...are the ones that make the biggest difference


The debut

I present the very first picture of the fruit of my loins.

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Torture, pt 2

This is a little free-form, but hey, I've been busy.

If you're willing to kill someone, why would you have any problem with torturing them? Honestly, if you view someone else's life as expendable, which is necessarily how you must view someone if you are willing to sacrifice their life for some "policy objectives", why is their pain and suffering less acceptable than their death? It isn't, or at least it shouldn't be. If you're willing to consign someone to eternity, why should a few hours of pain trouble your conscience? Again, it shouldn't. So why does it? Why are people who are willing to support the killing of combatants and non-combatants alike, which is inevitable in modern warfare, unwilling to support torture? Personally, I think they lack the courage of their convictions. Or, rather, we see that their convictions about the taking of other human life is rooted more in fear for self than love of neighbor.

This may seem like a non-sequitur, so let me explain. If one is willing to kill, if one believes that the death of person A is necessary to save the life of the innocent person B, then on what basis would one decide that torturing person A or C (A's accomplice) is wrong? It clearly cannot be love of enemy, because the executing agent cannot simultaneously love and kill someone on the field of battle. So persons A & C are not spared torture because of love for their persons, since their deaths are viable options. If one is truly acting out of love for neighbor (the innocent B), how is sparing A & C pain, but not death, moral? You have essentially said that B's life is worth A's life, but not his suffering. On what basis is that calculation made? I can see no moral rubric for it; B's life is worth how much of A's suffering? Is there a time-limit? If we could strap A into some machine that would quantify his pain, is there a number over which B's life becomes forfeit, say 7 on a scale of 1-10? No matter how one attempts to negotiate that nebulous concept, it is clear that saving B is not really done for the love of B if one is not willing to torture A & C. So why do so many find it permissible to kill but not torture? It is irrational and on that basis, I can surmise only that it is a course dictated by fear. One is afraid that they will be next, or at least A will get to them somewhere down the line. B's life is entirely incidental to saving one's own self. Killing A can be justified, but I think the deep internal contradiction that is one's un-love for person B makes torture too messy and too direct. One is not the target & one doesn't love B, so a quick death is acceptable, but causing so much pain to someone for an essentially worthless objective is just too much.

So at least those who are willing to torture & kill are being consistent in their moral convictions. They understand the rubric and are unafraid to get their hands dirty. Whether its love of self or love of neighbor, the torturer is simply moving forward in a consistent manner. Death or torture; its all the same. Clearly love for one's enemy is non-existent. For Christians at least, this is the wedge. We are called to love both neighbor and enemy and not one more than the other, but both more than the self. The willingness to kill and to torture both betray a fundamentally consistent imbalance in love, weighting love of self, then neighbor and finally enemy.

What would the Christian's situation be if Christ had operated under that paradigm? (cont)