Saturday, January 24, 2009
Partisan Convergence and Just War Theory
I have found it interesting that liberals are using the same arguments against torture, that conservatives use against abortion.
The liberal says that torture is immoral. The ends do not justify the means.
The conservative says that abortion is immoral. The ends do not justify the means.
I'd love to offer answers, but I can only float two divergent theories:
Theory 1: Both practices are immoral and both sides are inconsistent for supporting one and objecting to the other practice.
The ends never justify the means so such an argument cannot be used to support either side.
The pro-choicer often gives allowances to abortion in the name of preventing unwanted pregnancies and abused or neglected children as a result.
The torture sympathizer often gives allowances for it because it is in our country's best interests to glean the valuable intelligence gained by any means necessary in the name of national security.
But both practices are immoral. The question would then become, WHY are both practices immoral? Why is it wrong to torture and kill? And as one attempts to answer such a question, consider that it can't simply be wrong because man or a
government says it is. It can't simply be wrong because we don't like it. After
all, sometimes these entities will want to engage in these practices because it might be argued that it serves their best interests.
Theory 2. Pacificism is a moral practice meant to be applied individually, but never
nationally. This argument flows from Thomas Aquinas' "Just War" theory.
This theory is a reasonable interpretation of the Bible in the sense that it
reconciles an otherwise contradiction. The scriptures on one hand say that we
are to "turn the other cheek" (pacificism) but on the other hand say that
governing powers are free to use the "sword" to execute justice and protect the
people (Romans 13).
If you're the type that is suspicious of anything written by the Apostle Paul, then consider Jesus' words in Luke 3:14 where He tells a soldier to do no violence to any man but to be content with his pay that he received from soldiering....
Just War theory reconciles this otherwise contradiction. If you still disagree, then propose another theory that better reconciles it.
Whether or not you agree with this interpretation, it certainly demonstrates a
logical consistency among conservative Christians who might on one hand object
to abortion, but not to torture.
I don't post this blog to propose answers, but rather questions....