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March 24, 2006

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Yay the debate continues!

I was getting bored there for a minute.

Cool. Ok. Well here's a scenario I use when I talk to pro-choicers.

http://www.gregiswrong.com/site-gregiswrong/sandwich_board/abortion_question.htm

This one is helpful because it nicely avoids stupid tangents pro-choicers bring up like, "Ya but what about incest?..." etc.

So here's a question: Let's assume Im not religious and I make the statement:

"Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are not murders but the rest are."

Convince me i'm wrong.

I dare ya...

So Tony, do you think murder is wrong? Explain to me what you mean by murder. Also, what do you mean when you say something is wrong?
I'll check back Monday for your answers.

let's assume for this question that i'm christian.

I find this abortion debate very frustrating since most often my pro-choice opponents seem not to think that killing innocent human beings is wrong per se, but that it is convenient for the society to pretend, that it is wrong in some cases.

From here it is easy to draw the line wherever you want. And to convince them otherwise would require convincing them of the value of a human being coming from his being an image of God.

And before somebody suggests that I trot out the toddler, you have to understand just how thoroughly relativist Finland is. To suggest here that torturing babies for fun is wrong, is to be considered a Neanderthal. The only absolute evil is to say that there is absolute evil.

Murder has a definition: The taking of human life without legal or moral justification. Thus, if someone's life is taken in war, or because of a conviction after a just trial, then it's not murder.

In the same way, taking a child's life to prevent the death of the mother is not murder, because it is for a moral and legal cause: if its not done BOTH will die. It's a horrible choice, like choosing which testicle you want snipped off, but it has to be done at times.

However, for incest or rape, it's simply immoral and wrong to kill a child for the horrible events that brought it about.

Christopher,
While taking a life in war or in capital punishment is not murder would you consider it still sinful?

chris,

cool. but when does a construct of carbon nitrogen oxygen and hydrogen get the stamp HUMAN LIFE placed on it?

Tony, I'm not going to answer questions you already know the answer to.

William: it's not sinful to kill people if it is in just punishment or in a just war. The 10th commandment does not say "kill" as in "end human life in any possible situation" it says "murder" as in "kill without just cause or moral basis." At least, that's what the original Hebrew word means.

It is not sinful to obey God's law, and the fact is in the Old Testament and New capital punishment is proper and just.

chris,

no. i dont know the answer to this question.

please enlighten me.

Christopher,
Granted the commandment is you shall not murder. And granted that there is authority given for capital punishment.

The Church has established the theory of just war to deal reasonably with the conflict over killing in activities of human states. As far as I know, there is no explicit approval in God's New Testament word that indicates that we don't sin when we kill in combat.

Certainly before the fall there would have been no war. Would not war then be a product of sin in the world? The fact that the church felt the need to develop just war theory indicates to me that there was concern that this type of activity may violate God's will as preached by Christ.

I see this as the Church providing moral guidance for extreme situations but it does not necessarily exempt us from condemnation by a Holy God.

Might not this situation be similar to the events described in Mark 10:1-12?

I am interested in your thoughts and perhaps any resources you know of that deal with these issues.

"As far as I know, there is no explicit approval in God's New Testament word that indicates that we don't sin when we kill in combat."

Technically true, but ultimately irrelevant. God told the Children of Israel to kill in combat. Now, the choices are these:

1) God told them to do something evil and sinful
2) God told them to do something temporarily proper because of his direct word
3) God told them to do something that demonstrated killing in wartime of an enemy is not neccessarily wrong, based on the war and the enemy.

Since the New Testament openly and obviously teaches that killing someone is not wrong in the correct circumstances, and since murder by definition excludes wartime, I can't help but conclude that the proper answer of the 3 choices above is #3.

Christopher,
Do you think these restatements are fair?

#1 Evil & sin is contary to God's nature.

#2 God directly commands death for many behaviors in Leviticus and elsewhere commands warfare. Following God's commandments cannot be sin because it would be contrary to God's nature to command us to sin. (Could we consider this carrying out God's justice?)

#3 It is just and not sin to kill in situations where the circumstances or the enemy deserve judgement apart from a direct commandment of God.

Number three still makes me nervous even thought I don't see any reason not to accept your point. It relies on discerning the will of God in human political affairs. Apart from a direct command from God we must rely on Scripture, theological reflection using our reason, prayer for the guiding of the Holy Spirit, and reference to the experience and traditions of the Church. Consequently just war theory.

Can you give me some New Testament passages that teach that killing is not sin in correct circumstances? Thanks!

We aren't bound by the Old Testament civil and ceremonial laws, but they DO give us a perspective into God's view and will regarding certain sins and actions. For instance, God told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites because they were so wicked and evil, AND because they were to take this land and make it their own.

Now, we can't consider any land our promised land, because God has not promised any dirt or territory to us on earth.

But we can recognize that at least in some circumstances, we are required to kill people who are wicked.

Now, one of the things that's in the New Testament is that the government is given the sword. The sword is not a weapon of punishment, it is a killing weapon. Yes, technically you can slap someone with the side of the blade, just as you can pistol whip someone with a .45 colt... but that's not what it's for.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
(Romans 13: 3-4)

The thing we miss, however, is that God does not say 'within your political borders' here. It simply indicates that governments are given power to punish wickedness (execute wrath).

In modern society, we work within some rules for long term security and stability, in which we generally will not punish wickedness in other nations unless they are so wicked that they endanger us or other peoples.

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