At the Christianity and National Security Conference, Joseph Capizzi spoke about Catholic social teaching on the just war tradition.

Rough Transcript

Joe Capizzi: The comments were great, the questions were phenomenal. I sat there thinking in particular about the question about the relationship of just war, natural law and I was thinking I just want to scrap my text and respond to that question and actually I will begin by responding to

that because I want to like sort of step back for a second and just simplify what we’re up to. One of the things that you’ll see and you even heard it when the three before me were speaking is that all of us are trained in a very similar tradition, the convergence of Catholic Theology and Protestant Theology in the Anglo-American world has been ongoing for decades and Nigel, Mark, Dan, and I all work in a tradition that is drawing on each other all the time and drawing profitably on each other all the time and so Ramsay is as important to me as it is to them, even and he was a you know Methodist theologian I actually studied at a Methodist seminary before I went to my Catholic education as a Catholic I studied there so Ramsay’s you know obviously a kind of influence for me, Oliver O’Donovan’s work who was also influenced by Ramsay is an influence from for me as well. But the just war thing we reify it too much we speak about it as though it’s some sort of apparatus it’s not an apparatus it is, and this is this would be my claim in response to the question of its relationship to the natural law the natural law too can be thought of as a kind of a weird apparatus it’s really just practical reasoning.

When Catholics talk about the natural law what they’re talking about is practical reasoning and it’s something that we all engage in and it’s built into who we are as human beings as these creatures of God gifted with intelligence, right. So, when we understand the sort of first principle of natural law which is to do the good and avoid evil, we’re just describing what human beings do and in a way whereas opinion and others pointed out we’re kind of describing what animals do, they identify certain kinds of goods and they pursue them. There’s a rabbit, I’m a fox, right what do I chase the rabbit. I’m a fox there’s a bear what do I do I flee right, and human beings it’s more or less the same thing so remind yourself as we’re talking about just war theory and the just war account and so on that really what we’re just talking about is how to understand certain kinds of moral activity right what should I do now who makes the judgment about what we should do right now right and that’s all the just war theory is really doing over time it’s kind of built up into a kind of apparatus for thinking through certain kinds of you know fundamental questions about what is the moral thing to do right now.

So, all right, so let’s get Catholic for a few moments all right Nigel mentioned some of the figures in the tradition I’m gonna focus on Robert Bellarmine who Nigel did not mention. Robert Bellarmine was a theologian roughly around the time a little bit after Luther and also therefore after Francisco de Vitoria and I’m also going to begin us though with the catechism of the Catholic Church. Luther had a shorter catechism right, the Catholics we produce catechisms every once in a while and it’s you know ours is not a short or anything it’s about this thick and it goes through a series of questions and I’m going to start us right in the middle of it so it begins its discussion of killing by pointing to the fifth commandment’s prohibition okay, of killing, Exodus 20:13 tells Jews and Christians you shall not kill the prohibition the catechism points outfinds specification later in scripture right so that’s Exodus 20:13. In Exodus 23:7, the deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary is right is a wrong is contrary to the dignity of the human being to the golden rule ultimately to the holiness of the creator this is the catechism of the Catholic church number 2261. So, if you want to google that or look it up you know if you have the book you can see right there thou shalt not kill, it’s actually specified, we’re speaking in terms of you should not take innocent life, innocent taking an innocent life is in fact prohibited. So already what you see is a kind of specification of moral action what can or can’t we do we can never take innocent life innocence and guilt are components of the commandments prohibition. So, therefore the Catholic tradition asserts right deliberate killing of the innocent is understood as a Malam say right, we use Latin a lot in Catholicism right, it’s a Malam and say it’s an evil in and of itself it cannot be made right okay.

Nothing can justify the deliberate or intentional taking of innocent human life, what scripture prohibits then is the intentional killing of human beings, but legitimate defense can be permitted, the catechism says immediately after this respect for human life and joined by the commandment is or has been so far only negative, never take innocent life, do not attack the innocent, but that legitimate defense begins to fill out the requirements of the commandment beyond the prohibition. So, the prohibition is not telling us merely what not to do, it’s also enjoining certain kinds of behavior for, from us positively. The catechism therefore connects this prohibition to love. There is a great question, how does this relate to charity the catechism makes the connection on its own an act respecting a prohibition may or may not be moved by love that was Nigel’s point about the intentionality of action helping us understand what kind of act we’re dealing with the commandment is brought to perfection Pope John Paul II says when it culminates in the positive commandment which obliges us to be responsible for our neighbor as for ourselves, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, he said John Paul II says. So, the prohibition on killing innocent life carries with the injunction to care for those who are threatened by others, have you ever like, you’re all twitter and social media people, you’re young right, your hip you have your phones right, you ever seen these awful, awful videos that become viral of people beating up other people right. I’m sure you’ve all seen them right, in essence a Christian has to ask him or herself am I the kind of person who would sit there right and videotape somebody being beaten by somebody else? I mean aside from taking joy in it right which some people apparently do right, or would I intervene right? Would I intervene to try to stop that maybe put my phone down for instance right, right horror right, and you know intervene to try to stop this beat down and what this is saying is that’s exactly what a Christian ought to do? Paul Ramsey who we’ve referred to right refers to you know as everybody who studies him knows the instance of the good samaritan and he kind of wonders well what would Jesus have done if Jesus had come on the beating right and we get to all see that all the time right on in social media hopefully would be the kind of people who would intervene so love requires more than that we not murder requires love of self and neighbor and neighbor to the point of becoming responsible for their well-being right trying to help them so contrary to some views influenced by contemporary pacifist thinking the killing that occurs in the legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing okay. So contrary to those who would have us think otherwise, the killing that occurs in legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing, that is the catechism number 2263. The killing that occurs in legitimate defense is a different kind of act, in the killing of the aggressor in a situation of self-defense the intention of the act is ordered towards my defense right, the defense of the victim.

Killing in self-defense therefore requires no special or authorization of those responsible for the community nor need it entail an inordinate self-love, instead killing in self-defense the catechism continues can express the appropriate regard of self to which we are called by Christ, or you could even say to which we are called by nature, right. By nature, we defend ourselves, by the net, you know what we would call like the natural law, we defend ourselves so love towards oneself is a fundamental principle of morality therefore it is legitimate to sit insist on respect for one’s own right to life someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow, number 2264 of the catechism. I’m going to skip a little bit right now so the catechism at this points to Thomas Aquinas and some of you are familiar with Thomas Aquinas, he’s got this enormous you know text the sumo theologia right, and the second part of the second part he defends the principle or he defends self-defense along these lines as the catechism has been describing in there he speaks of a kind of double effect and maybe you guys have heard some of this language before but this is again just act analysis.

What we’re doing is just trying to analyze certain kinds of acts, what am I doing right now when I choose to kill someone and there he explains, Aquinas explains any act that one does can have more than one effect, we know this from the way we live our lives. I give a student a bad grade right and what it does of course is it damages his or her GPA and it causes him or her perhaps some distress maybe even to cry right. I didn’t intend right to make the student cry, I might have known the students going to cry when he or she gets the bad great grade, but nobody would say Capizzi made the student cry right. By giving the bad grade right, my act has two effects, one I intend right, the act evaluation of the student’s paper or something, the other one I don’t intend even though again I can foresee it right. I might even say please don’t cry right like you know I know you’re gonna cry when you see the grade, but please don’t cry, but nobody would say I intended.

So that’s all Thomas is saying right at this point some acts have two effects, one we’re responsible for right, now if I try if I wanted to make the student cry right, you know right I mean I could do that right, and you might say you know you’re claiming you didn’t want to make her cry but you do right you know I can see how the way you know the way you know you kind of you kind of jazzed it up you know you kind of hand it in front of everybody, you know look what Susan’s getting right, you know right you were trying to humiliate her you know somebody could definitely push back right, but the important thing here is right they can have multiple effects and that’s what he says is the case in a situation of legitimate defense and the whole apparatus of moral analysis is trying to figure out what in fact do you intend here.

Right what are you trying to do so if somebody comes up to me and hurls an insult at me and I pull a gun out and shoot him and say look I’m defending myself against them right people would

say yeah yeah, I don’t know right, I mean it seems like you wanted to take them out right you were using this as a rationalization for using a weapon to do so right, I mean you would rightly push back on that, but most situations of self-defense are not like that. Just war theory just sort of carries that kind of analysis into itself when Aquinas talks about this, he’s giving us and even presupposing the same kind of analysis that you see already earlier in the tradition. So he explains that the judicious use of forest that is necessary in a situation of duress to preserve a genuine good like my life that is okay, the good of existence and derivative good of bodily integrity are legitimate goods, but those goods can only be preserved in manners proportionate to them right. Christians we recognize life is a great good, but it’s not the greatest good there are goods that are greater even than our own physical lives, right those goods, right help us understand the proportionality that is appropriate to using certain kinds of means in order to defend our lives.

So skipping ahead the consistent teaching of the church on self-defense recognizes it as a right that derives from love, right, kind of act love of self, in fact a love of self that right relates to our love of God, because we are to love ourselves as part of God’s creation we value our lives the justice we owe God has created beings of a certain kind sets limits on that love indeed as individuals like I said we can recognize goods that are higher than our own self-preservation like the goods of other human beings, the goods of life and community, and also the good of religion itself. We may therefore allow our lives to be sacrificed for those goods the justice that we owe to God may in some cases demand that we sacrifice our love for assuming our lives for those other goods so while there is a right to legitimate defense of self we can recognize superior obligations limiting our recourse to that right, all that means is it’s reasonable sometimes when people say I’m not going to defend myself here right, you know I choose to die in this situation in order to preserve some goods that we recognize as superior to the good even of my mortal existence.

That is not true however for those who are in governing authority as the catechism says in the very next paragraph of the ones, we’ve been looking at this is 2265 now legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. Okay the situation now changes, when I’m thinking about my own life for which I am responsible, I can actually say right now I’m going to sacrifice it for something else but when public authority faces a threat to it, it has an obligation in certain circumstances to defend itself.

The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm, for this reason those who legitimately hold authority have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility. Okay. Makes sense.

For those in governing authority the use of force is more than a permission it is responsible for the care of the community it serves, and that responsibility produces the duty to exercise love and concern even to the poor point of using force on its behalf. In this passage we see the close

connection of the justification of the use of force used in war, to the justification for the use of

force that is employed in domestic situations, or in other words state affairs, governing authority is responsible for the care of a civil community, right. Its care usually requires internal maintenance, the policing and the judging associated with the uses of force in domestic governance, that care however built upon principles associated with judgment and punishment extends outwards when the community faces aggressors against the civil community.

So the very next paragraph of the catechism says, the efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good, legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the fence, of the offense, 2266, the logic the catechism discussion of war arises within is in the logic of defense of the community by those in authority. In other words, the logic of punishment. And this is very important, for the Catholic historical tradition of thinking about the logic of just war the framework it’s placed in is in the logic of punishment, okay, judgment and punishment. And just as we’re so familiar with it and we just accept it as a kind of part of life in a domestic community right, in the United States right. The government has responsibility for judging and punishing crimes against the common good against the people right so too does that same government have the responsibility for judging and punishing those who threaten it from outside okay that’s how this tradition has understood this.

I’m gonna try to look very quickly at some bellarmine to make this point I choose bellarmine in part because nobody ever has heard of him, and you know certainly outside of Catholicism people have not heard of him, he was a you know counter reformation theologian but you can see in him how stable the tradition of thinking is right so he’s a good instance just for showing this is a kind of stable way of thinking about these problems within the Christian tradition and even when groces who’s not much later than him picks this stuff up, he’s picking up elements that he’s that, that are all sort of circulating within the same place, and I do think ultimately really they are

connected to natural law type claims but that’s perhaps something that we should argue. So he places it immediately in the context of punishment too, a Christian magistrate may use the sword the Gladio right the Latin on those who disturb public peace the defense of capital punishment by Christian theologians like Bellarmine was very common and total commonplace he draws on scripture and theology, theological precedent to defend capital punishment or just punishment in general right, and he points out that this killing is not contrary or exceptional to the commandment not to kill, instead punishment by death is a different kind of act again. He quotes Saint Jerome in his commentary on 22, on Jeremiah 22, to punish murderers and impious men is not shedding blood, Saint Jerome says, but applying law.

Okay you can disagree with him right but it’s just important to note that they’re describing it as a different kind of act, it’s not a violation of the prohibition against murder. He confirms his appeal by appealing to Augustine again to the point that punishing criminal criminals does not violate this precept of the fifth commandment. So, continuing the logic of killing as a form of punishment he argues scripture and tradition prohibit retaliation. Remember Nigel spoke about, or professor bigger spoke about how vengeance is prohibited, same idea retaliation is prohibited when this is bellarmine writing when Christ said do not resist evil, he did not prohibit legitimate defense, but retaliation. Vengeance is prohibited, not just offense in punishment and war. So, when he turns in the chapter 14 of his work on this question and asks himself whether war is permissible for Christians. He does so on the condition that war continues to serve the judgment characteristic of government. War cannot pursue vengeance or retaliation, war he says as a direct quote pertains to public justice not to private vengeance and just as love of enemies, which binds everyone, neither impedes the judge nor the executioner from their offices, nor does it impede soldiers or emperors from theirs.

Okay so again about the question somebody asked about the relationship of this all to charity or to love, he says this is consistent with it right, this is consistent with charity or love, this is

a right, it’s a specification of the call to love the neighbor. Vengeance therefore is incompatible with charity war on the other hand so long as it is not vengeful is not incompatible is compatible with charity.

So, from a Catholic perspective and indeed from the perspective of secular international law the presupposition of war is involves the absence of a common tribunal or political authority that can adjudicate disputes among nations or states. Right, think about the domestic situation the United States the government has jurisdiction to judge right and wrong because as the international lawyers and students of international law would say the nation-state system is anarchic, meaning there’s no authority above it, well it’s actually contentious anyway, but there is no judge right there’s, there’s no judge, then war becomes necessary as a means of adjudicating certain kinds of claims. If, however, we could have some overarching authority that could make this judgment it would make war obsolete right, that’s more or less the argument it would not make judging and punishing obsolete, it would make war this this specific kind of judging and punishing obsolete. So were that authority in place it could make a judgment on the wrong necessary toward the just cause and levy the appropriate punishment the absence of that authority capable of making the judgment is a necessary condition of war.

In the past, Bellerin explains there were many authorities that were not subject to others in temporal matters that could therefore authorize war. We live in a nation-state system Bellarmine did not right, he was it was just emerging and so he lists the kings the republic of Venice princes’ duchies similar entities all who could make certain kinds of authorizations for war a plurality of political types existed then that are not present any longer. The point is there was no state monopoly on the use of force dukes and counts and princes and so on could authorize war and in the case of a defensive war anyone could, Bellarmine can insist for self-defense is lawful for anybody not only a prince. So, I’m going to skip a little bit and maybe just summarize the end because I’ve talked a lot and I think there’s a lot on the table from the prior conversation that I agree with and that I disagree with. The Catholic claim is a jurisdictional claim ultimately, right again like and you could see how I’m talking about the domestic situation and the international situation, and you find in Catholic documents appeals that say because we are all created by God all human beings, we are all subject to the same sorts of laws and those same laws will allow us to make judgments that are right or wrong.

One of the most important things in terms of thinking about whether I ought to do this right, I ought to bring punishment on someone is my right judgment right or the right judgment of those who are in political authority that a wrong has been committed. Not merely a wrong, right but a certain kind of grave wrong right has in fact been committed so somebody asked a really good question towards the end of the last session about you know make competing claims. Every country thinks it’s war is authorized right, every country thinks that it’s more or less in the right,  and the presupposition of the Catholic account,  I think it’s not merely the Catholic account is well that kind of claim has to be susceptible to reason right, and if it’s susceptible to reason we can actually make a kind of judgment as to who is more right here, the world has fallen right it’s flawed, there’s always going to be reasonable, if not right claims, plausible claims here, but one in fact will be right, this is the whole basis of international law, it was the basis of what Bellarmine and Victoria and Groces appeal to the Argenteum right the law of nations at that point and because those claims therefore are susceptible of reason we can actually determine who’s in the right. So, one country will be more right than the other, right, one country will be, one claim will be more right than the other, and that is the claim of justice right, that is the one that bears the right with it, because the different claims are plausible. Most soldiers find themselves in situations right where they’re kind of advancing a cause number one that they don’t really know all that much about, number two patriotically they kind of are they’re thrown in with their place, this is why the laws insist on respecting the rights of soldiers as human beings even in the right the context of war, this is supposed to be an act of loving, right an act that is consistent with love.

We also claim as Catholics that there ought to be, this is the more contentious claim especially among certain kinds of Christian realists, there ought to be a kind of world political authority, right whose job it is to help judge this. Now you can think about world political authority in a kind of evil nasty way right like Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg, or Peter Thiel, or whomever, right you know like some sort of tech giant right you know as you know the means and so on right to pull strings, or you could think of it like I do which is more or less like it’s international law right, that’s what international law is aspiring to do right, it’s aspiring to be a kind of juridical framework for thinking about and helping adjudicate these kinds of really plausible competing claims. So we can say no cha you know China is in the wrong here or China’s in the right here with regard to Taiwan, or Britain’s in the right or Argentina’s in the right with regard to the Falkland’s or whatever right, like so that’s the aspiration from a Catholic perspective. I think that’s typically where the sort of protestant realist types jumps off the train a little bit you know in terms of certain kinds of you know national postures, but besides that we really are, we share an approach to these questions that is rooted in fundamental theological claims. We are all created by God.

Dan spoke about the way the world is right a couple of times like you know realists begin with the way the world is and a component of that of course for Christians is yeah, it’s redeem right saved and redeemed by Christ and the victory is assured by Christ right, so whatever we’re doing right now isn’t going to change that, and that also informs our analysis. Again meaning, there are certain kinds of goods we might have to sacrifice in order to be faithful to those who you know to that givenness of the world in fact as it is. I’ll stop there but thank you very much.


Joe Capizzi: Got a question, is that a question? Is there a mic for the questions again or no okay there you go. There’s a Micah coming out, you’re not the Dallas guy. Do you know my daughter Gabriella? Not Gabby, Gabriella, or Gads okay. I know I’m correcting you, there’s a right and there’s a wrong. If you don’t want to come up, I’ll just repeat.

Questioner: [undetected]

Joe Capizzi: Aren’t you cute? [laughter] So the question is, the question is about capital punishment which I show that the tradition, I don’t quite show it right, but I give you an instance that the tradition views capital punishment as acceptable, right, and as some of you may know Pope Francis has continued the line of modern Popes, John, that began with John Paul II and

evangelion vitae and extended through pope benedict where they’re making a claim that

ranges from something like capital punishment is no longer necessary or perhaps even act as a retributive punishment in the modern world, which I think is the case for John Paul II, or to Francis where there’s a more perhaps doctrinal type, claim that because of our understanding of human dignity, capital punishment is illicit. So, if you read it more the former way, you know like what I think was happening with John Paul II and perhaps Benedict you’d say okay there’s not quite a doctrinal change here, there’s a there’s a doctrinal recognition which that’s rooted again in Augustine saying to his friends, his friends are writing him letters, his friends happen to be governors, hey I’ve got this situation what do you think and Augustine always rightful look it’s certainly within your right as a leader right as a governor you have the jurisdiction to punish in this way and it’s not illicit, right, however you’re a Christian, extend mercy right. You know and that recognition of the right of the state to punish that in fact the punishment by even death can be an apt form of punishment becomes right a kind of thing that’s carried forward within the tradition. Look the pope who is for us, morally authoritative, is challenging that older tradition and I think it’s a welcome challenge to it’s you know it’s internal consistency to the relationship of mercy and justice you know like, you know ought we in fact expect the state not merely to be just but also be merciful to issues of like time in a way, time is an important element of punishment and so on you know, and this is a point Oliver O’Donovan makes beautifully in an essay where he, that he writes in response to Evangel V-day at the time and so it’s a real challenge and it I think we’re not clear where it’s going to end. Well, it looks like it’s pretty clear where it’s going and whether we’re going to see it kind of, whether we’re going to name it as a kind of doctrinal development in the way dignity mining says we are developing the doctrine on religious liberty that it’s leaning that way right. Anyway, it’s a long answer. Other questions? Please, yeah again you can stay put whatever.

Questioner: Hi, I’m Jenna from Liberty University. What is the distinction between punishment or justice and vengeance? Is it more than intention?

Joe Capizzi: Right. Look that’s a great question okay. Really look it’s a great question because everything that I said, and Nigel said, and you know probably Mark and Dan you know agree with presupposes that somehow we can say that when we’re punishing somebody right we’re not acting out of vengeance right and vengeance seems to suggest differently an easy way out and it’s a way that’s suggested by Augustine in part is to think of vengeance as a kind of emotion right. I am trying to get back at somebody for something and it’s animated by hatred so Augustine kind of lumps these things all together and it and the tradition says well it’s clear Augustine is saying we should not be animated by certain kinds of emotions as we pursue justice, I’m calling that so if it’s merely that okay then you just try to evacuate those emotions and say look I’m just, what does justice require for me right here, right what is the right thing to do in this situation as a form of punishment or so on and okay then I do it and I and I try again to make it not, it’s business, it’s not personal right as the godfather says right, you know you know this is business it’s not personal. But there’s a there’s a chance that it’s more than merely emotional right it’s a chance that there’s some other component of vengeance that we’re being dismissive of and I think that maybe that’s partly what you’re pointing to in the question because I have a you know I know people who say look you can’t distinguish retribution and retaliation the way you’re trying and if you think of retribution by etymology means like giving back, you’re right like returning to somebody, you did x wrong I’m giving you not x now or something I’m trying to undo the thing that was done by you by just sort of handing back to the right which is the lex talionis and so on right it’s got to be proportionate et cetera. Yeah, and vengeance being more than that. You ever see the movie the untouchables right you know there’s this famous you know that’s the Chicago way you know line where Sean Connery’s character says you know if they take if they send one of yours to the hospital you send one of theirs to the morgue right, that’s right, that’s retaliation often we think of right, I’m gonna really get back at you, or I’m gonna burn your house down, burn your village down or whatever so it would be some claim that justice is in fact animating this and not that secondary thing. But I think it’s more complicated and so I think it’s a great question yeah and there was at least another one. Thank you. I’ll get you next, okay, in the back again, sorry.

Questioner: Yeah so, I’m Adriana from Patrick Henry College. I was just wondering whether or not in the context of total war it’s justified to kill civilians?  

Joe Capizzi: Total war? Yes. Well, I mean if I say it’s not justified to kill civilians it’s no longer total war right. So, this is the, this is the stuff that LiVeche and I and Strand, etc argue about. If by kill civilians, you mean to intentionally target civilians, the answer is no, it’s not just, it’s never just. If by that you mean to like to foresee, like I did that’s you know the student’s going to cry if I give him or her a bad grade, foresee that civilian will kill he will be killed then yeah, I mean then it can be justified, depending upon the circumstances and so on. The account as I understand it which you know again bases it in love, presupposes guilt and innocence as the distinction right. So you can only bring certain kinds of harms in punishment of any sort against those who are guilty right, and if you punish somebody you know who’s innocent, intending to punish them for some other good you know I want to tell everybody that it’s wrong to do you know certain kinds of things and even though I know this guy didn’t do it I’m gonna you know meet the punishment upon him that’s still wrong right. So, from the tradition as I understand it and certainly the Catholic tradition is really clear on this you cannot, I mean that’s the stuff I did at the beginning you cannot intend to kill innocent people. Yes, okay and that’s the yeah, the woman in the back who’s now moving towards the front, so she’s no longer the woman in the back. It’s paradise.

Questioner: Thank you for your patience as I walked all the way up here. Dr. Capizzi I was wondering if you or bellarmine had any ideas about how a nation at war can protect its soldiers from the kind of moral injury we talked about earlier?

Joe Capizzi: You know I don’t. I mean in a way that’sa better question for Mark to answer. It seemed as though Nigel was suggesting and I think Mark was also suggesting as well that part of it is to develop a culture that understands correctly the kinds of theological presuppositions you know that we’re talking about, the that life is a great good but not the greatest good, that even life in community like a you know a stable nation state and so on is a great good, but not the greatest good, and that things can be done to preserve those goods, and sometimes even things that are as Mark would say horrible, right can be you know killing another person can be done for those great goods. You know beyond that it’s hard, Nigel’s point was really interesting right about how other cultures are more comfortable with killing, you know or you know certain kinds of victory over our people’s and it is a kind of consequence arguably of the Christianizing of our moral communities that we actually find it a problem in the first place. And things are in such disarray culturally, and have been for a long time you know, I don’t think they’re particularly much worse than they’ve been before but they’re in such disarray that that clouds all of this kind of thinking. So great question I mean I almost want to invite Mark you know or Nigel to weigh in but I think it’s got to be I mean in a sense what you’re saying is kind of like what I’m saying in response is a kind of writing of these cultural mistakes and confusions about what cultures what community is for, what life is for, and so on. It’s hard. Thank you.