Ethics: July 2005 Archives

I love when the NYT descends into self-parody. Here they seem to lament the fate of Bashir Noorzai, a Taliban ally and heroin distributor, who has apparently lost weight in the John Gotti Suite in the Manhattan Federal pen. And his guards don't speak Pashto! Worst of all, he was lured to New York under false pretenses: he thought he was attending a "political meeting," and the Feds had the nerve to arrest him instead for trying to sell $50 million in heroin to U.S. consumers!

Two unwittingly funny things about the article:

1. This dimwit Islamofascist is being represented by a lawyer named "Goldenberg."

2. Mr. Goldenberg complains that his client "did not know that the [Bush] administration had publicized his name as a most-wanted drug dealer." If he did, "it might have affected his travel plans."

Here's a serious ethical question, though: is it morally permissible to deceive a criminal? I think it is under limited circumstances, because a criminal doesn't have a right to the truth, if revealing the truth means he will get away with his crimes, or commit other evils.

That is (roughly) Saint Thomas Aquinas' teaching. Saint Augustine took the strict view that speaking an untruth was ipso facto sinful. Your thoughts?

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Ethics category from July 2005.

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