Friday, May 17, 2013

What Makes All Lying Evil by Its Very Nature

In the torture debates, people made fun of those of us who were opposed to torture by saying, "Torture is simply inflicting pain upon another.  So is spanking torture, huh?  And if not, why not?  And if torture differs from corporal punishment by degree but not by kind, then it can't be intrinsically evil, for acts that 'intrinsically evil' are evil by their nature, not by their degree of severity."

That's why we must accept Paul Rhodes definition of torture, for he gets it right.

Torture is attempting to destroy the Image of God in another - the attempt to control or destroy a man's reason and will.  Spanking doesn't do that; waterboarding does.

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Therefore if you see clearly what constitutes LYING, you'll see why lying is always and everywhere wrong, why it's intrinsically evil.

To LIE is an attempt to move another away from a correct relation with truth and toward an incorrect relation with truth.  

Fiction and bluffing in games and sports are not lying because the parties involved agree beforehand to enter into a relationship where being fooled in a special, limited, temporary way, a way removed from reality, is part of the game.  Perhaps this applies to warfare and espionage - which is a kind of separate and artificial construct like a game or a novel or a play.

But in reality as such, to deceive, to lead another away from truth is to lead another away from God, for God is Truth.  Lying is thus a kind of anti-evangelism.

To damage another's relation to the truth is always therefore malicious.  The truth will set us free; the lie will enslave us and ultimately kill us.

This is why lying is intrinsically evil.


Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error. By injuring man's relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord. - CCC 2483  

The condemnation against LYING in the Catechism and in the Gospels is so consistent, so thorough, so rich and emphatic that those who are leading the cheers for lying - especially those who are clerics - should be ashamed of themselves.

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ADDENDUM - For a glimpse into what's going on here, from a more general point of view (Original Sin) - see my latest post, on Compromise and Corruption.

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