written by Francis Beckwith, February 18, 2011
WJ: I'm suggesting is that in the two passages of Scripture what we find is a third option, namely, intentionally telling a falsehood to another when telling the truth, refusing to answer or employing causistry will not likely sufficiently impede one's cooperation in killing innocents.
What I have found fascinating (and a bit shocking) in this discussion is how it does not seem to occur to any of the Catholic participants that Scripture may have something to say about moral theology.
This is not to say that the CCC, Aquinas, and Augustine, and a host of others, may not provide guidance on such matters. But, for example, when I read Aquinas' and Augustine's accounts of the Hebrew midwives, they leave much to be desired. The CCC is not very helpful either, since it relies on Augustine's definition of a lie--"A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving"--which is both too broad and too narrow. It is too broad insofar as it would include the two OT cases, which were not condemned by Scripture as immoral (Augustine's less than persuasive hermeneutic not withstanding). And it is too narrow since there are ways that one could lie without speaking. No one would claim, for example, that mute people can't lie because they can't speak.
Well, Francis, maybe your Catholic coreligionists feel that way because Catholic epologists like you keep badmouthing the sufficiency of Scripture. So, predictably enough, Scripture is the very last place they look for moral guidance.