Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Morality of Killing Civilians During War vs. Killing the Unborn

John at The Lewis Crusade has an explanation of the Catholic moral position on this.

Catholics are sometimes criticized for treating all moral questions as black and white.

I think that that is a black and white judgement.

Because Catholics don't always do that.

It's just that on a number of liberal pet policies in general-- and abortion on demand specifically-- we do treat the moral issue as black and white.

It is never morally acceptable to intentionally provoke the death of another innocent human being.

That is a "black-and-white" position. No exceptions allowed.

That is why abortion-- as the Church defines it-- is never morally allowed.

The question of killing in war is different. Why?

First off, sometimes it is morally permissible to engage in a collective armed conflict to defend one's country or another country.

That should be obvious.

The second is because it is of a collective nature, and the intentions, knowledge and attitude of various actors come into play.

The decision to abort is based on the decision of a woman, or someone in her entourage, and perhaps the doctor.

Therefore, we're talking about a small number of actors involved in one act.

The process of engaging in war is complex. It involves a number of decisions, a lot of possible unknowns, etc.

Abortion is a "simple" act-- in the sense that it consists of one gesture.

War is a complex act-- in the sense that in involves countless gestures.

That is why Catholics are quick to condemn abortion, but not always quick to condemn war.

In plain speech-- it's not a black and white issue.

I'm sure that I will be criticized for treating abortion as black and white, but not war.

Really, the underlying reason for that criticism is not that I treat some issues as black and white.

It's that I don't agree with the liberal position.

Because liberals can be just as "black and white" too. While they pretend they aren't.