A couple of my recent comments to Kyle is posted below. I am eager to hear other people chime in on both this blog and Kyle's!
Kyle, et al...
Sorry I haven't been around for a few weeks.
Please allow me to posit the following remarks:
1. Kyle is right. V.P. Cheney did not make a sound case. His logic is flawed.
2. Teresa, I believe it was, to say that moral relativism is ok some of the time is preposterous. To state that such would be ok once in a while implies it is ok at all times. Moral Relativism is never ok. Like T. More said in R. Bolt's play, "Would you strike down every law in England to get the devil? [Roper says, "yes."] "Then where will hide when there is nothing in the land to stop the devil from coming down upon you?"
3. Kyle, we are at completely at odds with e/o when it comes to the issue of relativism. I side with P. Johnson in 'Modern Times' believing that moral relativism is at the heart of every problem and every evil that transpired in the 20th century.
4. I still uphold that severe, harsh questioning with physical and psychological tactics can be permissible by grounds of self-defense. Just like I don't think the death penalty is murder, so I don't think waterboarding is intrinsically torture.
5. I think that Dick Cheney will take Oh, Bama down with this torture issue. I think that Dick Cheney running for the presidency is possible if Obama doesn't change his tack--a Cheney-Obama debate would be fascinating to observe!
6. I think that libertarians are usual right but for the wrong reasons. I would say the same of Cheney, presently.
7. Some one said: If, according to Catholic teaching, the object chosen is intrinsically evil, the latter two sources of the moral rightness of an act cannot justify it. So, I make my point again, the question is whether EIT is intrinsically evil.
-I don't think EIT is intrinsically evil. Torture as revenge is wrong. Vengeance is not ours. But EIT upon an individual who is part of an ongoing plot of a certain nature can be reasonable.
So there it is, I continue disagree with every one of you. Aargh. Why is this?
Below I've pasted the entire section of Gaudium et Spes that keeps coming up. I copied the section from Vatican's website version of the "Pastoral Constitution."
MY COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.
-FIRST OFF, THIS DOCUMENT IS A PASTORAL CONSTITUTION, PROMULGATED BY PAUL VI...WHICH IMPLIES IT DOES NOT HAVE THE FULL WEIGHT AND AUTHORITY OF CHURCH TEACHING AND TRADITION BEHIND IT. (IT IS NOT AN ENCYCLICAL, IT IS NOT AN APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION, WHICH WOULD HAVE MORE WEIGHT.) IT DOES STILL IMPLY THAT WE SHOULD EXAMINE IT CAREFULLY AND EXPECT INFORMATION THAT CAN AFFECT OUR LIVES FOR THE BETTER, HOWEVER.
27. Coming down to practical and particularly urgent consequences, this council lays stress on reverence for man; everyone must consider his every neighbor without exception as another self, taking into account first of all His life and the means necessary to living it with dignity,(8) so as not to imitate the rich man who had no concern for the poor man Lazarus.(9)IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE SECTION SPECIFICALLY IS MEANT TO ADDRESS OUR TREATMENT OF THE POOR. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE SAME SORT OF POOR IN OUR BACK AND FORTH.
In our times a special obligation binds us to make ourselves the neighbor of every person without exception. PASTORALLY SPEAKING THIS IS PERFECTLY TRUE, BUT IF OUR NEIGHBOR HARMS US WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECOMPENSE AND IF OUR NEIGHBOR ATTACKS WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE. and of actively helping him when he comes across our path, whether he be an old person abandoned by all, a foreign laborer unjustly looked down uponHOW DOES THIS CATEGORY MEASURE UP TO THE OTHER ONES? THIS SORT OF INSERTION IS WHAT HAS CONVINCED SOME THEOLOGY STUDENTS THAT THIS DOCUMENT IS ONE OF THE WORST CONSENSUS DOCUMENTS VAT. II PRODUCED, a refugee, a child born of an unlawful union and wrongly suffering for a sin he did not commit, or a hungry person who disturbs our conscience by recalling the voice of the Lord, "As long as you did it for one of these the least of my brethren, you did it for me" (Matt. 25:40). AGAIN, NONE OF THE SCENARIOS LISTED ABOVE MAKE ME THINK THIS SECTION IS MEANT TO BE A GUIDE TO WHAT TO THINK OF EIT'S ON ENEMY COMBATANTS. (I AM ONLY ATTEMPTING TO DEFEND THE POSSIBILITY OF A SCENARIO WHERE EIT CAN BE JUSTIFIED, NOT ANY PAST USE OR ABUSE.)
Furthermore, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments THIS SORT OF TERM NEEDS SERIOUS DISTINCTION AND CLARIFICATION BECAUSE ANYTHING COULD BE CLAIMED AS A 'TORMENT' TO SOMEONE!inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportationDEPORTATION? WERE THE WRITERS OF THIS DOC. SERIOUS? HOW IS THE JUST EXPELLING OF A PERSON WHO VIOLATED MULTIPLE LAWS TO ILLEGALLY ENTER A SOVEREIGN NATION APPLICABLE TO THIS SPECIFIC DISCUSSION OF SECTION 27 OF GAUDIUM ET SPES?, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies(DEFINED BY WEBSTERS AS A BAD REPUTATION) indeed. DOES ANYONE KNOW THE LATIN TERM AND ITS POSSIBLE OTHER TRANSLATIONS FOR/WHERE INFAMY IS HERE USED? INFAMY HARDLY SEEMS A UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATIONThey poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonor to the Creator. THIS LAST LINE SEEMS OUT OF PLACE WITH SOME OF THE OTHER LINES...AGAIN, HOW DOES DEPORTATION QUALIFY AS 'SUPREME DISHONOR TO THE CREATOR?"
The following is taken from the most noble, trustworthy source of information in the modern world: wikipedia!
It [Gaudium et Spes] has been criticized as over-optimistic, even from the floor of the council.
The ongoing question that arose from Gaudium et Spes is: how can the church be credible in a secular world? In the commentaries of the document, Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) called certain parts of Gaudium et Spes "downright Pelagian," particularly in the treatment of free will in article 17. He is not wholly negative in his judgment about Gaudium et Spes, however, and praises the discussion of atheism in articles 19-21 as “balanced and well-founded.”
Gaudium et Spes is a pastoral document. Lumen Gentium on the other hand is a dogmatic constitution document."
This excerpt may not have specific impact on our ongoing disagreements, but it does help serve to show us the weight we ought to give the pastoral document; casting doubt as to whether you can say that G. et S. has the authority to claim universal, complete denunciation of anything.
-Any insight people have to offer on Gaudium et Spes would be very welcome as well!