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19342Re: [mythsoc] Mystical Realms . . .

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  • John D Rateliff
    Jan 9, 2008
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      On Jan 9, 2008, at 5:46 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
      > Do you really think _that_ is either CSL's or Aquinas's claim? (I.e.,
      > that "Jesus didn't really know what he was talking about"?) Or could
      > it perhaps be that CSL and Aquinas don't think that what is right and
      > admirable when chosen as a personal response to personal threat, is
      > either right or admirable when it comes to defending _others_ from
      > threats? (Which, you know, is pretty much the _purpose_ of
      > government.) In other words, do you think Jesus enjoins us not to
      > defend others? If so, do you think that Jesus meant that governments
      > should not defend their citizens?

      I'm afraid I've never read Lewis's essay ("Why I Am Not a Pacifist'),
      though I'm now going to search out a copy so I can read his argument
      for myself. I've also not read Aquinas, and don't know where within
      his voluminous works he discusses this topic, nor the details of how
      he reaches his conclusion.
      With that caveat, it's right and admirable to defend others from
      harm (especially by offering yourself in place of another). I am
      dubious that this is 'the purpose of government' (i.e., that
      governments arose from such benign and altruistic motives). The
      example of Peter, who is rebuked for meeting violence with violence
      in order to protect an innocent man from torture and death, seems
      pretty emphatic that, so far as the gospel is concerned, there is no
      'good violence'. Obviously, the majority of Christians have disagreed
      with this interpretation, so Lewis is firmly in the majority here.

      --JDR
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