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Do the Ends Justify the Means?

December 5, 2006

Discussion topic: Do the ends justify the means?

Example:
Say Bob told you to kill Joe, or Bob would kill 5,000,000 people. Would it be better to to kill Joe to keep Bob from killing the 5,000,000?

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19 comments

  1. “You shall not murder.”

    If you killed Joe, you’d be sinning against God. If Bob kills 5,000,000 people, he’s sinning against God.

    Each person has a choice: You can call Joe, or not kill Joe. It’s your choice. If you kill Joe, you’ve committed a heinous sin. If you don’t, you haven’t sinned. Bob can kill 5,000,000 people, or not kill 5,000,000 people. It’s Bob’s choice. If he kills 5,000,000 people, he’s committed an equally heinous act in the eyes of God, despite what the world may say, and His eyes are the only eyes that matter.

    It all comes down to choice…If you kill Joe, you sin, if you don’t, you haven’t sinned. Just because Bob’s a wacko and decides to kill 5,000,000 since you didn’t kill Joe, doesn’t mean that you’ve sinned. Bob sinned. And he can take that up with God.


  2. Let me just add one more thing…

    Romans 14:12
    So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.


  3. It would be best to kill Joe. This is logically the best choice, no matter what belief system you live under [unless you’re one of the few people who believe that mass extinction of the human race will save it.]

    If you believe in heaven/hell, reincarnation, or are an athiest, killing Joe is the right move to make. He’s already made his life choices and will go where ever he will go and whatever will happen to him will happen to him.

    The saving of those 5 million people is the right choice. As an Athiest I believe that the greater “good” [not that good and evil truly exist, but still] triumphs over the lesser. Those 5 million people are more important the successful existence of society than the 1 person is.

    Even if you were a Christian, you must see the logic behind the murder of Joe. What is 1 soul against 5,000,000?

    Also, to address something sellout said – “If you kill Joe, you sin, if you don’t, you haven’t sinned. Just because Bob’s a wacko and decides to kill 5,000,000 since you didn’t kill Joe, doesn’t mean that you’ve sinned.” I believe the familes and friends of those 5 million people would see the situation a bit differently than you. If through your inaction, 5 million people die, how is this not sin?

    And what kind of God holds decisions made under duress against you? That’s why all religion will eventually fail against the truth of intelligence. Statements like that make absolutely no sense and will one day be scoffed at like we scoff at the fools of former times who believed the Earth was flat.


  4. To NewAthiest:

    True, supposing Joe is a person of some age, he likely has made his decisions for the most part. However, the reason a person would have a problem killing him in the first place is that he has the capacity to continue making life choices, therefore he hasn’t complete all of his choices, or else the example would be meaningless.

    This may seem like semantics, and is mostly for clarification–but technically, it would be the lesser of the two evils, not the greater good. In the given example, killing 1 person is wrong and killing 5 million people is wrong. Therefore, it’s not a choice of “goods” but of “bads”. Seeing as you evidently believe neither action is good or evil, this is for the benefit of other readers. (Although it does pose an interesting question: if neither Good nor Evil exist, what prompts you to suggest that one decision is better than another?)

    You’re comment on 5 million people being more important to the successful existence of society than 1 person makes several assumptions. First, it assumes that Joe has no potential. Second, it assumes that the 5 million people are somehow valuable to society. What if Joe has the capacity to create a cure for cancer? What if the five million people are the starving, or the disabled, or those in poverty who will contribute nothing to society? The third thing that the comment assumes is that the question is concerned with society’s view of the act committed. In reality, however, the question is posed in relation to God’s view of the act committed (admittedly the example neglected to say whose point of view the question should be considered from, but the context of the question on a sight with the heading “supernatural warfare” with “exploring the truth of God’s Word” underneath it should be statement enough. However, the view from which the committed act is viewed from is based in one’s worldview–therefore, you, as an atheist, evidently think of the issue from society’s point of view. We, as Christians, will think of it from God’s point of view. To talk any further on the topic of worldviews would risk a debate on the matter, and this post’s comment section is not the place to carry out a debate. I merely point out the difference of view so that you might understand why a Christian’s answers will tend to be foundationally different from yours.)

    Even as a Christian, yes, the logic is viewable. Whether or not it is the right thing is the question to be debated. As for what is one soul to 5,000,000, what does it matter? Using your logic with Joe, these five million people made their life choices and what will happen to them will happen to them. As for souls, you, as a atheist, don’t really believe in the soul, do you? But from a Christian view, the issue is debatable. However, it is also moot. The true issue for a Christian is how his or her action will fall in line with God’s commandments. The first concern of the soul is making sure one’s own actions fall in line with God’s view of acts committed. This is the only concern in the present situation, as the person making a choice will be negatively effecting those involved no matter what choice he makes.

    I don’t speak for sellout, but I wouldn’t like to offer a comment on what you said to him: If you don’t believe in good or evil, why does it matter what the families of those five million people think? The emotions of others only matter in a world with good or evil. In a world of Natural Selection (forgive me if you don’t subscribe to natural selection, but many atheists do), the only reason the deaths of those five million people are negative is because of their deprecation to the cause of survival. As for how it is not sin, this, again, is the true issue–which is the sin?

    In your last paragraph, you fall victim to the intellectual mistake many people–even some Christians–make: thinking of God in terms of man. The question you posed: “What kind of God holds decisions made under duress against you?” is answered in the Book of Job (once again, you evidently don’t believe in the Scriptures, but this is the Christian answer to your question–and once again, to ask “why do you believe the Bible” opens a whole new debate not fit for this post’s comment section). All of Job’s family dies, his wealth in livestock is taken away from him, his servants are killed, and he’s left all alone on the edge of death. He asks God a similar question, why would God allow such bad things to happen to people. God’s is response is this: “Who are you to judge Me?” And that really is the truth. Who is a man to judge God? Also, the very essence of your question “what kind of God could…?” is falling into the trap of Right and Wrong. For God to make a Wrong decision from your point of view admits that there are, in fact, right and wrong, and Good and Evil. And within that, you fall into the trap of thinking that God must live up to some standard of Right and Wrong, when in reality, God *sets* the standards for right and wrong. God is the only absolute, and He defines what is Right and what is Wrong, and anything He does is right.
    A related answer to that question is: God does have a standard of perfection, and any deviation from that standard is unacceptable, even ones made under duress. Decisions made under duress are some of the prime ways God tests us. There’s no inadmissable evidence in God’s court.

    Having said all of that, here is a separate message addressing the question itself:

    That’s a bit of a loaded example. A better example would be: Bob is going to kill 5,000,000 people by detonating a nuclear device, which is activated by a button on a control panel. You happen to stumble in on Bob while he’s about to press the button, and you conveniently have a loaded gun in your hand. Bob is unarmed. Your options are to: 1. Kill Bob; or 2. Not kill Bob.

    Which, then, do you do?

    If it’s morally wrong to kill Joe, isn’t it equally morally wrong to kill Bob? Every person is fallen and of equal value to God. Let’s edit the first example and say that Bob gave you a gun with one bullet. Bob is stupid and doesn’t even think you’ll try to kill him. So, you get to choose whether to kill Joe to save the 5,000,000 people or to kill Bob to save the 5,000,000 people. Just because Bob may want to kill people does not make him any less fallen than Joe. Why does it matter who you kill? The real question isn’t “do you kill Joe and become a murderer or don’t you?”, it is “Is one life worth 5,000,000 lives?”. Joe and Bob are the same in God’s eyes.

    But let’s revisit the first example, unedited. Even then, isn’t it a sin of omission not to save the 5,000,000 people? Wouldn’t you then be guilty for their deaths? And which is a worse sin on your conscience, the deaths of 5,000,000 or the death of one? Furthermore, wouldn’t it be the Christian thing to do to kill Joe? If you don’t kill him, then 5,000,000 deaths are on both your head and Bob’s, whereas if you kill Joe, there is one life on both your head and Bob’s.
    Again modifying the original example, what if Joe is a Christian, and the 5,000,000 are people in Africa, or China, or the Middle East, or somewhere where the Gospel is not widely known? Joe will go to heaven if you kill him, but most of those 5,000,000 people won’t. What then do you do?

    Or what about this: the nuclear device is set on a timer. You captured Bob and tied him down. He is the only person who knows how to stop the bomb, but he refuses to tell you how. You have a knife. Is it morally defensible then to torture Bob? The trade is not even one life for 5,000,000 lives. The trade is one person’s temporary personal comfort for the lives of 5,000,000 people. Would it be wrong to torture Bob?


  5. I must point out one thing however. What about that Bible verse that says “If you know the good you ought to do, and don’t do it, you sin.”

    Unfortunately I can’t find the reference right now, but it’s in there.

    Doesn’t that verse go for killing Joe? Because you’re doing good and saving the lives of those 5,000,000?


  6. There’s two other options that I don’t think anyone has considered (sorry “harry” if you said it, but I havn’t read your whole post), one-kill bob. You kill bob you have saved 5,000,000 people. Joe could actually end up saving 5,000,000 people in the future thus you would be “saving” 10,000,000 people.

    Two-Step in for Joe. You sacrifice yourself so that others can live. Don’t kill, just give.


  7. NewAthiest,
    If good and evil don’t exist, then what does it matter whether Joe is killed or 5,000,000 people are killed? If good and evil don’t exist, then it’s not “good” to save 5,000,000 people and it’s not “evil” to kill 5,000,000 people. It’s not “good” to let Joe live and it’s not “evil” to kill Joe. Also, you said, “I believe that the greater ‘good’ [not that good and evil truly exist, but still] triumphs over the lesser” How can there be a “greater good” if there is no “good”? How can you have a greater degree of something that doesn’t exist?


  8. It’s absolute good and evil that do not exist. Good and Evil are words we used to describe actions that we view as positive or negative. What you think is good and what I think are good are different things entirely. The difference is that my opinions are backed by logic and the study of what I can see and sense, while your definition of Good and Evil is something out a book written by men and distorted over thousands and thousands of years.

    The “greater good” I refer to is not subscribing to a higher absolute standard, but to the obvious, seeable truth. Death is negative. Hardly anyone *wants* to die. Thus the claims of 5 million people outweight the claim of one.

    “God does have a standard of perfection, and any deviation from that standard is unacceptable, even ones made under duress. Decisions made under duress are some of the prime ways God tests us. There’s no inadmissable evidence in God’s court.” – In that case I am most glad I do not follow your god.

    “If you don’t believe in good or evil, why does it matter what the families of those five million people think? The emotions of others only matter in a world with good or evil.” – This is simply not true. Emotions matter not a whit in a world of absolute right and wrong. The *only* matter in a world that lacks concrete definitions of such terms as ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

    “In a world of Natural Selection (forgive me if you don’t subscribe to natural selection, but many atheists do), the only reason the deaths of those five million people are negative is because of their deprecation to the cause of survival. As for how it is not sin, this, again, is the true issue–which is the sin?” – Actually, according to the most extreme definition of natural selection, their death or life matters not at all. If they live, they survived and did their role. If they die without reproducing, then natural selection has *also* been successful. That’s the beauty of it – it’s never wrong.


  9. I suppose that’s true, that “Right” and “Wrong” are perceived differently by different people. I’m trying to avoid getting into a debate about intelligent design, whether God’s real or not, so I won’t get into whether or not the Bible is distorted, or about Divine Inspiration. So, since I won’t get into that, I’ll just suffice it to say that it’s a bit audacious to make rude comments on a site you seem to have stumbled upon, frequented by people who beieve something you don’t, etc. etc. I appreciated the respect of your initial comment (excluding your last paragraph, which I ignored). I would appreciate a more respectful tone in future comments, though. Just because we have different beliefs doesn’t mean we can’t discuss them in an amiable manner.

    But what if Joe’s idea of a greater good is different than yours? Or what if the 5 million people–or the majority of them–have different ideas of them? Or what if the person making the decision does? Really, to say that yours is backed by logic is all good and well, but logic is as easily perceived differently from person to person as good and evil are. The difference between your logic and my logic is that mine is based on something outside myself. To say that your concept of good and evil is based on logic is contigent upon the fact that your whole worldview is correct–which you think it is and I think it’s not. Therefore we can’t agree on concepts of good and evil, or on logic, until we agree on a worldview–which likely won’t happen, so perhaps the whole discussion is meaningless.

    I didn’t say that they only mattered in a world of absolute good and evil, I said they only mattered in a world with good and evil. I do believe that there are absolutes, and I do believe that there is right and wrong. The reason emtions *do* matter in a world with good and evil (and I probably should have specified this to start with) is because one of the most basic Christian doctrines is the elevation of others over self. In a world without good or evil, there’s no reason that self should not be infinitely elevated over others. Outside of right and wrong, there is not a single logical reason that any given person should care at all for someone else unless that care is motivated by personal motives or outside effects, neither of which is genuine care. Therefore, in a world without any good or evil, emotions of others do not matter.

    Incidentally, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either good and evil do exist or they don’t. First you said they did not exist, but then you proceeded to argue with them. Now you’re saying that you define (as far as you’re concerned) what is good and evil. Either they do exist or they don’t–but either way, how is it you are privvy to the creating of their deffinitions?

    It sounds as if Natural Selection is a synonym for Fate (or dare I say, Providence), the way you describe it. Whatever will happen will happen? Taking that, if Natural Selection wins either way, what does society’s opinion matter? Isn’t one course of action just as good or bad as the next?


  10. If absolute good and evil do not exist, then this entire discussion is pointless. Only I can decide for myself what the “right” thing to do would be, and only you can decide what the right thing for you to do is. Likewise, if absolute good and evil don’t exist, I cannot debate what right and wrong is for you, and you can’t decide what’s right and wrong for me. I’ll say again…if absolute good and evil don’t exist, then this entire discussion is pointless.

    On the other hand, if absolute good and evil do exist, then we have something to talk about. If absolute good and evil exist, then there is one right choice to make in this scenario. And that’s what we should be discussing. And, NewAthiest, it seems as if you’re debating that. Otherwise, you can’t convince me what the right or wrong choice is, and likewise, I can’t convince you.


  11. Bootsnbuckles: It’s alright. I did actually mention killing Bob in the bottum few paragraphs of my first comment. But I said that there’s no difference between killing Bob and killing Joe.

    In fact, I’m curious how both you and Sellout would respond to the bottum few paragraphs of my first comment (the bulk of the first comment is directed at NewAtheist, but the bottum was written first and adresses the question itself).

    Also, boots, sacrificing yourself isn’t an option. The question doesn’t say that Bob wants one person to die, he says that he wants you to kill Joe. If you don’t kill Joe, five million people die.


  12. “I would appreciate a more respectful tone in future comments, though. Just because we have different beliefs doesn’t mean we can’t discuss them in an amiable manner.” – Harry.

    I do not engage in “beliefs” in as much as I try to engage in fact. Your religion calls for the complete conquest of human civilization and at the end of time, the destruction of all those that fail to convert to it.

    Radical Islam dictates that the world must be won over to Islam and infidels slaughtered.

    Like wise, true athiesm can not exist in a world of ancient mysticism and a diminishing god of the gaps. You talk of truth as if it was something to discuss over tea and converts were to be won by idle chit-chat.

    “Really, to say that yours is backed by logic is all good and well, but logic is as easily perceived differently from person to person as good and evil are.” – Logic is merely the progression from one idea to another. If A is true, then B must be true. It’s rather sensible and in most cases not very open to personal opinion.

    “The difference between your logic and my logic is that mine is based on something outside myself.” – Logic is reason, and reason is not grounded inside any of us. My logic is not *my* logic, it’s merely the progression from A to B. The difference between our line of thinking comes from a root difference in philosophy, not faulty logic.

    I should have been more clear. Absolute evil and absolute good do not exist. This universe… nature, will continue on without the human race, without Joe, Bob, or the 5 million potential victims. The question deals nothing with “absolutes” but merely in how we perceieve the situation.

    If absolute moral standards do not apply, then truth is subjective and all of use perceieve our circumstances differently. I am no more privvy to the creation of “right and wrong” than you are. Just, in my opinion, more competent.

    Natural Selection wins either way, but *I* do not. I only win by living. Natural Selection merely is. It is not a god or even an infallible scientific doctrine. Society’s survival matters because we are all part of society. It’s survival is our survival. It’s opinion on any matter is paramount to guiding and leading our society to continued survival.

    Fate implies that a higher force of some kind has some sort of specific or vague direction it wants you, me, the planet, humanity, the universe to go towards. Natural Selection is simply there – the strong survive, the weak die out. That happens regardless. Fate and Natural Selection have different implied meanings. In both cases, whatever happens, happens. But one implies some sort of cognitive purpose and the other is simply nature being nature.

    sellout, in a world of perceieved right and wrong, we have an even greater ability to influence each others thinking. In a land of absolutes, you either bow or you are broken. The debate takes on *more* meaning because of the existence of belief, fact, knowledge and logic. You are able to convince me because I am convincable. I came to my position by logic, I can leave by the same root if lead by a more enlightened man than myself. You are the one who should be stoic in your belief system. For if I change my mind, my system is still the same. If you change yours, your entire worldview fails.


  13. “I do not engage in “beliefs” in as much as I try to engage in fact. Your religion calls for the complete conquest of human civilization, and at the end of time, the destruction of all those who fail to convert to it.”

    Your “belief” is that there is no God. That’s not “fact”, per se. Some scientists propose a “theory” of evolution. Not a scientific law of evolution. Nothing can come from nothing. Therefore something has always existed. The difference between the belief in a God that has always existed and a universe (or multiverse, or membrane theory, whatever you believe) is that there is no further explanation needed for God. God is God, He simply has always existed. There’s resounding silence in the case of a universe. The universe has no will, no –well no nothing, really. There’s no reason it should exist, and there’s no reason life at all should exist. There’s no explanation. And incidentally, why, then, is the universe expanding–not just expanding, but increasing in speed? And what about irreducible complexity? I realize most people dismiss the latter, but I’ve yet to find a more sensible explanation than that something other than evolution is responsible for life.
    Even when I just think about it, I can’t comprehend the faith required for the theory of evolution. To think that all life came from one piece of “life” I can’t even see with the naked eye amazes me. Why do dogs exist? Why do cats exist? More to the point, why–and how–do emotions exist? Why is it that the only “animal” that ever amounted anything is mankind? Even if you say the other animals just haven’t had enough time, there’s nothing in the history of mankind (roughly what, 4,000 years?) there’s nothing to indicate any animal intelligence has come close to ours. Sure, dolphins and gorilla’s can “communicate,” but neither species have made a new tool in thousands of years. And for life to form, Even with billions of years, it’s mathmatically insane. Everything would have to happen perfectly. That’s even excluding the precise positioning of of the earth in relation to the sun. And what about the trees that stand upright in the geological columns? Or the stalagmites that have formed in what, fifty years? Or the fish off the coast of madagascar that were thought to be extinct for millions of years, but were found recently with no evolutionary improvements (when compared to fossils from “millions” of years ago)?
    I’ll stop, I think you get my general drift about fact.

    As for my religion teaching conquest, you’ve apparently not read the Bible. Of course, I don’t blame you, I haven’t read all of the humanist manifesto or anything. The “Christianity” of medieval times is Christianity by name only–and that kind of Christianity has been dead for hundreds of years. True Biblical Christianity is the opposite. We believe in conversion by consent, not by conquest. We don’t plan on killing anyone and haven’t in a long time (excluding the occasional stray heretic who blows up an abortion clinic, which is not right regardless of one’s opinion of abortion). In relation to Islam, the first crusades took place 1,000 years after Christ, whereas the first Jihads occured during muhammad’s lifetime.
    With Protestantism came the return to Biblical principles. Ergo we don’t kill people anymore.
    Christ’s teaching condemns murder and fighting and instructs His followers to turn the other cheek. To say that we’re bent on conquest is laughable, especially in a time when Islamic Jihad still exists. Sure, some people call the Iraq war a crusade, but that’s simply untrue. The members of the US military are just that–members of the US military. And the US military is a part of the US Government, not some ad hoc assembly of Christians deciding to go in to a random Islamic country–on top of which, we’re trying to rebuild there, not conquer. And none of it has been in the name of “God”, but in the name of National Security (whether or not the war is justified is not relevation because I’m addressing intent).

    As for everyone who hasn’t converted being killed at the end of the world, that’s what God intends to do. Christians won’t be doing that. So you don’t have to worry about us plotting a massacre, we’re planning on letting God handle that sort of thing as He sees fit. On top of which, God will decide when the end of the world is, nothing us Christians can do will bring it about. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about as far as you’re concerned, because if our God doesn’t exist, the world won’t end and us Christians will be waiting for all eternity (or as long as mankind survives).

    Truth *is* something to discuss over tea. How else should we discuss it? With weapons? Didn’t you just condemn conversion by conquest? Conversion by consent is achieved through discussion. I don’t understand what alternative you want. And converts can be won by “chit-chat”, albeit not “idle” chit-chat. I wouldn’t call this discussion “idle”. Chit-chat, maybe, but as I said, converts can be won that way. Why? How do you “convert” people if not by dialogue?

    Actually, reason resides in everyone. Reason is how we utilize logic. Logic, true enough, doesn’t exist in us. I should have specified that by “logic” I meant the product of logic. Logic itself is merely a means to an end. When someone runs A through logic and comes out with B, it’s B that is the variable.
    But as you said, our difference in thinking is from our basic differene in philosophy. That changes our use and interpretation of B. Logic is not variable, but it can be used improperly to create variable resultes.

    “If absolute moral standards do not apply, then truth is subjective and all of us perceive our circumstances differently. I am no more privvy to the creation of “right and wrong” than you are. Just, in my opinion, more competent.”

    How can you be more competent in defining something that doesn’t exist? Right and wrong, by your logic, are merely every individuals perception of right and wrong. That means that you are not any more competent at defining “right and wrong” than you are an imagining what a bear looks like. Everyone is equally correct. Likewise, if there is no right and wrong beyond our own perceptions, why are you trying to convince me that something is better than something else? If truth is relative, why not let me live with my truth? What makes your truth better? And why do you act like “logic” is somehow more powerful than God? To you, it may be, but if truth is relative, the opposite is true for me, and neither of us are wrong. Isn’t that right? Why are you supporting something that, according to you, is not true for me and can’t be? (I say “can’t be”, because if truth is relative, my truth with always me truth for me until I decide on my own volition to change it.)

    My comment on Natural Selection was precisley to illustrate that it’s the same as when someone calls an event “fate”. If I get run over by a drunk driver, my death, at face value, is meaningless. But if you call it “fate”, then there’s some higher meaning to my death. The same goes for Natural Selection. Fate and Natural Selection are both terms for the path of time. Time is unable to be plied, and what will happen will happen. Another way of says that “time is unable to be plied, and what will happen will happen,” is to call it “fate” or “natural selection”. By “fate” I did not mean to imply a higher will, but merely to show that Natural Selection is just a couple words put together to but meaning on an otherwise meaningless event. There’s no point in the death of Joe or in the death of those 5,000,000 people if there is no “fate” or “natural selection”. They’re simply both used as justification.

    It interests me to note, though, that you do say that “Its opinion on any matter is paramount to guiding and leading our society to continued survival.” If Natural Selection merely is, how can it do anything for anyone? It may seem trivial–perhaps you were giving it intelligent attributes merely as a literary device. I would just like to confirm that.


  14. Mayhaps our young man should do a bit more careful reading and thought as to the many ways analogies and figures of speech can be interpreted.

    In your last paragraph where you quoted me, the “it” was society not natural selection. Society was the subject used in the previous sentence, thus grammar dictates that society is “it”. You are right to say that if something merely is, how can it do anything for anyone. It can’t. It just is.

    You also confuse “right and wrong” with “true and false”. Your views on right and wrong may be different from mine, but some things are true and other things not. All of our senses, and the ability to draw conclusions from them… to logically follow A to B, these are truths. They are not “right” or “wrong”. They are fact.

    You and I do not determine what is fact and what is not, merely what is morally right and morally wrong. The basis for your views, however, can be flawed. At the basis of philosophy you can argue that one view is as equally valid as another. However, as I see it, religion is the greatest affront to human civilization at present. Eliminate it, and humanity is freed from one of the last great chains holding us to the stone age.

    Perhaps you do not read your own bible enough. Conquest can be bloodless. As much as I am for the eliminating of religion, I will not simply exterminate everyone that holds onto an archaic belief system. Neither did I ever make claim that Christians were threatening to kill us non-believers in our sleeps. I merely stated what your own book states numerous times in the New Testament. To subdue the world to Christ. Make diciples of all nations. Go everywhere and preach.

    Yes, it’s by consent, but the good book says that those that don’t consent all die. Then die after they die.

    How pleasant. Something I think you do not chance to understand is that there is a war going on. You can not negotiate with a terrorist. You do not sit down to tea and crumpets with a muslim radical. Neither do you with a New Athiest. Or a sold-out born-again believer.

    The points are getting too varied and many for me to continue on. Know only this – I’m not really an athiest. I’m a hardcore spirit filled believer myself. If I insulted you, please don’t take it personally. I didn’t mean it. You’re all fine brothers of mine. =D

    Brian, please update again. I dearly love playing devil’s advocate. Just… next time pick a subject I know something about. =p


  15. Well, that’s actually a pleasant surprise.

    But now that you’ve spoiled the ending for me, I suppose I won’t bother with a rebuttle. :-p

    Although, now I’m curious, what do you honestly think should be done? So far we have two “don’t kill joe”s and two at least “maybe kill joe”s. I suppose since you were playing “Devil’s advocate” and started your first post with “it would be best to kill joe,” you don’t actually think it would be best?


  16. Oh, and also thank you. Regardless of whether or not I did any “good”, I had fun with the discussion.


  17. I apologize for not following this discussion, but now I must tack something onto the end: since you’ve concluded the discussion, did the US do the right thing when they dropped the atomic bombs on Japan?

    I’ll get a new discussion topic up soon.


  18. As you and sellout both stated, one must follow the Word and what it says. If Bob kills 5 million people, that is Bob’s problem. You can not have a righteous ending through sinning to get there. Be obedient to God – the rest takes care of itself.

    And yes Brian, US did the right thing by dropping the bombs on Japan. Though that’s hardly fair, given you know more about WWII than most of us put together…


  19. Hmmm… I can’t claim that I read all of the comments above, but I noticed Brian’s and I have to say (and Brian knows I think this way) that the US was wrong in dropping the bomb on Japan.

    We deliberately targeted civilians trying to make Japan yield to our will. We used terrorist tactics all throughout our conflict with Japan – we incendiary bombed them for months before we dropped the atomic bomb – and we dropped the atomic bomb for the simple reason of trying to save our soldiers.

    That doesn’t sound too bad, except that the ends do NOT justify the means. The US decided that it would be all right to sacrifice another country’s civilians and demonstrated that there wasn’t a strong Christian influence in the military at that time.

    I wouldn’t want to have to make the decisions that were made at the period in history, but the US clearly choose wrong and it disappoints me that I have to argue with people when the truth is in plain sight.



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