" can be contentious in its own right.) .

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« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2013, 01:40:43 PM »

Generally, I am opposed to torture. However, I might have to rethink this after reading the American news recently. A woman was taking her baby in a carriage, strolling pleasantly in a park, when all of a sudden, without provocation,  a punk (or two) with a gun came, demanded money and then shot the child in the face, dead in the carriage. AFAIK, this was a true story. I don't know if life in prison or if the death penalty is too lenient for such punks. Perhaps torture is in order for such crimes.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/us/georgia-baby-killed

I understand. I know exactly how you feel. If I am ever persuaded that violence is the appropriate Christian response to evil, then I can assure you that I have some plans already worked out in my mind. But the bottom line is that - in spite of my hypothetical plots - I realize that I can never exact the vengeance that God alone can exact. The evildoers won't escape divine wrath, and the innocent shall "bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10] The wicked flourish for a season, but justice shall prevail eternally. Trust this.


Selam

All that assumes that the evildoers will not convert, repent, and confess, though, doesn't it?

Well, if they're still evildoers at the Day of Judgment, then that means they haven't repented. Of course, we all need to examine our own hearts first and beg God's mercy for our own souls. But as I have frequently pointed out, one of the reasons I am a pacifist is because I don't want to rob anyone of the opportunity to repent by destroying their lives.


Selam
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« Reply #79 on: June 08, 2013, 02:24:26 PM »

Personally, I'd rather ten guilty people go free than to have even one innocent person tortured or convicted for a crime he didn't commit. In the American legal system (at least in theory) you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That being said, when would be the appropriate time to torture someone? Before they are proven guilty? Then legally, you would be torturing an innocent person and I don't agree with that. After they have been proven guilty? Well why would you even need to torture them anymore if they have already bee proven guilty and thus probably already confessed everything they know and did?
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« Reply #80 on: June 08, 2013, 03:16:18 PM »

Jesus taught that all have sinned, and all sin is equal , which he said can be forgiven, except the sin of rejecting him, your pronouncement is no different than the people made on the whore for stoning, we are not any better judge than they,  for which Jesus reply was that the one without sin should throw the first stone.
If all sin is equal, why should the punishment vary?
Luke 12:47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows."
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« Reply #81 on: June 08, 2013, 07:25:47 PM »

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man went to hell simply because he ignored Lazarus, while God has forgiven murderers such as Moses and David, and Jesus took the thief crucified next to him, to paradise that day.

Jesus said it was harder for the rich man to go to heaven, why did he not say the usual we here today about the crazy murderer, because the rich man never understands what he does is sinful, therefore he does not repent or ask God's forgiveness, therefore he goes to Hell while the murderer who hates what he has done because he is sick , and asks God to forgive him is in heaven.

The issue is we cannot understand things as we cannot see them as God does. Thus we were instructed to forgive, Love your enemies,Judge not, lest you be judged.

All sin is equal because all sin can be forgiven.

Mark 3:28
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

Here is what a learned book says about the passage you Quoted,
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
12:41-53 All are to take to themselves what Christ says in his word, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorant as not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and many things to be right which he neglects; therefore all are without excuse in their sin. The bringing in the gospel dispensation would occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. There was to be a wide publication of the gospel. But before that took place, Christ had a baptism to be baptized with, far different from that of water and the Holy Spirit. He must endure sufferings and death. It agreed not with his plan to preach the gospel more widely, till this baptism was completed. We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man's own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.


 It is easy to take things like that literally, just like the one about  taking up swords is always misconstrued , as the Lord above all else taught that God wants MERCY. He wants you to humbly admit your sin and make an effort to change.Thus you can be forgiven any sin.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 07:46:26 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #82 on: June 08, 2013, 07:46:17 PM »

All sin is equal because all sin can be forgiven.
I don't see where Jesus taught that all sin is equal. I read that He taught that some sin is greater than others. John 19: 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
Let's take another example. Suppose at work, the boss tells you that the Xerox machine is to be used for business only. For any personal copies, you must pay five cents per copy. Suppose then that you make one personal copy and don't pay the five cents that is due to the boss. That would be a sin of theft. How is that equal to a sin (reported in the American news as linked to above) where,without provocation,  a punk shoots a baby child in the face and kills the child? One sin is quite small, and almost negligible, whereas the other is a huge sin, deserving of severe punishment, perhaps even some kind of torture. This type of crime is horrific.
Further, the Bible says that the punishment will vary according to where someone guilty of a greater sin shall receive many lashes, whereas someone guilty of a lessor sin receives only a few lashes. Luke 12: 46-48.
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« Reply #83 on: June 08, 2013, 08:36:22 PM »

All sins can be forgiven, so what else is there to say, that you are not a good Judge, none are.
You do not seem to have read what I wrote, nor understand the commentary I posted from a notable source who does not agree with yours.

If God is willing to forgive those who have murdered in the Bible, what makes you better than Moses who murdered out of his infamous temper, or David who murdered for the woman he was committing adultery with.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus is plainly telling us that the one with more sin is forgiven, while the one who thinks he is perfect is headed to damnation.

It is not the sin that God looks at, because in his eyes all fall short of his goodness, none deserve his mercy, it is a gift of his Grace.

This is also why it is said you cannot earn salvation, if you could then you have no need for our Lord and savior Jesus , you can just act as the Jews who think they are righteous and who like the parable above plainly shows, it is the righteous who are damned if they think that they do not need to humble themselves.

Also in the communion prayer at an Eastern Orthodox church we are supposed to read before approaching the altar, I count myself among the sinners, of which I am the worst .

It is our duty to humble ourselves, God will decide who is worthy of mercy.
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« Reply #84 on: June 08, 2013, 08:42:01 PM »

I'm not sure I follow your logic. Just because all sin can be forgiven does not make it equal.

All products in the store can be bought, but that doesn't make them the same price.

There are more serious, graver sins and there are less serious sins.  The priest does not give the same penance for every sin.

We are not to judge which sins are worse, we are to flee all sins, but God, who is judge, looks at our lives, He will judge some sins more harshly than others.  If He didn't, He wouldn't be a judge, He would be an accountant just counting up sins.
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« Reply #85 on: June 09, 2013, 08:12:53 PM »

Jesus when confronted with the question of whether they should stone the whore, he said to them the one without sin cast the first stone, he did not specify the sin.

In your definition , the one who did no more than tell white lies all his life, should then feel free to stone her.

◄  James 2:10  ►

New International Version (©2011)
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.


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« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2013, 09:56:03 AM »

Jesus when confronted with the question of whether they should stone the whore, he said to them the one without sin cast the first stone, he did not specify the sin.

In your definition , the one who did no more than tell white lies all his life, should then feel free to stone her.

◄  James 2:10  ►

New International Version (©2011)
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.


Still not following your logic. My definition does not say that at all and does not contradict what Christ said.  Scripture even states that a sin can be so great as to be unforgivable (i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit).  The only time I have heard what you are arguing is in evangelical circles, not in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2013, 10:18:31 AM »

Jesus when confronted with the question of whether they should stone the whore, he said to them the one without sin cast the first stone, he did not specify the sin.

In your definition , the one who did no more than tell white lies all his life, should then feel free to stone her.

◄  James 2:10  ►

New International Version (©2011)
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.


Still not following your logic. My definition does not say that at all and does not contradict what Christ said.  Scripture even states that a sin can be so great as to be unforgivable (i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit).  The only time I have heard what you are arguing is in evangelical circles, not in Orthodoxy.

Sorry, but I agree with whatever was posted that you are replying to. Those triangles have me bewitched.
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« Reply #88 on: June 10, 2013, 10:20:40 AM »

I shall humbly submit to the triangles then.  Grin
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« Reply #89 on: June 10, 2013, 11:34:10 AM »

I shall humbly submit to the triangles then.  Grin

How'd he do that, anyway??  You know, the triangle thingees.  Huh Huh
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« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2013, 11:40:52 AM »

╔══════════════╗
║   ◄ J Michael ►   ║
╚══════════════╝
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« Reply #91 on: June 10, 2013, 11:46:16 AM »

╔══════════════╗
║   ◄ J Michael ►   ║
╚══════════════╝

What is that witchcraft you are doing there?  Not only triangles but also angles in the box corners? 

Tell me how you did that or I will invoke Exodus 22:18.
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« Reply #92 on: June 10, 2013, 11:51:15 AM »

▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
■ I SHALL NOT YIELD! ■
▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
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« Reply #93 on: June 10, 2013, 11:58:03 AM »

╔══╤══╗
║ o │ o ║
╚══╧══╝
     ∞
\______/
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« Reply #94 on: June 10, 2013, 12:15:35 PM »

╔══╤══╗
║ o │ o ║
╚══╧══╝
     ∞
\______/

Now, THAT ^ is torture!!

Take that \/ , you villain!










(Sorry...it's the best I can do in the time I have left.... Sad Sad Sad)
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« Reply #95 on: June 10, 2013, 12:24:26 PM »

Villain? Me? Impossible! In fact I repay your comment with a gift!

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« Reply #96 on: June 10, 2013, 12:27:38 PM »

Villain? Me? Impossible! In fact I repay your comment with a gift!



EEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!






(Unfair and illegal use of wmd's, you devil!)

















But...how DO you do that?HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh
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Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #97 on: June 10, 2013, 07:21:29 PM »

Jesus when confronted with the question of whether they should stone the whore, he said to them the one without sin cast the first stone, he did not specify the sin.

In your definition , the one who did no more than tell white lies all his life, should then feel free to stone her.

◄  James 2:10  ►

New International Version (©2011)
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.


Still not following your logic. My definition does not say that at all and does not contradict what Christ said.  Scripture even states that a sin can be so great as to be unforgivable (i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit).  The only time I have heard what you are arguing is in evangelical circles, not in Orthodoxy.

Christ was telling them that all who sin no matter which sin were just as guilty as the prostitute. Otherwise he could not just say, "he without sin", he would have to qualify it, as you claimed the good judge God has too.

I have been told by many Greek Orthodox Priests about these things, some who are bishops now, one time at a Bible class with our priest he said exactly what I have said about the mass murderer in heaven, and used the passage where Christ tells the disciples there are many rooms in God's mansion , which he explained as they are not all equal in heaven, as Jesus also taught those who are great on earth will be less in heaven.

Look at what he said about the prodigal son, he did not treat him as his older son thought he deserved, he treated him better than even his faithful son. Such is God's mercy to a repentant sinner, no matter what the sin.

When Jesus was crucified for our sins, he said "forgive them for they know not what they do". He was murdered for our sins! if God was as you say they all would have been struck down for killing God's son. And we would still be guilty of our sins.

Jesus said God desires mercy above all .

The parable of the workers is also about this ,
Matthew 20
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denariusa for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7“ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

So God is saying he will pay those who have done little or sinned less the same as those who have kept every law and worked from the start. And he is telling us it is not ours to decide.
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« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2013, 07:36:21 PM »

"'He who delivers me unto you has the greater sin" (John 19:11)

--Jesus
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« Reply #99 on: June 24, 2013, 12:52:57 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 
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« Reply #100 on: June 24, 2013, 04:02:24 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties.  


We do this all the time. I am not sure the point of your post. If you have a child, I can assure you, you do so because you've decided others should die or suffer.

The real problem in this thread is that it suggests hypotheticals that will never happen and that torture is ineffective except in feeling a little better about the world for some people.

Under certain circumstances, I would be one of those persons. I can easily imagine circumstances under which I would gladly and without much difficulty do some monstrous stuff to people, I am just not sure I want to enshrine this part of myself into law.
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« Reply #101 on: June 24, 2013, 05:04:20 AM »

maybe i missed it from earlier in the thread, but i think the 'orthodox answer' is this:
1. find holy person who has good spiritual life and the gift of prophecy.
2. ask him / her where the bomb is.
3. find bomb diffusing person person to diffuse bomb.
4. fast and pray during bomb diffusal.
5. meanwhile holy person talks to bad bomber about God.
6. bad bomber repents / or is consumed by fire from heaven (if not repentant)
7. go to church to pray and thank God, inviting grateful people saved from bomb who now turn to God.
8. (optional) have party with gyros / falafel (depending if fasting period) where bomb diffusing person decides to become catechumen.
 angel

as for the answer the nephew needs to give, it is to say whatever he discovers in his research, adding at the beginning (or end, whichever is appropriate) that he is arguing his point according to his research, not according to his personal opinion.
in higher education, extra points are given for being able to argue a case from a point of view which is not your own.

lizasymonenko, has he had the class yet? how did it go?
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« Reply #102 on: June 24, 2013, 05:56:44 AM »

maybe i missed it from earlier in the thread, but i think the 'orthodox answer' is this:
1. find holy person who has good spiritual life and the gift of prophecy.
2. ask him / her where the bomb is.
3. find bomb diffusing person person to diffuse bomb.
4. fast and pray during bomb diffusal.
5. meanwhile holy person talks to bad bomber about God.
6. bad bomber repents / or is consumed by fire from heaven (if not repentant)
7. go to church to pray and thank God, inviting grateful people saved from bomb who now turn to God.
8. (optional) have party with gyros / falafel (depending if fasting period) where bomb diffusing person decides to become catechumen.
 angel

as for the answer the nephew needs to give, it is to say whatever he discovers in his research, adding at the beginning (or end, whichever is appropriate) that he is arguing his point according to his research, not according to his personal opinion.
in higher education, extra points are given for being able to argue a case from a point of view which is not your own.

lizasymonenko, has he had the class yet? how did it go?
But the hypothesis is what if you cannot find a "holy person who has good spiritual life and the gift of prophecy". Only the criminal knows where the bomb is hidden. No one else can tell you that.
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« Reply #103 on: June 24, 2013, 08:43:49 AM »

God knows.
if it His will, He will reveal it. if we bring our lives in line with His will, He will speak to us.
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« Reply #104 on: June 24, 2013, 09:23:26 AM »

maybe i missed it from earlier in the thread, but i think the 'orthodox answer' is this:
1. find holy person who has good spiritual life and the gift of prophecy.
2. ask him / her where the bomb is.
3. find bomb diffusing person person to diffuse bomb.
4. fast and pray during bomb diffusal.
5. meanwhile holy person talks to bad bomber about God.
6. bad bomber repents / or is consumed by fire from heaven (if not repentant)
7. go to church to pray and thank God, inviting grateful people saved from bomb who now turn to God.
8. (optional) have party with gyros / falafel (depending if fasting period) where bomb diffusing person decides to become catechumen.
 angel

as for the answer the nephew needs to give, it is to say whatever he discovers in his research, adding at the beginning (or end, whichever is appropriate) that he is arguing his point according to his research, not according to his personal opinion.
in higher education, extra points are given for being able to argue a case from a point of view which is not your own.

lizasymonenko, has he had the class yet? how did it go?
But the hypothesis is what if you cannot find a "holy person who has good spiritual life and the gift of prophecy". Only the criminal knows where the bomb is hidden. No one else can tell you that.


What is the criminal has hidden the holy person in a separate hiding place from the bomb?  Which do you look for first?  If you decide to torture him, do you ask for the location of the holy person first or the bomb??

These are important details.
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« Reply #105 on: June 24, 2013, 09:25:31 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
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« Reply #106 on: June 24, 2013, 03:51:10 PM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.
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« Reply #107 on: June 24, 2013, 03:53:57 PM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.

I answered you. The question is rhetorical navel gazing. When we stop living off the lives of others we can get serious about your attempt to expand the moral context of the situation.

See this is the problem with moralists, it's not that they moralize too much, rather it is that they do not moralize enough. I believe the affliction is one of lack of imagination.
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« Reply #108 on: June 24, 2013, 07:41:45 PM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.

I answered you. The question is rhetorical navel gazing. When we stop living off the lives of others we can get serious about your attempt to expand the moral context of the situation.

See this is the problem with moralists, it's not that they moralize too much, rather it is that they do not moralize enough. I believe the affliction is one of lack of imagination.
Well, I see at least three ways of answering the posed question:
1. You can say: Why are you asking this question?  Are you trying to be a troublemaker?  The question involves an unrealistic hypothetical and as such the question is a waste of time and rhetorical naval gazing. You should ask better questions than this, but you don't don't  because you are afflicted with a lack of imagination.
2. You can avoid the hypothetical of the question by proposing a workaround.  You don't torture the person, but instead you think of various ways of getting around this while at the same time finding out where the bomb is hidden.  For example, you consult a religious and holy seer who will tell you where the bomb is in time to disable it. You then convert the criminal  and he repents of his sin and leads a holy life thereafter, devoting his time and energy to charitable enterprises, helping the poor, and bringing many  people to the true Church. That way no one is hurt and everyone is pleased as punch.
3. You can try to answer the question straightforwardly and honestly and explore the morality of choosing the lesser of two evils. Of course, in this case, you open yourself up to ad hominem insults especially from those who do not like difficult questions. 
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« Reply #109 on: June 24, 2013, 08:04:53 PM »

I don't think it's just about numbers. If you have good reason to suspect someone actually has information and is withholding it, I think it's not unreasonable to say that this person earns the torture in some way. The same can't be said for his daughter.
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« Reply #110 on: June 25, 2013, 09:21:25 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.

I answered you. The question is rhetorical navel gazing. When we stop living off the lives of others we can get serious about your attempt to expand the moral context of the situation.

See this is the problem with moralists, it's not that they moralize too much, rather it is that they do not moralize enough. I believe the affliction is one of lack of imagination.
Well, I see at least three ways of answering the posed question:
1. You can say: Why are you asking this question?  Are you trying to be a troublemaker?  The question involves an unrealistic hypothetical and as such the question is a waste of time and rhetorical naval gazing. You should ask better questions than this, but you don't don't  because you are afflicted with a lack of imagination.
2. You can avoid the hypothetical of the question by proposing a workaround.  You don't torture the person, but instead you think of various ways of getting around this while at the same time finding out where the bomb is hidden.  For example, you consult a religious and holy seer who will tell you where the bomb is in time to disable it. You then convert the criminal  and he repents of his sin and leads a holy life thereafter, devoting his time and energy to charitable enterprises, helping the poor, and bringing many  people to the true Church. That way no one is hurt and everyone is pleased as punch.
3. You can try to answer the question straightforwardly and honestly and explore the morality of choosing the lesser of two evils. Of course, in this case, you open yourself up to ad hominem insults especially from those who do not like difficult questions. 


How, then, is what I said a workaround?  You presented me with a situation and I answered it honestly looking for the most efficient answer.  Those people about to be bombed didn't want to be part of this situation.  They have a right to be free from getting blowed up.  Homeboy, on the other hand, potentially planted a bomb and is not being forthcoming.  I think it is important to have other evidence before taking bits off of him, but if there is compelling evidence that he did it (such as bragging about it, being recorded discussing it...something very convincing) I think taking him apart to get the info is acceptable. 

As for the daughter...nits become lice.  If there is any possibility that she knows she is open game, as far as I'm concerned.  But I don't think you need to go all out on her.  See how he reacts to threats against her.  Let her see some nasty things and perhaps she'll help out daddy by giving you some info.  The likelihood of a little girl just being obstinate for "the cause", though, is highly unlikely.   
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« Reply #111 on: June 26, 2013, 02:55:45 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.

I answered you. The question is rhetorical navel gazing. When we stop living off the lives of others we can get serious about your attempt to expand the moral context of the situation.

See this is the problem with moralists, it's not that they moralize too much, rather it is that they do not moralize enough. I believe the affliction is one of lack of imagination.
Well, I see at least three ways of answering the posed question:
1. You can say: Why are you asking this question?  Are you trying to be a troublemaker?  The question involves an unrealistic hypothetical and as such the question is a waste of time and rhetorical naval gazing. You should ask better questions than this, but you don't don't  because you are afflicted with a lack of imagination.
2. You can avoid the hypothetical of the question by proposing a workaround.  You don't torture the person, but instead you think of various ways of getting around this while at the same time finding out where the bomb is hidden.  For example, you consult a religious and holy seer who will tell you where the bomb is in time to disable it. You then convert the criminal  and he repents of his sin and leads a holy life thereafter, devoting his time and energy to charitable enterprises, helping the poor, and bringing many  people to the true Church. That way no one is hurt and everyone is pleased as punch.
3. You can try to answer the question straightforwardly and honestly and explore the morality of choosing the lesser of two evils. Of course, in this case, you open yourself up to ad hominem insults especially from those who do not like difficult questions. 


How, then, is what I said a workaround?  You presented me with a situation and I answered it honestly looking for the most efficient answer.  Those people about to be bombed didn't want to be part of this situation.  They have a right to be free from getting blowed up.  Homeboy, on the other hand, potentially planted a bomb and is not being forthcoming.  I think it is important to have other evidence before taking bits off of him, but if there is compelling evidence that he did it (such as bragging about it, being recorded discussing it...something very convincing) I think taking him apart to get the info is acceptable. 

As for the daughter...nits become lice.  If there is any possibility that she knows she is open game, as far as I'm concerned.  But I don't think you need to go all out on her.  See how he reacts to threats against her.  Let her see some nasty things and perhaps she'll help out daddy by giving you some info.  The likelihood of a little girl just being obstinate for "the cause", though, is highly unlikely.   
I had someone else in mind about the workaround thing. However, did you mention that you are going to have to shoot both of them? It seems like it is unfair to shoot a seven year old girl who knows nothing and has done nothing wrong.  Perhaps you were thinking of the case where she did know where the bomb was hidden and would not tell. While a 7 year old does have some sense of right and wrong, because of her age, she may not have the capability to grasp the seriousness of the crime.   
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« Reply #112 on: June 26, 2013, 09:36:47 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.

I answered you. The question is rhetorical navel gazing. When we stop living off the lives of others we can get serious about your attempt to expand the moral context of the situation.

See this is the problem with moralists, it's not that they moralize too much, rather it is that they do not moralize enough. I believe the affliction is one of lack of imagination.
Well, I see at least three ways of answering the posed question:
1. You can say: Why are you asking this question?  Are you trying to be a troublemaker?  The question involves an unrealistic hypothetical and as such the question is a waste of time and rhetorical naval gazing. You should ask better questions than this, but you don't don't  because you are afflicted with a lack of imagination.
2. You can avoid the hypothetical of the question by proposing a workaround.  You don't torture the person, but instead you think of various ways of getting around this while at the same time finding out where the bomb is hidden.  For example, you consult a religious and holy seer who will tell you where the bomb is in time to disable it. You then convert the criminal  and he repents of his sin and leads a holy life thereafter, devoting his time and energy to charitable enterprises, helping the poor, and bringing many  people to the true Church. That way no one is hurt and everyone is pleased as punch.
3. You can try to answer the question straightforwardly and honestly and explore the morality of choosing the lesser of two evils. Of course, in this case, you open yourself up to ad hominem insults especially from those who do not like difficult questions. 


How, then, is what I said a workaround?  You presented me with a situation and I answered it honestly looking for the most efficient answer.  Those people about to be bombed didn't want to be part of this situation.  They have a right to be free from getting blowed up.  Homeboy, on the other hand, potentially planted a bomb and is not being forthcoming.  I think it is important to have other evidence before taking bits off of him, but if there is compelling evidence that he did it (such as bragging about it, being recorded discussing it...something very convincing) I think taking him apart to get the info is acceptable. 

As for the daughter...nits become lice.  If there is any possibility that she knows she is open game, as far as I'm concerned.  But I don't think you need to go all out on her.  See how he reacts to threats against her.  Let her see some nasty things and perhaps she'll help out daddy by giving you some info.  The likelihood of a little girl just being obstinate for "the cause", though, is highly unlikely.   
I had someone else in mind about the workaround thing. However, did you mention that you are going to have to shoot both of them? It seems like it is unfair to shoot a seven year old girl who knows nothing and has done nothing wrong.  Perhaps you were thinking of the case where she did know where the bomb was hidden and would not tell. While a 7 year old does have some sense of right and wrong, because of her age, she may not have the capability to grasp the seriousness of the crime.   

Ah.  No, the shooting is not a punishment.  It's a matter of convenience.  The media would go into a frenzy over what I was proposing. You'd shoot her and daddy so that they cannot be witnesses against you after the threat has been dealt with.
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« Reply #113 on: June 26, 2013, 09:43:36 AM »

Getting back to the original question of whether or not it is justified to torture one person in order to save the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of  people  - the scenario is that the criminal has hidden a bomb which, when it goes off, will kill tens  of thousands of people and injure and maim even more.  The question is whether or not it would be justified to torture this criminal so as to get him to talk and reveal where the bomb is hidden and thereby avert the killing of tens  of thousands of innocent people.  Of course, if it were a nuclear bomb, it could result in even more deaths.
I noticed that one argument given in this particular case, seems to be  that it would be all right to torture the criminal because we are choosing the lesser of two evils. We live in an imperfect world, and we don't always have good choices to make, so we do the right thing by choosing the lesser of two evils. However, it seems to me that this is not right and that there is a serious problem if you are going to go by choosing the lesser of two evils.  Here is why I see it so. Suppose that the criminal did not confess, even when subject to torture. However, he had a little girl age seven years old. Suppose then that if you tortured the girl (and here I mean very severe and extreme  torture  in front of the criminal) then the criminal would confess. Now if it were only a matter of numbers, or the lesser of two evils, if you take one girl aged seven, versus tens of thousands of innocent people, then it would be justified to torture this poor little girl. How many people would want to torture this little girl to achieve the good end of saving thousands of American lives?  But of course politicians have in the past used a variant of this  lesser of two evils argument to justify questionable attacks which resulted in large civilian casualties. 


This isn't such a hard question.  Children have less discipline and a lower pain tolerance.  Let the little girl see you take one of daddy's fingernails.  If she knows, she'll tell you.  Or if worse comes to worse, take a few teeth from her and perhaps daddy will tell you?  Could work.  Not like he's going to get revenge as you are going to have to shoot both of them afterwards.  Can't let the press get a hold of anything like this.
No one likes the question, so everyone goes for workarounds.

I answered you. The question is rhetorical navel gazing. When we stop living off the lives of others we can get serious about your attempt to expand the moral context of the situation.

See this is the problem with moralists, it's not that they moralize too much, rather it is that they do not moralize enough. I believe the affliction is one of lack of imagination.
Well, I see at least three ways of answering the posed question:
1. You can say: Why are you asking this question?  Are you trying to be a troublemaker?  The question involves an unrealistic hypothetical and as such the question is a waste of time and rhetorical naval gazing. You should ask better questions than this, but you don't don't  because you are afflicted with a lack of imagination.
2. You can avoid the hypothetical of the question by proposing a workaround.  You don't torture the person, but instead you think of various ways of getting around this while at the same time finding out where the bomb is hidden.  For example, you consult a religious and holy seer who will tell you where the bomb is in time to disable it. You then convert the criminal  and he repents of his sin and leads a holy life thereafter, devoting his time and energy to charitable enterprises, helping the poor, and bringing many  people to the true Church. That way no one is hurt and everyone is pleased as punch.
3. You can try to answer the question straightforwardly and honestly and explore the morality of choosing the lesser of two evils. Of course, in this case, you open yourself up to ad hominem insults especially from those who do not like difficult questions. 


How, then, is what I said a workaround?  You presented me with a situation and I answered it honestly looking for the most efficient answer.  Those people about to be bombed didn't want to be part of this situation.  They have a right to be free from getting blowed up.  Homeboy, on the other hand, potentially planted a bomb and is not being forthcoming.  I think it is important to have other evidence before taking bits off of him, but if there is compelling evidence that he did it (such as bragging about it, being recorded discussing it...something very convincing) I think taking him apart to get the info is acceptable. 

As for the daughter...nits become lice.  If there is any possibility that she knows she is open game, as far as I'm concerned.  But I don't think you need to go all out on her.  See how he reacts to threats against her.  Let her see some nasty things and perhaps she'll help out daddy by giving you some info.  The likelihood of a little girl just being obstinate for "the cause", though, is highly unlikely.   
I had someone else in mind about the workaround thing. However, did you mention that you are going to have to shoot both of them? It seems like it is unfair to shoot a seven year old girl who knows nothing and has done nothing wrong.  Perhaps you were thinking of the case where she did know where the bomb was hidden and would not tell. While a 7 year old does have some sense of right and wrong, because of her age, she may not have the capability to grasp the seriousness of the crime.   

Ah.  No, the shooting is not a punishment.  It's a matter of convenience.  The media would go into a frenzy over what I was proposing. You'd shoot her and daddy so that they cannot be witnesses against you after the threat has been dealt with.

LOL!

This thread's almost as entertaining as the obese one.  Who needs daytime t.v.? Grin
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #114 on: June 30, 2013, 06:05:46 PM »

The real problem with this issue is that when you allow torture, then you have lowered your previous standards that have been fought and died for previously. The majority of industrialized countries all agreed upon certain moral limits and they were signed by all the leaders.

If then later, when it is convenient for you , you decide to ignore that then you open the door for chaos, that we stood for the human rights of all before means nothing now,you can never point at others and accuse them of being morally bankrupt . 
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