Monday, November 22, 2010

Here’s What Benedict Really Said in Africa


This from a column by George Weigel in National Review on Line today:
And here is Sacred Heart Major Seminary professor Janet Smith's illustration of the technical point the pope was actually making, which touches on the question of what philosophers and theologians call subjective intention:


If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would be better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it [for that] would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets. Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing.

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