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Thread: Lying for the sake of life

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    Lying for the sake of life

    Hi there.
    I have a question that was brought up in my ethics course.
    The general principle of those taking this course is that there is a prioritization of the laws of God.
    Such as, preservation of life takes priority over the prohibition of theft if one needs to commit theft in order to preserve their own life or those to whom one might owe a responsibility.

    I wonder what some of your thoughts might be regarding this method, especially when presented with the following statement:
    "Corrie ten Boom was wrong to lie to the Nazis about the Jews she was hiding."

    Clearly, falsehood was committed, and yet lives were preserved because of ten Boom's actions.

    Would love to get general conversation going about prioritization and suspension of the laws as well!

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Rahab lied about hiding Israel's spies. She was later honored for her faith. So while lying is wrong, I think that you are correct, if it serves a greater good* like protecting lives, then it is not a sin. Or at least a sin worth committing to prevent an even greater tragedy or sin.


    *This in no way condones practices such as the mormon's "lying for the Lord" to hide their wacky beliefs from seekers.
    Last edited by Sparko; 10-25-2017 at 06:51 PM.

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    tWebber
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    the acts of love are the most ethical -- especially in light of the attempts of evil people to do harm. You win when you help people without doing harm to anyone else -- that is, harm such as killing or maiming the opponents.

  4. Amen Jedidiah, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    I think it's a generally accepted practice that it's usually acceptable to lie to the enemy.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Thou Shalt Not Murder.

    How is revealing Jews to the Nazis anything but murder?

  7. Amen Jedidiah, Thoughtful Monk, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Now we don't have to give people information they want in order to hurt others or commit a crime! But we don't have to lie, either. Will a lie deliver our family or friends? This is not certain. But wouldn't it still be better to lie in a situation where someone's life was endangered, to at least try to save them or ourselves, in this way?

    Such a situation came up, actually, in Corrie ten Boom's family, when they were hiding Jewish people, and Nazi soldiers asked Corrie's sister Nollie, point blank, "Is this a Jew?" about Annaliese, a Jewish person she was sheltering. She said "yes," and Annaliese was taken away by the Nazis, and Nollie was taken away, too, to prison.

    Source: The Hiding Place

    Mietje relayed [a] message from Nollie, one especially for me: "No ill will happen to Annaliese. God will not let them take her to Germany. He will not let her suffer because I obeyed him."

    Six days after Nollie's arrest, the telephone rang. "The Jewish theater in Amsterdam was broken into last night. Forty Jews were rescued. One of them--a young woman--was most insistent that Nollie know: 'Annaliese is free.' Do you understand this message?"

    I nodded, too overcome with relief and joy to speak. How had Nollie known? How had she been so sure?

    © Copyright Original Source



    There was another similar incident, which is described in this book, with Corrie's sister Nollie. God can certainly deliver us, if we refuse to lie, isn't that a Christian's hope, in all cases?

    If lying for the best of reasons is permitted, then this undoes all statements purporting to be true:

    "For even things which pertain to the praises of God might be represented as piously intended falsehoods, written in order that love for Him might be enkindled in men who were slow of heart; and thus nowhere in the sacred books shall the authority of pure truth stand sure." (Augustine, "Letters")

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  9. Amen mossrose, Cow Poke, Teallaura, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Now we don't have to give people information they want in order to hurt others or commit a crime! But we don't have to lie, either.
    I think in most cases this is practical.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I think in most cases this is practical.
    True. One can always say that you ain't telling either way. Though that might not end well...
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    40th Mojave Summer DesertBerean's Avatar
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    Thank you, Lee. I was going to mention Corrie ten Boom. This was a dilemma she and others had to confront. This is an issue we all will face sooner or later. We will answer to God for every word and action, and this very thing, that ten Boom shared, really is thought provoking.

  13. Amen lee_merrill amen'd this post.
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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Personally I would have no reservation at all against flat out lying in those circumstances. And I believe God would bless that sort of lie.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  15. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.

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