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Is it ever permissible to help others avoid justice and/or the consequences of their actions? Obviously helping a known murderer escape the police would be wrong, and harboring fugitives from a fundamentally unjust law would be permissible if not morally madated, despite the government's conception of justice.

But what about the more mundane things? Flashing your brights to warn speeding motorists about the cop running radar around the bend. Telling your coworkers who are goofing off that Boss is on his way back from his meeting 10 minutes earlier than expected. Stuff like that.
(02-24-2018, 03:44 AM)Galahad3 Wrote: [ -> ]Is it ever permissible to help others avoid justice and/or the consequences of their actions? Obviously helping a known murderer escape the police would be wrong, and harboring fugitives from a fundamentally unjust law would be permissible if not morally madated, despite the government's conception of justice.

But what about the more mundane things? Flashing your brights to warn speeding motorists about the cop running radar around the bend. Telling your coworkers who are goofing off that Boss is on his way back from his meeting 10 minutes earlier than expected. Stuff like that.

I'll start with the easier, second part of your question about more "mundane" crimes: 
I think flashing your brights to warn others is fine. Do most cops even really mind people doing that? One of the main reasons police officers sit by the side of the freeway with radar is to deter/remind people about breaking the speed limit, rather than actually catching and ticketing a lot of people. They see all of us civilians hitting our breaks when we see them, and they usually don't pull out after us. It's the same reason, on city streets, why some smaller communities with less financial resources (small police department) will sometimes simply leave an empty squad car next to the road in someone's driveway-- it acts as a deterrent  to speeders. 
Incidentally, Galahad3, I think you might be of an older generation (non-millennial, at least, born before 1980), like myself. Some time ago I noticed someone doing this and my Dad reminded me that this was done to warn other drivers that there was a cop up ahead; I had forgotten about this. I wonder if other, younger drivers even know that this is one reason you might flash your brights? 
As far as warning your coworkers to stop goofing off? Again, fine. I know that my supervisors like it when we employees "self-police". It means less work for them down the line, and for a potentially more productive work unit. It can also be likened to the Gospels, where Jesus warns us many times to get our acts together, or else the Father will punish us.  
As far as the first part of your question, of course no, the vast majority of times, with the most serious stuff, hiding a criminal from justice/helping them to avoid consequences would not be good, assuming the law itself was not morally corrupt-- hiding a Jew from the murderous Nazis would definitely be morally acceptable; our own Pope Pius XII allowed this; although, there is some nuance involved when it comes to a situation where one might wish to tell a lie to carry this out-- Catholic theologians have wrestled with this, and our own Lord Jesus, when confronted by His betrayers in the Garden of Gethsemani, discouraged his disciples from interfering with the authorities (certainly not because He had done anything wrong, that is not my meaning). That's my take on your question, anyway, without making my post longer than it already is :) .
(02-24-2018, 03:44 AM)Galahad3 Wrote: [ -> ]Is it ever permissible to help others avoid justice and/or the consequences of their actions? Obviously helping a known murderer escape the police would be wrong, and harboring fugitives from a fundamentally unjust law would be permissible if not morally madated, despite the government's conception of justice.

But what about the more mundane things? Flashing your brights to warn speeding motorists about the cop running radar around the bend. Telling your coworkers who are goofing off that Boss is on his way back from his meeting 10 minutes earlier than expected. Stuff like that.

Choosing not to warn your coworkers when your boss is coming is a good way to have no friends at work.  Not that you should always try to make friends from among your coworkers, but it's nice to know when someone looks out for you.  We all have moments when we're not at our best.  If the employee is bad, management will figure it out on their own soon enough, if they're good management.  If not, why do their job?  That only makes them look better, get promoted, and be given even more responsibility that they can't handle.  Also, if you are respected by your coworkers as one who looks out for others and tries to help them, it can work in your favor when you are looked at for promotions or when you need references.

Warning speeding cars when a cop is coming is a little different, because most likely you don't know the person you are warning.  Still, it is a way to practice generosity with others.  It doesn't cost you anything.  It can prevent something from happening that the person won't like.  Also, you never know when a small act of kindness will really help another see the good in humanity, when they are struggling most desperately to find it.

On a deeper, moral level, we must not sit idle while others live sinful lives, plunge themselves towards hell, and neither say nor do anything.  We do have to pray for guidance on what we should say and do, when we should say and do it, as that is the virtue of prudence, but we have to look out for others.  Practicing this in the little things, such as warning speeding cars and lazy coworkers, will help us grow in virtue so that we will be able to practice it in big things when necessary.
(02-24-2018, 03:44 AM)Galahad3 Wrote: [ -> ]Is it ever permissible to help others avoid justice and/or the consequences of their actions? Obviously helping a known murderer escape the police would be wrong, and harboring fugitives from a fundamentally unjust law would be permissible if not morally madated, despite the government's conception of justice.

But what about the more mundane things? Flashing your brights to warn speeding motorists about the cop running radar around the bend. Telling your coworkers who are goofing off that Boss is on his way back from his meeting 10 minutes earlier than expected. Stuff like that.

Peace.....you are still cautioning (for the good) the speeding motorist and slacking workers - it just needs to sink in! angeltime :readrules:
(02-24-2018, 04:32 AM)gospel654 Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-24-2018, 03:44 AM)Galahad3 Wrote: [ -> ]Is it ever permissible to help others avoid justice and/or the consequences of their actions? Obviously helping a known murderer escape the police would be wrong, and harboring fugitives from a fundamentally unjust law would be permissible if not morally madated, despite the government's conception of justice.

But what about the more mundane things? Flashing your brights to warn speeding motorists about the cop running radar around the bend. Telling your coworkers who are goofing off that Boss is on his way back from his meeting 10 minutes earlier than expected. Stuff like that.

Incidentally, Galahad3, I think you might be of an older generation (non-millennial, at least, born before 1980), like myself. Some time ago I noticed someone doing this and my Dad reminded me that this was done to warn other drivers that there was a cop up ahead; I had forgotten about this. I wonder if other, younger drivers even know that this is one reason you might flash your brights? 

I'm actually going to be 30 in April. This was just a courtesy my parents taught me. :)

(02-24-2018, 11:46 AM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]Choosing not to warn your coworkers when your boss is coming is a good way to have no friends at work.  Not that you should always try to make friends from among your coworkers, but it's nice to know when someone looks out for you.  We all have moments when we're not at our best.  If the employee is bad, management will figure it out on their own soon enough, if they're good management.  If not, why do their job?  That only makes them look better, get promoted, and be given even more responsibility that they can't handle.  Also, if you are respected by your coworkers as one who looks out for others and tries to help them, it can work in your favor when you are looked at for promotions or when you need references.

Warning speeding cars when a cop is coming is a little different, because most likely you don't know the person you are warning.  Still, it is a way to practice generosity with others.  It doesn't cost you anything.  It can prevent something from happening that the person won't like.  Also, you never know when a small act of kindness will really help another see the good in humanity, when they are struggling most desperately to find it.

On a deeper, moral level, we must not sit idle while others live sinful lives, plunge themselves towards hell, and neither say nor do anything.  We do have to pray for guidance on what we should say and do, when we should say and do it, as that is the virtue of prudence, but we have to look out for others.  Practicing this in the little things, such as warning speeding cars and lazy coworkers, will help us grow in virtue so that we will be able to practice it in big things when necessary.

I think a case could be made that a supervisor would like to know when someone "has their back" in the same way that one's same-tier coworkers do. But then you're a "rat." Perhaps there's a way to integrate all this in a way that promotes both brotherhood among peers and respect for legitimate authority. There are certainly a lot of people in legitimate authority positions who aren't qualified to be there, though... and there are a lot of authority positions that aren't legitimate to begin with, as is the case with a lot of overly bureaucratic corporate structures.

I appreciate everyone's input! I just want to emphasize that I do these things (flashing brights, warning people, etc.) It was just something I'd never thought about from the perspective of moral justification. It seemed on the surface level to be a subversion of justice, however banal.
(02-24-2018, 03:44 AM)Galahad3 Wrote: [ -> ]Is it ever permissible to help others avoid justice and/or the consequences of their actions? Obviously helping a known murderer escape the police would be wrong, and harboring fugitives from a fundamentally unjust law would be permissible if not morally madated, despite the government's conception of justice.

But what about the more mundane things? Flashing your brights to warn speeding motorists about the cop running radar around the bend. Telling your coworkers who are goofing off that Boss is on his way back from his meeting 10 minutes earlier than expected. Stuff like that.

The question comes down to whether you are cooperating in someone's injustice.

The first cases you mention mean becoming a cooperator in someone else's sin. The latter ones do not. In fact the examples you give are situations where you actually help prevent an injustice, by reminding people of their duties and the consequences if they do not do them.

Firstly speeding is not sinful if it is not reckless (a sin against the 5th Commandment). The number you see on the road sign is an arbitrary number which is always, and intentionally, well below the safe speed for that road. In most cases a road marked 70 mph is going to easily be safe in a good car at 100 mph if not much more. Aside from the arbitrary legal cap often set by the state legislature, generally in the US Speed Limits are set by the 85th percentile speed. In short, the DOT makes a survey of the road, finds the speed below with 85 percent of the traffic travels, sets the limit at the nearest 5 mph lower than this.

Because such limits are not specifically set on a safety basis, you don't violate the 5th Commandment by driving above the limit, and because there is no reason in justice, speeding is what is called by moral theologians a "penal law". It means there is no moral obligation to obey it (you don't sin by speeding if not excessive), but if you are caught you are obliged in justice to pay the penalty after pleading guilty or a judicial sentence (because it is a judicial sentence, and you owe respect to said judiciary).

The same thing with the Boss. You are not permitting behavior, but calling people to go back and do their work. Perhaps, yes, for an imperfect reason, but nevertheless you are no doing an evil, but promoting what is just.

It would be different if you are cooperating with another to hide their injustice. Still, you are no obliged to snitch on those who are misbehaving, as it is not your job to supervise. If you see a grave fault, you do have an obligation to mention it. For the light stuff, you do not, but you might, to help the company, mention to the Boss that you have seen some general misbehavior, what that misbehavior is (without mentioning names), and then it alerts him to be more vigilant or set some policies to fix this and get people back to work. Still, a good Boss will understand that often employees do their best work (and more efficiency, which means more net work) when permitted an occasional break, or change in the work.

It will be a case by case analysis in such "mundane" matter, but go ahead and flash your lights.