Tom McDonald and I argue about Planned Parenthood, Lying, and Scandal

Tom McDonald and I argue about Planned Parenthood, Lying, and Scandal July 23, 2015

Listen to Connecting the Dots live Monday through Friday at 5 PM Eastern here.

"One of the cardinal virtues is prudence. We should all strive to develop it. As ..."

A smart take on the polarization ..."
"It is a difference whether one falls and commits a sin or wears the sin ..."

A smart take on the polarization ..."
"A smart take on polarization, which the blog author should read closely, e.g.:"This is in ..."

A smart take on the polarization ..."
"All of "those things" are for faithful Catholics in contradiction to the commandments of God ..."

A smart take on the polarization ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Gunnar Thalweg

    Honest, good faith question: Do you think it is all right for governments to conduct spying operations involving deception and for police to do undercover work?

    Undercover work and spying–is it intrinsically evil? Would you shut down the intelligence services and ban all undercover work?

    • Guest

      Forget intelligence work – just the competent exercise of basic warfare depends on deception to some extent. It’s a question I have a personal interest in and I don’t have an answer. It might be the case that there is no obligation to be truthful with those who have no right to the truth, but I can’t commit to that.

    • honzik
    • Agreed, that is a good question.
      If speaking untruths as a spy abroad or a cop undercover is sinful, then we should entirely oppose that sort of espionage or police work. But if it is not lying in that case, then how is the Planned Parenthood expose different?

    • orual’s kindred

      I think one problem is the fact that covert intelligence operations are indeed covert. How much information can ordinary people work with in order to come to a well-examined position regarding it? Neither am I saying it’s impossible to obtain, or that gives enough reason to write it off. And certainly I admit that I might be mistaken in fact, and that there are in fact reliable means to assess secret intelligence work. Nonetheless, for myself, the proposal that covert agents do such things is a non-argument either way. I doubt that lying is the worst tactic such agents employ. What about bribery and extortion? Exchanging one set of secrets for another? What about trading sex for information? Would that then make contraceptives and abortion permissible in that field? What about murder? If lying is acceptable for them, would those other methods be acceptable as well? And if not, why?

  • quasimodo

    Your suggestion of using “evasion” to refrain from lying about the “Jews in the attic” is childishly naive crap. “Hide your Jews better” is deeply and profoundly insulting to those who died trying to hide their neighbors or even strangers in need of help.

    • chezami

      It was Dutch rescuers themselves who wrestled with the morality of lying. Tell them how insulting they are. I say nothing in judgment of rescuers who were doing the best they could. I speak rather to those Christians now who are foolishly trying to turn lying into a virtue in order to rationalize a foolish embrace of consequentialism that is only going to backfire and harm the prolife movement more.

  • Guest

    Didn’t get a chance to listen. I hope the Chesterton passage came up, where he said something to the effect that whether or not it is acceptable to lie in such dire and emergent circumstances, it is critical that we not practice lying in order to be effective should the need arise.

  • Brian

    “Women only do it once a month.”

  • dasrach

    I’m also troubled by the Live Action style techniques, but my husband heard a comparison that rings much truer than acting or wartime spies (because, as has been pointed out time and again, the Church allows behavior in war that isn’t allowed in other times–we can shoot enemy soldiers, but not PP employees). He heard it compared to undercover journalism, like when Nellie Bly feigned insanity so she could report on the horrid conditions in insane asylums or when consumer advocacy groups take fully-functioning cars to mechanics, pretend there’s a problem, and see if the mechanic recommends unnecessary repairs. We generally think of Nellie Bly as a hero, and we’re more than happy to benefit off the work of consumer advocacy groups. I don’t know if this means I need to rethink my opinion of Live Action or of Nellie Bly, but I clearly need to rethink one of those. Food for thought.