Thread: Armed Robbery
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Old 27th March 2014, 04:40 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,591

Originally Posted by daytonafreak View Post
"A robber compels a store manager at gunpoint to give him the combination to the store safe, so that he can rob the store. The manager gives him the combination; his act is material cooperation with an intrinsically evil and gravely immoral act. But this material cooperation is also moral.
1. intention, to save his own life; he does not intend any harm to the store.
2. the act of giving the combination to the safe is not intrinsically evil. The moral object of his act is to protect innocent life by giving information to another person.
3. the good consequence of saving his own innocent life outweighs the bad consequence of the loss of money to the store."

In the above scenario would it also be moral to not comply with the robbers demands, perhaps just staying silent? What if the store manager pulled his own firearm and shot the robber?

It would not be moral to refuse to comply if the likelihood is that the robbers would kill someone. The third font takes into account good and bad consequences; if the bad consequences of a decision outweigh the good, that decision is not moral. The death of an innocent outweighs any other consequences, and the cooperation is not intrinsically evil.

The manager can use deadly force if the robbers are likely to kill someone regardless of their cooperation with the theft. In that case, he is using deadly force to prevent a murder.

In some cases, deadly force can be used to prevent loss of property, but in the above scenario, it is difficult to say.

Originally Posted by daytonafreak View Post
scenario 2:

A man walks into a bank, approaches a specific teller, aims a gun at the teller and demands that the teller give him all of the money in the drawer.

If the teller decided to give the robber the money in this scenario would it still be moral material cooperation? Are there any other choices which would be moral? What if the teller decided not to comply with the robbers demands? What if the teller drew his own gun and shot the robber?
The teller is being robbed, so it is not cooperation of any kind. Same answer as above for the questions on refusing to comply and shooting.
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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