I was unjust to him ... Mr Orator spoke well. He spoke very positively about S Edmund Campion. And he did refer to the closing down of Benets; and he referred to it with regret; and he expressed a hope that it might only be in hibernation. Bravissimo! Or Eugepae!
May I remind those with an interest in traditional Catholic Ethics (or in Oxford ... or in Women ...) of the recent book The Women are up to something by Benjamin Lipscomb. One of the four women Oxford philosophers it describes is the Elizabeth Anscomb who nobly attempted to block the conferring at Encaenia of an honorary doctorate on President Truman ... who, she so rightly pointed out, was a war criminal.
These four Oxford women philosophers were not all Catholics, but they did all make a contribution to the thesis that there is such a thing as the objectively evil. As such, they deserve to be celebrated as important prophets of Veritatis Splendor.
Truman a war criminal? That's not the view of Leonard Cheshire VC,Catholic humanitarian,who knew a thing or two about warfare.
If Truman is guilty, so are King George VI, Churchill, and all those brave RAF men who slaughtered vast numbers of women and children in the cities of Germany.
Father, I think the argument that President Truman was a war criminal is based on the idea that it was wrong to drop atom bombs on Japan (as innocent people were killed) and that a peace could have been negotiated. Have I correctly set this out?
We might then consider how many POWs and people in occupied territories as well as combatants would have died during these negotiations and what concessions would have been required to satisfy the Japanese.
Oh Richard, you should first inform yourself about the background of Ms Anscomb's comment. Neither King George not Churchill ordered a nuclear bomb to be dropped on a city full of civilians...
Churchill and all those who dropped incendiary bombs on Dresden and other cities are guilty.
Nobody said that Ms Anscomb's opinion was infallible. However, it is not an outlandish thought that is to be immediately discarded either.
Such are the uncomfortable truths with which we, as Catholics, and therefore as lovers of truth in all its iterations, will have to come to grips.
True. Churchill was a mightily defective human being, quite apart from being complicit in mass murder. Perhaps that is why, in liberal democracies, the most vile individuals achieve such heights ...
In the summer of 1945 the best assessment of the situation was that continuing the war by conventional means would cost millions of lives, Japanese, American, British ...
Had Truman not used the means available to him vastly to reduce the carnage, he would have been blameworthy.
Does Catholic moral theology say that it is worse to kill a million people with one atom bomb than with a thousand conventional bombs, or with a million bows and arrows?
I'm afraid that it is indeed the fixed teaching of the Catholic Church that an inherently immoral action remains immoral even if it is performed in order to achieve a very good outcome. S John Paul explained this in Veritatis Splendor paragraph 80. (The encyclical also provides references to Vatican II, S Augustine, Aquinas, etc. etc..)
Is it not true that one may not do wrong to achieve right?
Then again, the winners usually write the histories.
This Irishman cannot see Churchill as a hero. He was a Black and Tan.
The people of Iraq can hardly be too fond of him, either.
He seemed to like bombing people. Truman, too.
Japan had previously declared that all their people were to kill themselves or others, but not surrender; and that there were no civilians in Japan except non-Japanese.
One of the reasons that Japanese soldiers holding out in the jungle did not surrender or go home, as late as the Seventies, was that they believed everyone in Japan must be dead of suicide, and that photos or text to the contrary were just lies.
When a nation refuses to act according to the laws of war to others, and furthermore declares that there are no civilians in its number, that nation has become an outlaw, outside the laws. Even Germany pretended to follow some laws of war, but mostly Japan did not.
How do you treat those outside the laws of war? You are within the law to execute them without trial.
So yeah. I think you have the war criminal thing reversed.
Let's not forget the great Mary Douglas (1921-2007, St Anne's Oxford 1939-43 and 1946-49) albeit not a philosopher as such, but a Catholic anthropologist. Yet *what* an anthropologist! She was a penetrating critic of many aspects of Vatican II, and of the 'permissive' postwar changes in fasting, observance and the liturgy.
Her later work 'Natural Symbols' has many such sideswipes, direct and indirect.
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