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« Outdated Theology | Main | Ascension Day »

May 17, 2007


Not to bring up an inconvenient point, but just where does Jack's dad think he's going to go? He can't go to China, I'm sure the Russians would love to give him a suite in the Lubyanka, and Daniels seems the sort of guy to hold a grudge as does Cheng. It seems to me the best he could hope for would be a pardon for the chip and as a good sociopath he would take it.

"but does it introduce a different calculation since their business is military action."

No, their business is defending the nation, not being used as political pawns. We seem to have lost sight of that recently.

As for the show, why do we have an ongoing military presence in the middle of central Asia, surrounded by four nations with nukes?

Off topic a bit, but I think that Josh is Grandpa's son. I think that is the little family secret that was never told. That is why Grandpa is so attached to the kid.

No, Robert. Josh is Jack's son.

No, Josh is too young. He's younger than Kim (Jack's daughter). Jack doesn't seem to be the type to cheat on his (now dead) wife.

Of course the occupation of the killed changes our ethical weight. But so does the age, sex, degree of health, and many others.

This is easy to see when you consider some simple examples.

Two boats are about to explode and you only have enough time to empty one. Which one do you save? The boat with:

10 15-year-olds or 10 90-year-olds
10 women or 10 men
10 healthy people or 10 cancer patients
10 toddlers or 10 frozen embryos
10 Americans or 10 Africans
10 family members or 10 strangers
10 friends or 10 strangers

In the case of Josh, Greg argues in his "Abortion, only one question" that "it saves lives" isn't a good enough justification for intentionally killing innocent, unwilling and defenseless people. (IE organ harvesting from aborted babies). My analogy may be a bit off, but I think this moral reasoning applies in Josh's case- It is definitely wrong to kill him yourself, and probably just as wrong to send him off to be killed by another, not matter how many lives you save. In the context of the last episode, is it also wrong to force him to go to China with his crazy, megalomaniacal Grandfather? This is almost a fate worse than death, and who's to say his Grandpa won't kill him later on like he did with Graham? I could be wrong on this, but it's hard for me to see how sending an innocent, unwilling and defenseless person to his death or almost certain death is much different from killing one baby to save the life of another. Now, if Josh consented things might be different, but then you have to answer whether someone his age is able to make a life and death choice. I know a baby can't, I don't know about an 11-12 year old (just a guess on his age).

In the case of military personal, that's a harder one. I do see the distinction. You are no longer just an innocent civilian- you are an asset or weapon of the state. Also, you agree to potentially put yourself in harms way when you sign up for military service. You also give up a good part of your will because you agree to either obey orders or face the consequences of disobedience (such as court martial, jail time, or even execution in some extreme circumstances). I guess under the constraints of this contract, a case could be that's it's ethically acceptable to force a person to die for their country if they're unwilling to do it. You basically "force" a person to obey orders. Still, I think you take more from the person than what they agreed to because you take away the person's choice to choose to disobey, a choice that existed under the terms of their service agreement.

I think of how God set things up with Adam and Eve: They didn't get to choose what consequences they would face if they disobeyed God, but God didn't force them to obey or disobey. They were never physically forced into spiritual death, even though their disobedient choice was part of God's Sovereign plan for the greatest good of his people. (Plenitude). God brought about the greater good without robbing Adam and Eve of their status as free moral agents. Of course, he's God, we're not, we live in a fallen world, and maybe there's no way to do this in a world of sin, which is the world the cases of Josh and the military personal exist in.
In either case, I think a good question to ask is: Does killing an innocent, unwilling and defenseless person in order to save innocent lives bring about the greater good? In case number 1, I think the greater good is to let Josh live, even if it means the death of multiple civilians. I'm using Greg's logic on Abortion here, and I could be misunderstanding it or misapplying it. In case number 2, it's hard to make the call. I would lean towards the same reasoning I used in Josh's case on this one, but it's hard for me to determine just how much of their will a person gives away when they join the military.
I can see already several holes in my reasoning, but I hope that this can at least get things started.

Why are Americans constantly fantasizing about war with Russia and China?

Why are Americans constantly fantasizing about war with Russia and China?

I didnt know where to ask this question, maybe someone can help:

If all Christians were to be elected to office.. President, Senate, Congress etc. Would it be right in the eyes of God to put the death penalty for say, adultery? (like it was in the Old T)

AC, the correct question for an American to ask is. "would it be constitutional?"

What about in any context, it doesnt have to be American. A goverment somewhere decides that the punishment for fornication is death. Does the Bible say anything about whether God approves or disproves of this?

(I bring it up because I saw report on the news about a woman that was stoned to death publically for leaving her religion and or fornication. I know that God punished similar things in the Old Testament in the same way. I know the difference is that it was commanded by God Himself, but I wonder how He would see such punishments today. Also, would it matter if the ones passing the law were soundly saved Christians?)

AC, I started a response to your question, and it turned into a whole blog post. So look for it today, and let me know if it's helpful.

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