If you have a good reason for committing the sin is it justified

January 1, 2016, 2:11 pm

Agree31 Disagree22

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The debate "If you have a good reason for committing the sin is it justified" was started by truth_vs_true on January 1, 2016, 2:11 pm. 31 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 22 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

PsychDave posted 15 arguments, truth_vs_true posted 1 argument, danielle posted 2 arguments, Alex posted 9 arguments to the agreers part.
Alex posted 5 arguments to the disagreers part.

truth_vs_true, PsychDave, Phemelo, swp16, dalia, Monster, Preksha, danielle, Dhruv, Alex, Arixeo, Yoorhaighness and 19 visitors agree.
jt5542002, fish, Rebelis12, Dctheentrepreneur, multishooterftw, Band_Nerd_24, gamelia94, Peypey, bcdunn7, thatdebatingchick, aliot, franciscotrejo and 10 visitors disagree.

Sosocratese
replied to...

Divine command theory is a theory of morality which asserts that morality must be divinely commanded and that without such commands morality does not exist. It doesn't matter which divinity you believe in since it's simply a statement about the epistemology of ethical knowledge rather than the content of moral codes.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

He explained what it was, did you read the comment you were replying to?

3 years, 9 months ago

I have no idea what the divine theory of ethics is. I follow the doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church.

Jesus also flipped over tables in the temple, and got angry with them. there is a time and place for turning the other cheek, and a time for getting angry and retaliating.

3 years, 9 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Didn't Jesus say something about turning the other cheek as well? Wasn't his whole thing about being a pacifist even in the face of violence? How can you possibly square violence with the new testament? I can see it being OK in the old testament, that thing advocated for genocide....

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

Where does Bible or the church say killing on self defense is not a sin?

3 years, 9 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Basically you're advocating for the divine command theory of ethics.

There are a couple of internal problems with this theory (regardless of which God we're talking about).


This brings into play the classic euthyphro dilemma: Does God command it because it is right, or is it right because God commands it?

If it is right because God commands it, you must accept that:

First, all sins are equal under divine command theory. In order to be morally responsible for our actions, we must freely decide which moral values govern our actions. In divine command theory we are unable to do this. We are only able to decide whether or not to follow God's commands. This means that lying is the same infraction as murder, that stealing is the same as rape, etc.... Since the only moral choice we can do is to obey or disobey the divine moral law, we can't be faulted as to which moral law we brake.

Without the ability to discern good and evil ourselves, we are subject to only two choices when it comes to morality.

Second, you must accept that the nature of God being unknowable, you are basing your moral code on the believe that God is actually good (having only his/her/it's word/holy book to base this on). So you are absolving yourself from the judgment of humanity and allowing God to be your scapegoat for any harmful acts you do, so long as they are in accordance with scripture.

If the latter of the euthyphro dilemma is true however, then we don't need God to give us our moral compass and we are free to explore morality on our own.

Either way, sin is irrelevant since there is only one sin; to not follow the laws of a God whom we cannot know and whom we can't be sure is good.

3 years, 9 months ago

I see what your saying, you need to understand more about the action. is stealing a terrists phone, or killing in war a morally good action? yes because it is in self defence. if I'm in war and I stand around doing nothing what happens? I die if I let a terrist blow me up, that's not self defence.
because the bible can sometimes be confusing we look at jesus, he says look to the church, the church tells us.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

So the civilians killed in the bombings were acceptable since a completely different group of people had bombed us? Could you put that in a framework that makes sense and respects the commandment "thou shalt not kill"? When did God add fine print to that commandment?

If anything with evil intent is evil, no matter if there is a good reason, killing is wrong, whether in war, self defense or for any other reason. You are committing an evil act on one person for the greater good. Whether there is sufficient good does not make a difference based on your arguments. Stealing a terrorists phone to stop them from setting off a bomb is an evil act since you are stealing. Whether you save hundreds of lives is irrelevant based on your logic. Overpowered a hijacker is a sin since evil was intended on the hijacker. That is why I can't agree with your perspective. It is not internally consistent or well reasoned.

3 years, 9 months ago

a just war is a type of self defence. for example in WWII they bombed us, so we defended ourselves by bombing them.

there are other ways to stop Hitler, other then killing him. if you don't acept this fact your not very smart. in war killing is really the only way to win.


Robin hood was sinning because he did not follow a and b as listed in my previous post. his action (stealing from the rich) was evil, and evil was intended opon the rich.

even of you say he followed a because he gave to the poor, he still ment evil on the rich, so he was sinning.

3 years, 9 months ago

That's a fairly convoluted argument that us not internally consistent. "thou shalt not kill" doesn't leave a lot of room for shades of grey, so what separates killing in war from killing to prevent one? Taking a life in self defense is acceptable, but taking one life to save millions is not?

Here is another example. Was Robin Hood evil?

3 years, 9 months ago

a good motive of an action cannot make a bad action good. evil must never be done that good may come of it this is a teaching of Holy Scriptures of the Catholic Church. " let us do no evil that there's a good come" rom 3:8. according to Pope Innocent III it is not lawful to tell a lie even to save another life.

is it lawful to be falling action which produces two effects one good and the other bad? such act is permissible under the following conditions
a. the action, viewed in itself must be good, or at least in different.
b. the evil must not be intended but only permitted.
c. a good reason for permitting the evil effect.
d. the good effect must follow at least as immediately as the evil one.
e. good must outweigh the evil.

so we see that killing Hitler outside off war is morally wrong. but killing someone in war is ok, as long as the reason for war is ok.

3 years, 9 months ago

The Catholic Church does not permit divorce for valid sacramental marriages. In fact a valid sacramental marriage is impossible to dissolve thereby making divorce not possible if the marriage was sacramental.

In marriage, the two become one flesh in a union joined by God, (Mark 10:8). Jesus speaks about divorce: ?Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate,? (Mark 10:9). So for a marriage that meets the requirements of being a sacrament, divorce in the Catholic Church is not possible.

There are some cases where living together has become too difficult or practically impossible. The Church permits a physical separation of the spouses and living apart, but the two still remain married until an annulment is granted (if applicable).

?The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble,? (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1649).

3 years, 9 months ago

I only intended to list the ways to stop Hitler without killing him. If killing him is the preferred way people sin, what's to change that? Some people don't recognize sin, while murder is recognized by everyone. Murder would assume that it guarantees the future, but there's also the problem of if time travel were possible, can the past be changed? Ever hear of the idea that a person goes back in time to switch two babies, only to confirm the future by those babies growing up to be who they are supposed to BECAUSE they did that, not in spite of. Regardless, the kill Hitler question is actually if you would murder Hitler, despite the "he had it coming". Killing is a much more appealing word than murder I think, so that small bias should go right now, killing with plans and prejudice rather than a broad term for ending life. I'm not saying that killing or murder can be unjustified, but furthering ourselves from Hitler with subtle language creates a tiny bit of error.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

Is drugging him not a sin?

I used that as an extreme example. The Catholic Church sees divorce as a sin. Is it still a sin to divorce someone who plans to murder you? According to the church yes. I think attempted murder is sufficient cause to justify divorce, but according to church rules, it is still a sin.

There are an almost infinite variety of situations that an action can be morally justified and still be a sin.

3 years, 9 months ago

as MrShine pointed out there are many different ways to stop the Holocaust without killing Hitler.

3 years, 9 months ago

Find your way into the prison Hitler was in when he wrote mein Kampf, and while you are there tear up the book while telling him about his childhood. Odds are very few people know personally before the internet age, so it would be close enough to terrorize him. Then talk however you like, just make sure he can't collect his ideas or trust himself to do anything. Maybe bring him a picture of his art and tell him he ends up as a revolutionary artist. He's probably believe you if you acted fascinated and presented his pictures with the history and inspiration behind them. Or maybe you tell him how he dies, along with the idea that he is hated forever or forgotten since then. Or maybe you use hallucinogenics to teach him that he can't influence people like he could have, and turn him into a recluse that can't communicate. Not all of these can be guaranteed, as they aren't fully planned out, but he was a political prisoner for treason at this time, without the words he would have likely disappeared. And it's just a thought, killing him at this point and time could be more justified than when he was a child.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

That requires a lot less planning since it doesn't rely on convincing anyone of anything. Before he came to power, he wouldn't have any real security, so it wouldn't be very hard. Realistically you could "accidentally" hit him with a car.

3 years, 9 months ago

I'll actually get a good plan when I get myself a time machine.

how are you going to kill hitler?

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

Sent started by joining a political party and rising through it until he was elected. Unless you are planning to run for office to get a platform to speak from, you would need a plan for how to get people to actually listen to you.

3 years, 9 months ago

how did Hitler get his message across? I would use similar methods. you give a speech or something.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

That doesn't solve the problem of spreading your message to people who don't really care in a preinternet society. Odds are most of them would never heard your message, let alone believe it and be influenced by it.

3 years, 9 months ago

ok, so when I go back to stop Hitler I'll use natraul things like earthquakes and such to convince people.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

It would depend. It is far more likely that sports are rigged than that they are from the future. If they predicted lottery numbers, that would be better proof. If they could predict something beyond human control, like an earthquake, that would be better still. I'm honestly not sure what it would take to convince me since most things have more probable explanations.

The problem then goes from convincing one person to let you spread your message to convincing everyone. Bear in mind that in the early 1900s TVs weren't common, and newspapers were the primary source of information for many people. It is much more difficult to show prescience in print than in person, and there is a risk that your predictions will influence events, making them inaccurate and useless. If you say a team will win by a landslide and they believe you can see the future, they are less likely to push themselves, which could cost them the game. That would undermine your credibility.

3 years, 9 months ago

let's not make this debate about trump, but if someone came to you and told you all the teams who won sports for the day, and then told you many other things, would you believe they are from the future?

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

Aside from that, I don't need to prove I am from the future to show that Trump is a bad person. He is racist, sexist, and an a** to anyone who disagrees with him. He uses slander and insults in place of logic and reason and considers adopting policies nit seem since Hitler. What more proof is required?

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

That's just the point. I would be more inclined to believe that the sports you are predicting are fixed than that you are from the future. You are claiming people would believe you, but you wouldn't believe in their place.

3 years, 9 months ago

first you will need to prove your from the future, then tell me what trump has done.

3 years, 9 months ago

prove it, and I will believe you and not listen to trump.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

Would you believe that if I claimed it of Trump now?

3 years, 9 months ago

if someone is taking a dying, or in labor person to the hospital, it may not be a sin. sins can't be justified, but actions can be justified. justified actions are not sins.

and I said I would prove that Hitler was bad, then people would not listen to him. I'm not going to imprison him, the people may do that when I prove he us evil, or Hitler may change and not be evil.

3 years, 9 months ago

the scenario is that you have one choice or the other, sometimes sacrifices need to made.

killing is an extreme example, there are far more common examples, ie taking a job that pays less but you enjoy it more??

or people who grow marijuana for medicinal purposes, in the eyes of the law that's illegal but actually medicinal marijuana has been found to be really helpful to some illnesses..

there's a movie and I can't remember what movie it was but there is a scene where a car runs some red lights, another character points to the car and says according to society that guy is already labeled a bad guy, stupid for running the red light irresponsible, an idiot, but actually you don't know a thing, his wife could be in labour in the back and theyre racing to the hospital, or he could be visiting a dying friend and getting there before its too late,

the moral of the story is that every time someone commits a "sin" there seems to be an excuse or some sort of justification, even murderers have a defence in court... this is a very hard question to answer, its far too subjective!

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

So you would predict sports scores and use that to imprison him for crimes that he has not yet committed? What law exists that would allow for that?

3 years, 9 months ago

show them videos and pictures of what Hitler did. but of course I'd have to prove that I am from the future. this is easy, you tell the people who will win all the football games that day using the sports Almanac from Back to the Future II. then they would believe me and not listen to hitler

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

What proof would you offer? If someone claimed that they were from the future and Donald Trump is going to commit genocide, would you believe them and have him arrested? If so, what would you charge him with? We don't have any way to arrest someone for "being evil" or for crimes that you say they are going to commit, so how would you convince people?

3 years, 9 months ago

i see your thoughts here. but if you can save the world without killing person A, you should still do it right? think of these two cases.
1. someone goes back in time kills Hitler near the beginning of the war. Hitler friend comes out and recruits more natzi troops using Hitler's death as a recruiting slogan.

2. someone goes back in time, shows proof of Hitler being evil, and people see it, and stop Hitler, and his ideas.

these 2 cases are at a time of before the war, or at the very beginning. during a war, killing is nessary to win

3 years, 9 months ago

it's utilitarianism, I can't remember exactly but something to do with sacrificing something small for something great,
eg, in order to save the world you must kill person A?

3 years, 9 months ago

if I could go back in time, to stop Hitler I would show people proof that Hitler is bad. they would then arrest him, or do something, he would then not be able to come to power.

3 years, 9 months ago

I remember in a film that had a dinner party where the people invite a person, and if they thought the person was bad they would kill them. The group radicalized and started killing people that were "uncultured" or had some differing opinion. Eventually they somehow managed to invite a famous guy, a showhost I think, and they already disagreed with him. The killing Hitler question came up, and the guy said he'd talk to him. When they group took off to the side to figure out what to do, somehow the man must've figured out because of some clue or another, its been too long, and switched the wine meant for him with the rest of the group (they were still in bottles.)
I get that sin in religion is one thing, so I won't address it as sin as to appeal to everyone. Lets just call it evil. Does a justified evil fine so long as the result is made up by a good, or at least better result? I wouldn't necessarily say so, but there are hard calls. If we do recognize no other alternative, sure. But this is not a habit to have, always search for an alternative, because while the ends might justify the means, the means will eventually have an impact on the result. Maybe the dinner table did good at first, but eventually they went wrong. At some point, decide to see if you have more options than you think. If the evil, or maybe return to sin, is done for something greater, then obviously it would be done. Who wouldn't drive an injured person to the hospital is they had a car but no licence? A poor example, maybe, but if we are willing to break the law for something laws are meant to preserve, then maybe breaking the law isn't a compromise, but something good, parallel to the law but not following the law. If there is a return to sins in the discussion, Jewish law and sins are clearly different by the different views between Jesus (what comes out of a man's mouth is what defiles him, not what goes in) and a Leviticus (crawfish, cloths). Religious argument or not, My bid is that sins can be justified, but that doesn't mean that there is never a better choice.

3 years, 9 months ago

What I'm getting at is you always see all these different situations were you think it's justified but what your doing is still a sin. The question I guess is the sin your commuting worth it. Does who or what every is suffering from your sin deserve it and who are you to say what the deserve?

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

If you were in that situation, name another solution.

3 years, 9 months ago

Dave, in a war, if Hitler was actively shooting people, yes kill him. but let's say Hitler was walking down the street and you shot him. no not justified. there are tons of other ways to save lives of those in WWIII then killing Hitler before the war.

3 years, 9 months ago
Freyja
replied to...

Well Sosocratese is saying that if you believe that there are unmoving rules about behavior given by, well I guess God (right?), then what you say is true. He is also saying that there is another side of the argument that you seem to be ignoring.

3 years, 9 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

Is killing Hitler to stop him from killing someone else justified?

3 years, 9 months ago

in your example with Hitler, killing Hitler would be a sin, and would not be justified, unless Hitler was killing you or sonething.

3 years, 9 months ago

Depends on if you believe in subjective Vs objective morality I guess.

Murder can either be always wrong if you're an objective moralist. If you're subjective moralist, it can be right if it ends up saving more lives than the one you're taking (think killing Hitler before he could come to power) . Stealing can be right if it produces more good than harm (thinking Robin hood kinda stuff). Eating shrimp out of necessity could be considered a justification (starving yourself on purpose could be considered suicide if shrimp were available). Wearing clothes out of mixed fibres in order to survive in the cold might be acceptable.... At least you'll be able to ask for forgiveness rather than die.

3 years, 9 months ago

well then if it's justified it's not a sin. do u have an example?

3 years, 9 months ago
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