:::Ask the Alliance #9::: Does God permit torture?
Question submitted by Jason: Is there any circumstance under which God would approve of torturing a person, such as if a terrorist is being interrogated?
Jason, thank you for your question. Here are some responses from The Christian Apologetics Alliance:
This is not an easy question – and hence I suspect there will be a wide range of answers.
I think there is a need to define terms carefully:
(A) What do you mean by torture? Torture, in the conventional sense, is the gratuitous inflicting of suffering on someone in order to derive pleasure.
(B) What do you mean by permit? Just because God permits something does not mean that something in itself is good. E.g, That God permits evil and suffering in this world does not entail that God agrees with evil and suffering- merely, that God permits them for a greater good.
Because if the terms are not defined properly, one could say “yes” or “no” without morality being part of the equation. For example I can say “God permits torture” in the sense that, as a Molinist, I affirm libertarian free will and that God permits us to use our freedom to do as we will. It does not, however, mean inflicting suffering is in itself a good or bad thing. [Read more...]