The idea that the murder of a thousand is a lesser crime than the breaking of the Sabbath derives from the exaggerated application of the scholastic principle, that crimes against God have a malice not intrinsic to crimes against men. That a lie may not be told to save the world from destruction admirably illustrates the way the scholastics derived moral norms from abstract principles rather than human needs. Lies are intrinsically evil. The end does not justify the means, and no extrinsic end can therefore justify a lie. The application of abstract principle is logical, but the resulting norm takes no account of charity or compassion.
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