Thursday, February 17, 2011

Catholics and Lying Again- Post 1,239 On This Subject

Tip of the Hat to Morning Reads for this.

Let me say as always I will in the end submit happily to Holy Mother Church in these matters.

Saying that I am pretty much where Mr Archbold is right now on the latest lying matter. See Is Deception Always Wrong? I'm Not Convinced

I might disagree slightly with his "Thou Shall Not Kill example though since I THINK the Hebrew word there is really akin to murder which is more specific. However I am about where he is at

I am not sure why these expose videos cause this discussion to come up and other things do not. RIGHT now in the USA today countless Catholics on Vice squad are about to lie /deceive in order to arrest a escort or a customer of escorts.

I can give numerous examples in that area. YET despite countless THOUSANDS of Catholic police officers, FBI/CIA/DEA agents, etc etc committing these supposed STATE SANCTIONED immoral acts each day, I don't hear a peep from the Church.

Not a peep. Which leads me to believe that the Church sees some gray area here or that this is a area still not defined.

This does not mean we should ignore this. Truth is truth. It is also not just a Catholic thing. If recall correctly many Protestants argue that because of the alleged "deception" in Tobit it can't be scripture.

I don't have a well thought out theory on this but in some ways it seems that the State in times has a duty to deceive while perhaps a non state actor is a lot more limited. I have to think that through.

I think the people that are bringing up this argument have a good point that must be addressed. I just don't know the answer right now to it fully.


Adoro said...

I'm with you...I'm not convinced, either, and in our moral theology class in grad school, this topic came up.

As an ex-police officer, I can even cite times in training where the conflict of lying came up.

Usually it was with regard to some deception used in interrogation simply to elicit a response. (Sorry, can't think of specific examples right now). The response once the perp was charged, "They LIED!"

Well..lying is not a criminal offense.

But we're talking morality here.

I've worked plainclothes. The fact was, I was working for the police department. Since I was not in uniform and I was not in uniform in order to conceal the fact I was a cop, was that morally wrong? Truly, no one really had a right to know I was a cop. And for them to know may have put my life in danger, and with that, the lives of others in that crowd.

Then of course the greater examples of vice and the like. There is gray area there, for the main intent there is not to lie, but to protect society. It falls under the same category as our ability to morally defend our borders and to defend our lives by killing if necessary.

The sin is mitigated by the object, which is far graver an offense against God and the common good.

I have not read all the ink spilled on this as I have not had time, but I wonder about the principal of double-effect, which I have not yet seen mentioned; may not apply here. I need a review of my text. ;-)

Could say more but alas, I have to meet my moral obligation to go to work. ;-)

James H said...

Wel you are right on that. I mean telling a potential defendant that his partner in crime has told on him (when in fact he has not) is a pretty common tactic in interrogation.

Again this is a topic I will have to think through a lot more

Adoro said...

I actually realized a couple things after I commented here and a post is forthcoming. I think what's going on here is that the wrong questions are both being asked and those that are being asked are out of context.

Moral theology does not exist in its own vacuum; Catholic Social teachings is involved here as well. Among other things.

Much to ponder.

Adoro said...

My own post on this is up, don't know if it will lead to more or not, as it doesn't contain everything swirling around my intellect right now.

James H said...

Thansk going to read it now

Anonymous said...

Maybe getting back to the pure word and disecting in in the Greek, instead of the Latin would help clear this all up. City on seven hills, clothed in scarlet and gold. Love ya, but pull back the curtain!!!