Should torture ever be allowed?
#13
Many Catholics claim that torture is innately evil.  They cite the Vatican II document "Gaudium et Spes" (red flag there -- it's a pastoral council), par. 27, which John Paul II quoted in "Veritatis Splendor" in par. 80.  JPII writes that the list of proscribed evils he cites are "inherently evil."  *HOWEVER,* there is some ambiguity here.  Among the evils listed are slavery and deportation.  As Cardinal Dulles has observed, one cannot seriously say that every practice we call slavery is inherently evil; the Church has never taught this.  Furthermore, deportation obviously cannot be an inherent evil.  The Vatican II document obviously meant only evil forms of torture, slavery, and deportation.  JPII cannot mean that *everything* in that list is inherently wrong since that leads to ridiculous conclusions about deportation & slavery.  Hence, it is not sufficient to quote "Gaudium et Spes" and "Veritatis Splendor" as though they provided unambiguous condemnations of torture as such.  Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S., has gone through all of the relevant magisterial texts and concludes that the Magisterium has never unambiguously condemned the direct infliction of severe pain as inherently evil, nor has it ever addressed the ticking timebomb scenario.  He concludes that the use of what we commonly call torture in the ticking timebomb scenario is a matter open for debate.  I argue:  if we may kill a terrorist who is about to throw a bomb, we may waterboard a terrorist who has already placed the bomb and now refuses to reveal where it is.  Infliction of pain is a less damaging than death.  If killing is proportionate, so too would hurting be.

Cardinal Dulles:
http://www.articlearchives.com/society-s...061-1.html

Fr. Harrison:
http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt118.html
http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt119.html
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/l...N=32248139

Some relevant discussions:
http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fi...ut_to.html
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/10/c...lated.html
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Messages In This Thread
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Walty - 04-29-2009, 10:29 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Bonifacius - 04-29-2009, 01:25 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by DrBombay - 04-29-2009, 03:05 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 03:09 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 03:12 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 03:14 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 03:19 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by DrBombay - 04-29-2009, 03:23 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 04:31 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 05:00 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 05:03 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Melita - 04-29-2009, 05:23 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Walty - 04-29-2009, 06:57 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 07:33 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Texican - 04-29-2009, 07:45 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 08:20 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 08:26 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 08:45 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by SCG - 04-29-2009, 09:07 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by Marc - 04-29-2009, 09:40 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 08:14 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 09:45 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 10:27 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 04-30-2009, 11:01 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-02-2009, 11:19 AM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by glgas - 09-02-2009, 01:50 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-02-2009, 09:05 PM
Re: Should torture ever be allowed? - by INPEFESS - 09-03-2009, 01:16 AM



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