Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Abortion vs War

Good post from Tom of Disputations re: his email correspondence with Archbishop Chaput of Denver on the difference between abortion and war as moral evils.

Here is the Archbishops reply and Tom's comments:

The kind of war you describe is deliberately genocidal, and therefore always gravely wrong. It has the premeditated objective of destroying innocent life. But not all wars, not even all preemptive wars, are such. Each and every abortion always has, as its objective and end result, the destruction of an innocent human life. The Iraq War may or may not be gravely wrong -- honest Catholics argue every day about that, and you'll remember that I opposed our preparations for the conflict -- but it is not, and never was, a war of extermination. In contrast, abortion always has one objective: killing an innocent life.

I need to noodle this about some more, but I think the point is becoming clearer to me. The archbishops' implied prudential judgment is that the Iraq War does not have the premeditated objective of destroying innocent life. If their judgment is correct, then this war is less evil than abortion, and so cannot be counted as grave as an issue as abortion.

That much makes sense.


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