How things work

If someone lies in the cause of the prolife movement, they are bad if you support Peter Gleick’s lies for environmentalism and Julian Assange’s lies for freedom of information. If you support the prolife movement and environmentalist lies, the Julian Assange is bad when he lies if you don’t support lying for freedom of information. if you support freedom of information and prolife lies, but not environmentalist lies, then Gleick is bad, but the other two aren’t.

The point is, “Let us do evil that good may come of it.” Ignore the Church back to St. Paul. Consequentialism is good–except when people we don’t like do it. Then it’s bad. But we’re not bad, so it’s good when we do it.

Zac Alstin does the autopsy on this rubbish.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but where has Assange lied? He’s accused of rape, which he denies. He hasn’t been tried yet, so right now it’s a he-said-she-said standoff combined with a very idiosyncratic Swedish definition of rape. He has also published secret information brought to him by others. He admits this, indeed it’s his life’s mission. This may or may not be a good thing, but he’s not lying about it. And a good deal of secrecy is simply so that evil deeds may be concealed that yet more evil deeds may be done.

  • Chris

    How does this square with Rahab?

    • Scott W.

      Answers to this abound with a google search. Bottom line: The Rahab incident is not an exception to the rule against lying, which the CCC reminds us that, “by its very nature, lying is to be condemned.”

      • Chris

        I’ll put my money on the faith-informed answers here, rather than a Google-inspired odyssey across suspect message boards and wikis.

        Thanks for answering. I know in my heart it’s always wrong to lie. It’s my stupid flesh that wants to carve out an exception in the name of a noble outcome (e.g., exposing PP).

        • Scott W.

          Actually, you might be surprised, google “Rahab and lying” and the first stuff that comes up are articles from various denominations that manage to come up with the right answer: one can’t pull out this little factlet from Scripture and turn it into a get-out-of-telling-the-truth-free card.

  • Scott W.

    For most of us, lying for a good cause is the low-tech equivalent of hacking for one.

    Good one.

  • Observer

    Could I pine? The very definition of a person is a subject of responsibility. A rock, thorn on a tree, the sky, a mountin, a lion, or any micro-organism do not inherit traits and attributes of being able to be responsible (doing things based on moral grounds and being held responsible – in the order of what is right and wrong.)

    Responsibilty in taking care of one’s family and clearly having the capacity (and capability) to love are for the most part given to man (inclusively speaking.) Animals cannot, a rock cannot, nor a tree cannot have the effect and moral order of guilt and apprehending that a situation arises where it is most necessary to do things responsibly. Therefore, all people are responsibile for what they do upon what is right and wrong.

    The use of deception and any tactic deriving evidence, information, or any sort of guilt is not moral. If the person who deceives is not morally responsible, then the person is no more better (and actually would be worse) than the person of whom they are pursuiing to make responsible. To use a lie for a good is far more evil than someone who thinks there doing good because they are living a lie (i.e. fighting poverty is met by removing the so-called blob of tissue which is hardly examined to be at all in the stages of human life because the faculty for doing this removal has made for the disposition of not having any notion to evaluate that the very life is human.)

    That is, a PP worker for the most part at the lower levels of involvement is very much confused and deceived. Thus, for anyone to further one form of deception upon the worker into another form (i.e. making them think amid the difficulties and crisis of the situation brought before them on a daily basis will never have anything in the contrary manner of deception they’ve been placed) is plainly and clearly wrong. The whole approach and method used is for the most part is deception and absolutely avoids the real problem (i.e. the person at PP is deceived and cannot be undone of the deception by another means of being deceived.)

    Doesn’t anyone get the picture? A person cannot lie to make good come out of it. Or, the person ends up being the moral equivalent of a moral-relativist for their own sake.

  • Jonathan Carpenter

    I know Consequentalism is bad! My question to you would be how would you uncover truths from people who will not be honest with you when you ask them? For instance how would you find out what Upton Sinclair did in “The Jungle”?

  • Jonathan Carpenter

    Mark:
    It is not about Terrorism I am talking about. What about uncovering Corruption in Planned Parenthood, Insider Trading by Congressmen or misdeeds at NPR. I do not know how to uncover this without doing some of the things Mr. O’Keefe or the others did.

    • Mark Shea

      Again, I’d suggest that you talk to people who has successfully prosecuted corruption without engaging in lies. it has been done. However, how it was done is something I don’t know since I’m neither a lawyer nor an investigator. What O’Keefe did was a stunt–and one that ultimately backfired, giving the enemies of life the chance to say that prolifers and such are liars.

  • Observer

    @M.Shea – The general question that is oftened begged (in the pursuit of lying for Jesus): Is the enemy entitled to the truth? And obviously the answer is yes. Though, every ordinary fellow (who has the common sense assertion to defend one’s neighbor) will often see this to mean one has to disclose the whereabouts of a person to the enemy. And that perception is wrong.

    What is correct is the assertion to protect and hide, though. What is wrong is to make that particular assertion by saying the enemy is not entitled to the truth (in order to protect someone from them.) And the truth is that the question and answer begged are being so broadly put as an over-stretched umbrella, so-to-speak, to deflect anything contrary and standing in the way of protecting a person from harm. And to tell you the truth, the answer to the question, because it’s really stretching the truth, is wrong. The question that ought to be begged is: Is the enemy entitled to have his or her whims and fancies (i.e. according to their conditions and terms) to and with the truth? And the answer is quite obvious, no.

    Thus, you can make the assertion to protect someone from the enemy by the obvious condition that the enemy is entitled to the truth according to the terms and conditions of the truth (and not their own.)

    So, when the S.S. knocks on the door, you do not have to tell them where the person is whom they’re chasing. Because, they’re not treating, with dignity, the person as a human being (i.e. because they’re the lunatic fringe of nuts and gangsters who have no right to a person’s life.) And therefore, the enemy has no right to the truth according to their conditions and terms of the whereabouts of the person.

    Now, should someone lie about the person’s whereabouts, the lie in itself is wrong. But, the lie is not for the sake of trying to justify or rationalize that lying is right (i.e. lying for Jesus is justified.) Because, the lie in itself (an unspoken truth, if you will) is prohibiting the enemy to the knowledge of a person’s whereabouts according to their terms. That is, the lie is not for the intent to lead the enemy astray further than the enemy has already gone. The end and point which the enemy has led itself is to the front door of the person’s home (that is as far the enemy is allowed. And by producing a lie as a simple knee-jerk gesture due to pressure is a basic way of telling the enemy that he or she has no business to what they want in the person’s home – since a home is obviously for shelter from the outside elements as an umbrella – including the crooks knocking at the door.)

    So, lying for Jesus is never right. Whereas, lying upon someone’s whereabouts, to basically tell the enemy in a pressured and compromised circumstance that he or she (of course by its’ very implicit response and indirect presentation) has no place (nor business) to take someone and do what they desire with them, is not justfying that a lie is right (it’s not the defense for the case.) Rather, it’s a lie in a dire and distressed situation as a poor advocation (and a last resort; and perhaps the only immediately pressing means) to tell the enemy in an indirect and implicit way that it’s none of their business (since their business is to do harm and falls outside the terms of respecting one’s dignity.) It’s, quite blatent, an involuntary lie by convulsion to protect one’s neighbor with which there is no necessary foundation to posses idea to live a life telling lies (nor advocating that is okay to lie for Jesus.)

    The red herring is not the case.


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