Augustine of Hippo: An unjust law is no law at all

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Augustine: … First of all, I think there should be a discussion whether a charging enemy or a murderer attacking from ambush may be killed without lust, but for the sake of one’s life, freedom, or chastity.

Evodius: How can I think that people are free of lust if they fight ferociously for things that can be lost against their will? On the other hand, if such things cannot be lost, what need is there to resort to killing someone for their sake?

Augustine: Therefore, the law is unjust which grants permission (a) to a traveller to kill a highway robber, so as not to be killed himself; (b) to any man or woman to slay a rapist in his onslaught, if possible, before enduring rape. Indeed, the law bids a soldier to kill the enemy, and if he holds back from this bloodshed he pays the penalties from his commander. Surely we will not dream of calling these laws unjust – or rather, not to call them “laws” at all, for a law that is not just does not seem to me to be a law. ...

For the reference, see Augustine of Hippo: An unjust law is no law at all.
 
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