Foot and the Fat Man, Terrible Trolleys, and Threatening Tyrants

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Thomas Aquinas is credited with introducing the principle of double effect in his discussion of the permissibility of self-defense in the Summa Theologica (II-II, Qu. 64, Art.7). Aquinas was struggling to reconcile the law of בא במחתרת with various Christian teachings that seem to forbid homicidal self-defense, as […]

Tortfeasance While Under the Influence

From a study titled Alcohol and Sexual Assault, in the journal Alcohol Research & Health (h/t: babe): [H]eavy drinkers may routinely use intoxication as an excuse for engaging in socially unacceptable behavior, including sexual assault … In fact, some men may purposely get drunk when they want to act sexually aggressive, knowing that intoxication will […]

The Grape Leaves Of Wrath

Our previous post discussed various applications of the idea that מקום הניחו לי אבותי להתגדר בו. One particularly far-reaching and controversial application of the principle is by Rav Avraham Laniado, brother of the Syrian rabbi Rav Refael Shlomo Laniado, in the context of the great eighteenth century controversy among Sephardic authorities over whether there was […]