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Postby Linkara on Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:51 pm

Erm, I'm not sure we've established situations where they SHOULD kill, but rather situations where the person in question feels they have no better option than to kill.

Well, maybe they can't achieve a perfect life in all sections of it, but they could certainly achieve a moral standard of perfection in at least ONE section or aspect of it. No one's perfect, of course, but I still ask why it isn't possible that someone could reach the ideal. Just because it hasn't happened in the past doesn't mean it won't happen later. And even then, the ideal doesn't necessarily have to be ALL ideals. I believe one can meet the ideal of, say, never killing even if put in a position where the option of killing is available.

I also have a problem with the statement of "fighting a losing battle when seeking the ideal," because it implies that one can only win the battle if they don't seek the ideal, don't seek to imrpove themself in some manner, or just go for the opposite of the ideal. People should always strive for the ideal, even if they know they can't reach it. Anything less is just... unbecoming of a human. It's seems like it's settling for the mediocre.
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Postby Sun tzu on Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:59 pm

Linkara wrote:Erm, I'm not sure we've established situations where they SHOULD kill, but rather situations where the person in question feels they have no better option than to kill.

And that isn't the same thing how, exactly...?

Well, maybe they can't achieve a perfect life in all sections of it, but they could certainly achieve a moral standard of perfection in at least ONE section or aspect of it. No one's perfect, of course, but I still ask why it isn't possible that someone could reach the ideal. Just because it hasn't happened in the past doesn't mean it won't happen later. And even then, the ideal doesn't necessarily have to be ALL ideals. I believe one can meet the ideal of, say, never killing even if put in a position where the option of killing is available.

The option of killing is always available. My earlier point was that in some situations it's the only responsible option.
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Postby Linkara on Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:14 pm

Wow that was quick. :o Up late?

Again, I don't believe anyone should EVER kill, it's just an individual might be in circumstances where they do not believe there is any other option available to them. It's a matter of ethics vs. an individual's psychology in a certain situation.

I just have a hard time conceding that there is ever a situation where it's the only responsible option, even in the scenario with either allowing a large number of people to die vs. killing a small number of people. I'd say the true responsible option is to find a way to ensure no one gets harmed and actively pursue that goal, even if it comes to failure.
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Postby Sun tzu on Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:43 pm

Linkara wrote:Wow that was quick. :o Up late?

Nope, European time zone. 8-)

Again, I don't believe anyone should EVER kill, it's just an individual might be in circumstances where they do not believe there is any other option available to them. It's a matter of ethics vs. an individual's psychology in a certain situation.

I just have a hard time conceding that there is ever a situation where it's the only responsible option, even in the scenario with either allowing a large number of people to die vs. killing a small number of people. I'd say the true responsible option is to find a way to ensure no one gets harmed and actively pursue that goal, even if it comes to failure.

We seem to be going in circles.
Honestly, why are you elevating "no killing" to some form of moral absolute?
One could just as well argue that punching people or taking away their liberty is an evil act that can never be condoned. It's no less of a defensible position than saying people should never ever be killed. And yet, you don't have a problem with Lightbringer relying on violence to fight criminals, and putting them in jail afterward. If one type of action that is usually considered "evil" is made the right choice by circumstances, why not another? Why do you put killing on some "pedestal" as an action that can never be justified? (yes, I realize killing is irreversible, but my point still stands)
I'm not saying we should go around killing people willy-nilly. Just that there is no logical reason for it to never be the right thing to do.
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:17 am

sun tzu wrote:
Linkara wrote:Wow that was quick. :o Up late?

Nope, European time zone. 8-)


Oh, you kookie Europeans with your weird time zones and foreign monies and metric systems. ^_~

We seem to be going in circles.
Honestly, why are you elevating "no killing" to some form of moral absolute?
One could just as well argue that punching people or taking away their liberty is an evil act that can never be condoned. It's no less of a defensible position than saying people should never ever be killed. And yet, you don't have a problem with Lightbringer relying on violence to fight criminals, and putting them in jail afterward. If one type of action that is usually considered "evil" is made the right choice by circumstances, why not another? Why do you put killing on some "pedestal" as an action that can never be justified? (yes, I realize killing is irreversible, but my point still stands)
I'm not saying we should go around killing people willy-nilly. Just that there is no logical reason for it to never be the right thing to do.


Ah, I was wondering if we were going to get to this. ^_~

Because I believe life IS the absolute. There is so much in a human life, with loves and hates and achievements and failures... Life is the most sacred gift of the universe, be it through the thermodynamic miracle of existence (Watchmen thing if you're unfamiliar with it) that could exist just through random chance or be it the tapestry God has woven when he first created life itself. It's so friggin' beautiful and wondrous and it all belongs to whatever individual possesses it.

And I really want to emphasize that. A person's life belongs to themself and no others. I hold no killing up as a moral absolute because killing someone is the theft of something that can never belong to another person: another individual's life. Individuality is one of the most (if not the single greatest) sacred rights of any person. A person belongs only to themself and no person has the right to take that away. And yeah, a lot of that is because killing is irreversible. Once someone is killed and their life taken away, it can't be given back to them.

As for the violence part of things, I believe that harming another individual without provocation is wrong. But criminals provide provocation by:

1. Harming those that are either incapable or outmatched when it comes to defending themselves.
2. Harming an individual in some manner, thus giving the person harmed justification in responding in kind to defend themself.

As for criminals losing their liberty, that's a matter of the criminal either breaking the laws of a society or of infringing upon the human rights of others, thus their imprisonment and loss of liberty is punishment, but their lives themselves remain intact. As such, the possibility of redemption for their actions can still exist (this is one of the reasons, including the one above, why I'm against the death penalty). Using violence to incapacitate someone doing evil is a form of defense or punishment.

However, you do have a valid argument about killing vs. violence, which is what we'll be seeing again with Carter's struggles on the matter and his parents' pacifist philosophy. To Carter's parents, violence was never justified ever, putting it on the same pedestal as killing. To Lightbringer, violence itself is not on the same pedestal, but a justifiable action that still permits life to continue while punishing an evildoer.

Wow, that was fun. ^_^ Just got to say, thanks for opening the floor on that one, sun tzu, I've been wanting to try to explain why I think killing itself is wrong for awhile, but I feared if I did it without being directly asked the question, I'd just be ranting and rambling like a psycho. XD

Just two more things, though:
1. If you want a non-ethical reasoning for why Lightbringer shouldn't be killing criminals, I'll give you a legal reasoning. I don't know if this exists in whichever country you're in, but technically what Lightbringer is doing is called a "Citizen's Arrest." If a criminal is engaging in a felony action, a citizen can detain or stop such a criminal so that the police can then follow-through on it. The laws on Citizens' Arrests vary from state to state, but what I'm saying here is that if Lightbringer takes it too far by killing the criminal, he is guilty of a felony, himself, and can be then considered a criminal.
2. On the subject of killing, a thought did cross my mind as I was giving my schpiel on the sacredness of life: at what point does an individual become such a perversion of everything that life stands for that they are no longer considered life and are therefore can be justifiably killed? I was trying to get at this with the Marvel Zombies thing: are they still life or are they just monsters? What about more human atrocities, like Charlie Manson or Saddam Hussein? Do their atrocities make them a perversion of life and thus justifiable in their execution or does the fact that they were still living beings with choices make up for that? Not taking a stand on this one just yet, just want to feel out some philosophical talk on the matter. DISCUSS!
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Postby Sun tzu on Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:27 am

Oh, you kookie Europeans with your weird time zones and foreign monies and metric systems.

It essentially means most of the webcomics I read update shortly before I get up in the morning :wink:

Because I believe life IS the absolute. There is so much in a human life, with loves and hates and achievements and failures... Life is the most sacred gift of the universe, be it through the thermodynamic miracle of existence (Watchmen thing if you're unfamiliar with it) that could exist just through random chance or be it the tapestry God has woven when he first created life itself. It's so friggin' beautiful and wondrous and it all belongs to whatever individual possesses it.

And I really want to emphasize that. A person's life belongs to themself and no others. I hold no killing up as a moral absolute because killing someone is the theft of something that can never belong to another person: another individual's life. Individuality is one of the most (if not the single greatest) sacred rights of any person. A person belongs only to themself and no person has the right to take that away. And yeah, a lot of that is because killing is irreversible. Once someone is killed and their life taken away, it can't be given back to them.

Beautifully said (not that I thought the "theormodynamic miracle" thing made a lot of sense when Manhattan said it...But then again, I thought very few things about Dr Manhattan made sense). And I completely agree that life is invaluable.
I just don't think that means no situation can justify taking it. Not when other lives hang in the balance.

As for criminals losing their liberty, that's a matter of the criminal either breaking the laws of a society or of infringing upon the human rights of others, thus their imprisonment and loss of liberty is punishment, but their lives themselves remain intact. As such, the possibility of redemption for their actions can still exist (this is one of the reasons, including the one above, why I'm against the death penalty). Using violence to incapacitate someone doing evil is a form of defense or punishment.

And what if your best defence is lethal?

Just two more things, though:
1. If you want a non-ethical reasoning for why Lightbringer shouldn't be killing criminals, I'll give you a legal reasoning. I don't know if this exists in whichever country you're in, but technically what Lightbringer is doing is called a "Citizen's Arrest." If a criminal is engaging in a felony action, a citizen can detain or stop such a criminal so that the police can then follow-through on it. The laws on Citizens' Arrests vary from state to state, but what I'm saying here is that if Lightbringer takes it too far by killing the criminal, he is guilty of a felony, himself, and can be then considered a criminal.

Not sure about how the law works around here on that matter, but I do want to make something clear:
For all my attempts to explain why killing may sometimes be the right thing to do, I don't actually think any of the situations Lightbringer has faced required him to be any more ruthless than he was. There was no need to kill the slavers or the Gentleman - not when he could capture them alive without endangering anybody.
But. If, at some future point, he's in a situation where a villain threatens to destroy the city...and Lightbringer can easily kill him...and instead, relies on some convoluted tactic that has a 1% chance of knocking him out, and 99% odds of resulting in the villain noticing him, finishing him off, and then destroying the city as planned...If something like that happens, I would call Lightbringer irresponsible (reason I'm mentionning it is because I've heard of something similar happening with Spider-Man...Not sure what issue).
If I may quote Salvor Hardin (I think it was Salvor Hardin): "Don't let your principles stop you from doing what's right."

2. On the subject of killing, a thought did cross my mind as I was giving my schpiel on the sacredness of life: at what point does an individual become such a perversion of everything that life stands for that they are no longer considered life and are therefore can be justifiably killed? I was trying to get at this with the Marvel Zombies thing: are they still life or are they just monsters? What about more human atrocities, like Charlie Manson or Saddam Hussein? Do their atrocities make them a perversion of life and thus justifiable in their execution or does the fact that they were still living beings with choices make up for that? Not taking a stand on this one just yet, just want to feel out some philosophical talk on the matter.

I don't think that point can be reached. As far as I can tell, anything capable of sentient thought has free will and, with it, the capacity for good. Redemption can be extremely unlikely, but not impossible.
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:21 am

After reading a more detailed explanation of it, I'm just practically in love with the thermodynamic miracle. ^_^

I guess again to try to resolve it it's a matter of agreeing to disagree on it, since I just don't feel that one can justify taking a life in order to protect others except in a scenario when the individual does not feel that there is another way out of it (like war or during a police situation). I can see superheroes being forced into such a position, as well, I just don't want Lightbringer to ever break that line... it'd be like Batman doing it.

Agreed, Lightbringer's never been in such a position, which does allow for storytelling potential later on. Thanks for the idea! ^_^
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Postby Sun tzu on Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:26 am

Linkara wrote:After reading a more detailed explanation of it, I'm just practically in love with the thermodynamic miracle. ^_^

I guess again to try to resolve it it's a matter of agreeing to disagree on it, since I just don't feel that one can justify taking a life in order to protect others except in a scenario when the individual does not feel that there is another way out of it (like war or during a police situation). I can see superheroes being forced into such a position, as well, I just don't want Lightbringer to ever break that line... it'd be like Batman doing it.

Wait, so now you agree that some situations can justify it? (At least, that's what that "except" sounded like)

Agreed, Lightbringer's never been in such a position, which does allow for storytelling potential later on. Thanks for the idea! ^_^

Eh, I tend to think of such stories as cop-outs. "We'll put the hero in a situation where he has to break his own rules in order to save the day - no, wait, we had him pull through it with some clever trick instead. So the moral of the story is: You can always preserve the status quo!"
Not that I don't like the heroes being clever...I'm just not too fond of fake moral dilemnas.
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:26 pm

Well, "justify" is probably the wrong word. I know people who have served in wartime, and as such I don't blame them morally for what they felt they had to do at the time. What they did was still wrong, but the situation pulled it into a gray area where I can either hate them for the rest of my life or learn to forgive and move on. I'll still call them heroes for doing a difficult thing, surviving it, and defending other principles. As I said before, it's still wrong, but one needs to make a choice how one responds to the wrongdoer while knowing the context of the situation that they were in. Even I admit ethics are difficult for an individual to maintain when confronted with a situation that challenges it, like the situations you describe. Soldiers and police officers are faced with those challenges more often and sometimes they feel there is no other way, but I'd like to think someday we'll be able to do those things without killing the enemy. I'm starting to wonder if I should be posting the speech I was planning on Lightbringer to give here, since we're skirting on the territory of it now...

Good point on the cop-outs. ^^;;
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Postby Sun tzu on Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:13 pm

Linkara wrote:Well, "justify" is probably the wrong word. I know people who have served in wartime, and as such I don't blame them morally for what they felt they had to do at the time. What they did was still wrong, but the situation pulled it into a gray area where I can either hate them for the rest of my life or learn to forgive and move on. I'll still call them heroes for doing a difficult thing, surviving it, and defending other principles. As I said before, it's still wrong, but one needs to make a choice how one responds to the wrongdoer while knowing the context of the situation that they were in.

I still don't understand how you can call these actions wrong (and those who commit them wrongdoers) in such contexts. The way I see it, if you're fighting to stop Hitler from taking over the world, shooting his soldiers in the head is the right thing to do.
Maybe we're using different definitions. :-?
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:00 pm

We must be. ^^;; I'd rather the soldiers be shot in the legs or arms, somehow keeping them from firing their guns, then imprisoned for the rest of their lives. I'm not going to use the "Eye for an eye leaves everyone blind" thing because frankly I think that quote is stupid (it leaves you with one eye!), but it seems hypocritical to want to protect life with every fiber of our being and then take it, no matter who the person's life is that's being taken.

Again, I don't think we're going to settle the issue, but I'm willing to agree to disagree and leave it at that. ^^
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Postby Wandering Observer on Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:17 pm

It seems that I've missed out on a great debate up until now. Oh well. where do I begin?

I have a hard time elevating anything up to an absolute. Afterall, humans are simple minded creatures, and I find that the more we assume we know, the more we trap ourselves in our own minds.

Again Lewis, I find your position to be quite perplexing. Although absolutes tend to be something I tread lightly on, Life is certainly something just as delicate. Regardless, one must remember that, although death is never, ever reversible, nothing in life ever truly is. Remember Thermodynamics? Entropy is constantly increasing, and nothing can stop it. Time and emotion follow this pattern, just as energy does.
Life is an end to itself, as Kant said. While this may be true, one must remember completely what this entails. Rape victims do not ever "recover," from what has happened to them, nor do victims of molestation. These experiences change their victims, burning their minds and personality in such a way that there cannot ever be a full rehabilitation. While it is true that individuals who experience these things can lead a normal life afterwords, many need counseling for years upon years after their events, and all keep the emotional and physical scars they'ver recieved.
The examples for cases like this are endless. Does the sniper go for a non-lethal kill? If he does, the exploding round he carries will probably mangle the limb it enters, requiring amputation in many cases. Brain damage, parylization, blindness, there are plenty of examples aiments that can never be "fixed." Even the severe beating that villians recieve are not without the possibility of permenant damage.
Life is a wonderful standard to hold oneself to. One must remember that there are far worse things in life than death.
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:02 pm

Wandering Observer wrote:It seems that I've missed out on a great debate up until now. Oh well. where do I begin?

I have a hard time elevating anything up to an absolute. Afterall, humans are simple minded creatures, and I find that the more we assume we know, the more we trap ourselves in our own minds.

Again Lewis, I find your position to be quite perplexing. Although absolutes tend to be something I tread lightly on, Life is certainly something just as delicate. Regardless, one must remember that, although death is never, ever reversible, nothing in life ever truly is. Remember Thermodynamics? Entropy is constantly increasing, and nothing can stop it. Time and emotion follow this pattern, just as energy does.
Life is an end to itself, as Kant said. While this may be true, one must remember completely what this entails. Rape victims do not ever "recover," from what has happened to them, nor do victims of molestation. These experiences change their victims, burning their minds and personality in such a way that there cannot ever be a full rehabilitation. While it is true that individuals who experience these things can lead a normal life afterwords, many need counseling for years upon years after their events, and all keep the emotional and physical scars they'ver recieved.
The examples for cases like this are endless. Does the sniper go for a non-lethal kill? If he does, the exploding round he carries will probably mangle the limb it enters, requiring amputation in many cases. Brain damage, parylization, blindness, there are plenty of examples aiments that can never be "fixed." Even the severe beating that villians recieve are not without the possibility of permenant damage.
Life is a wonderful standard to hold oneself to. One must remember that there are far worse things in life than death.


...You are a very depressing person. ^_~

However it should be noted that at the maximum height of entropy, something still lingers as absolute zero supposedly cannot be reached. I also contend that since matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, simply changed, that something does manage to continue forever in some altered state.
In answer to your rape analogy, by the definitions you use, perhaps they never "recover," but they can still learn to LIVE with it or at least move past it. Perhaps they are changed, but life can still continue. Furthermore, I'd say life itself still an eternal constant. Through war, revolution, and all the terrible things on this world, life continues to flourish in amazing ways. The only way to end it would be to end all life everywhere, but that doesn't guarantee it won't come back again somehow.
I still say that living, being able to feel something or even the possibility of feeling something again are better than taking away something that cannot be replaced as an individual life. Science and technology allow for the possibility that someday they may recover a lost limb or brain damage might be repaired in some manner. Perhaps not in our lifetime, but still maybe. Will the person be changed as a result of that experience? Yes, but even Buddhists believe that existence is a state of flux and that one person is never the same person from moment to moment. I respond that the soul, the essence of what that person is still perseveres through continued existence even if their personality has changed, since that can always change back again.
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Postby Sun tzu on Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:05 pm

Linkara wrote:We must be. ^^;; I'd rather the soldiers be shot in the legs or arms, somehow keeping them from firing their guns, then imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

If the Allies had tried that in WWII, they'd have lost the war. Anything short of killing enemy soliders would have meant, in practice, allowing the Axis to rule the world.

I'm not going to use the "Eye for an eye leaves everyone blind" thing because frankly I think that quote is stupid (it leaves you with one eye!), but it seems hypocritical to want to protect life with every fiber of our being and then take it, no matter who the person's life is that's being taken.

How is that any more hypocritical than protecting liberty by jailing terrorists?
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:32 pm

sun tzu wrote:
Linkara wrote:We must be. ^^;; I'd rather the soldiers be shot in the legs or arms, somehow keeping them from firing their guns, then imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

If the Allies had tried that in WWII, they'd have lost the war. Anything short of killing enemy soliders would have meant, in practice, allowing the Axis to rule the world.

I'm not going to use the "Eye for an eye leaves everyone blind" thing because frankly I think that quote is stupid (it leaves you with one eye!), but it seems hypocritical to want to protect life with every fiber of our being and then take it, no matter who the person's life is that's being taken.

How is that any more hypocritical than protecting liberty by jailing terrorists?


And I keep saying this - wartime creates a situation that says that while it's still wrong, the circumstances affecting the individuals in it put them in a position where they feel they have no other choice but to kill. And while I do not mourn any of the Nazis that were killed, I'm still sad that lives were lost. Killing in wartime is different and in a grey area, even if it's still wrong. And I will confess I would've been tempted to put a few bullets betwen the eyes of a Nazi bastard if I'd been there. I don't know why I keep having to say this - IT'S STILL WRONG, BUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES DRAG IT INTO A GREY AREA. I admit, even I can't find a scenario where the Nazis would've been defeated through anything other than killing and given the situation I'd probably be shooting the hell out of them, too, in the name of justice and righteousness and I could live with myself after having done it to such an evil, but it's still wrong but then again people aren't perfect. I know it seems a touch hypocritical, I know it seems odd, but the circumstances and the sheer scale of it still make it different than a superhero killing a criminal who is threatening hostages.

Jailing terrorists doesn't guarantee them death. Restraining them from causing further harm is different than killing them, since as I said before there is always the chance for redemption. They still have the freedom to feel and experience, which is more than can be said for their victims. They are still criminals and their actions need to be punished in defense of the liberty of the people who they would harm.
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Postby Linkara on Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:42 pm

Sorry for the double-post, but I just want to apologize for the tone of the pervious post. It's late at night for me and I feel like I'm just repeating myself like a broken record. ^^;
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Postby Sun tzu on Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:53 pm

Linkara wrote:Sorry for the double-post, but I just want to apologize for the tone of the pervious post. It's late at night for me and I feel like I'm just repeating myself like a broken record. ^^;

You too? :)

And I keep saying this - wartime creates a situation that says that while it's still wrong, the circumstances affecting the individuals in it put them in a position where they feel they have no other choice but to kill. And while I do not mourn any of the Nazis that were killed, I'm still sad that lives were lost. Killing in wartime is different and in a grey area, even if it's still wrong. And I will confess I would've been tempted to put a few bullets betwen the eyes of a Nazi bastard if I'd been there. I don't know why I keep having to say this - IT'S STILL WRONG, BUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES DRAG IT INTO A GREY AREA.

Thing is, Louis - I don't believe in grey areas. To me, an action is either the right thing to do, or it isn't.
WWII battlefield? No killing => Axis victory => disaster worse than death of Nazi soldiers, so killing them is the right thing, and not killing them is the wrong thing.
Destroying the vilage to save the continent? Doing it => a lot less death and destruction than not doing it, so it's the right thing.
Sure, sometimes every possible choice has a big downside. It then becomes a question of which downside is the least horrible.
I don't see the war situation as qualitatively different from our everyday situations. It's still a matter of choosing the greatest good and lesser evil.

Jailing terrorists doesn't guarantee them death. Restraining them from causing further harm is different than killing them, since as I said before there is always the chance for redemption. They still have the freedom to feel and experience, which is more than can be said for their victims. They are still criminals and their actions need to be punished in defense of the liberty of the people who they would harm.

I think you miss my point. What I'm trying to say is that if it's okay to imprison (that is, remove the liberty of) criminals to defend freedom, then it's also okay to kill in order to protect life.
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Postby Linkara on Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:03 am

Thing is, Louis - I don't believe in grey areas. To me, an action is either the right thing to do, or it isn't.
WWII battlefield? No killing => Axis victory => disaster worse than death of Nazi soldiers, so killing them is the right thing, and not killing them is the wrong thing.
Destroying the vilage to save the continent? Doing it => a lot less death and destruction than not doing it, so it's the right thing.
Sure, sometimes every possible choice has a big downside. It then becomes a question of which downside is the least horrible.
I don't see the war situation as qualitatively different from our everyday situations. It's still a matter of choosing the greatest good and lesser evil.



Okay, I get your reasoning for it, I just don't agree with it. Again, I'm willing to agree to disagree and just settle the matter on that since as we both said, we're going in circles and we're not settling anything. ^_~

I think you miss my point. What I'm trying to say is that if it's okay to imprison (that is, remove the liberty of) criminals to defend freedom, then it's also okay to kill in order to protect life.


Okay, I'm seeing your point, I just think the analogy's a false one in this case. I see protecting life as an absolute and that it's hypocritical to take it in order to take it, or at least the paradox is one to be avoided since it can't be reversed. Whereas imprisonment removes the liberty of criminals to defend the liberty of others, but a criminal's liberty may be restored to them for some reason. I'm going to bed now, but I do recall that I believe Socrates brought up a similar argument about this when a friend of his was trying to convince him to escape and not be executed.
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Postby Sun tzu on Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:28 am

Okay, I get your reasoning for it, I just don't agree with it. Again, I'm willing to agree to disagree and just settle the matter on that since as we both said, we're going in circles and we're not settling anything. ^_~

Well, I'm trying to find the root of the disagreement...

Okay, I'm seeing your point, I just think the analogy's a false one in this case. I see protecting life as an absolute and that it's hypocritical to take it in order to take it, or at least the paradox is one to be avoided since it can't be reversed. Whereas imprisonment removes the liberty of criminals to defend the liberty of others, but a criminal's liberty may be restored to them for some reason.

Why would irreversibility make one more hypocritical than the other? :-?
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Postby Linkara on Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:50 am

sun tzu wrote:Well, I'm trying to find the root of the disagreement...


Okay, let me try to explain it in the roots of things for me. Let's say for a moment that I grant you your argument, that someone should be able to kill to preserve life, particularly when it comes to either the death ray scenario you described or just in a hostage situation. But then we come up with another scenario - instead of a death ray, the individual has to rape a captured innocent woman or else the criminal is going to kill her or kill tons of people. And then I have to grant that to preserve others lives but another life is destroyed in the process. Or another scenario where a person has to steal or bribe or even exterminate, say, the entire population of a country or else the entire world will be slain. Maybe you don't have a problem with these due to the supposed greater good, but to me, doing something evil in order to achieve a "greater good" taints whatever good results from it. It's the recurring theme in Lightbringer so far when he is confronted with these villains: they believe that sometimes you have to do evil things to achieve a greater good and I disagree wholeheartedly with that philosophy. Maybe Rorschach was a hypocrite because of how much he tortured or murdered, but he was still right at the end of Watchmen: "Not even in the face of armageddon. Never compromise."

Why would irreversibility make one more hypocritical than the other? :-?


A criminal gives up the right to their freedom when they infringes upon the freedom of others. They can still see what they did and realize they were wrong and they can regain their freedom. But when a criminal kills, they still have every right to live as anyone else. If the criminal is killed, they can't realize the error of their ways and find some manner of redemption or find a way to be punished for their crimes and learn to appreciate life - they're just dead.
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