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.
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.
Linkara wrote:Wow that was quick. 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.
sun tzu wrote:Linkara wrote:Wow that was quick. Up late?
Nope, European time zone.
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.
Oh, you kookie Europeans with your weird time zones and foreign monies and metric systems.
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 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.
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.
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.
Agreed, Lightbringer's never been in such a position, which does allow for storytelling potential later on. Thanks for the idea! ^_^
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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. ^^;
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.
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.
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.
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 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. ^_~
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.
sun tzu wrote:Well, I'm trying to find the root of the disagreement...
Why would irreversibility make one more hypocritical than the other?
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