Why is murder wrong?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Anduril, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree Turambur. Money, property and wounds can be replaced/healed over time. But to end a life - you don't get any more precious than that. Once it's gone, it can't be rebuilt or replaced. In the global view, one life being snuffed out doesn't seem that significant. But I believe that to take a human life is one of the worst crimes you can commit.
     
  2. aule

    aule The Smithy of the Valar

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    Most definitely... I have to agree entirely.
     
  3. AcrobaticHippo

    AcrobaticHippo Determined

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    That's why "whether war is moral or not" is subjective. This isn't a matter where the answer is straight ahead. I think this is a good topic, because there's no black or white, there're only shades of grey.

    Your statements seem to be contradicting each other. If a ruler of one country launches an attack on another country, would the second country keep quiet? No! It's only right for the ruler of the second country to defend his people, who have not done anything wrong, even if it comes at the cost of killing soldiers who were briefed and totally aware of the fact that they face a high chance of death, yet they are prepared to take the risk. Isn't defending one's own subjects an example of upholding humanity?

    I suppose that supports your last statement and refutes your second-last statement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2004
  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    War isn't moral under most circumstances. War is a time and place where apparently, ideals or disputes weigh heavier then human lives. The concept of murder doesn't change under that. The only unusual situation is that soldiers have have this code that they are willing to risk their own lives to take others. Now, for a part this compensates for the deeds, since you first give your life before you take others that have done the same, who in their turn will take yours if they see that chance first. But on a macro level ("the decision makers"), war is not killing the enemy, but killing your own troops, since they already gave their live with the oath they took. And that still is immoral. Indeed, there are instances where there is no other opltion, like when in the defensive position, but on the whole, there are always ways to circumvent war, to my opinion.

    Now, as to killing civilians in a war. That is just plain and simple murder, since these people aren't part of the war. They didn't choose to place their lives in the scales of war, they are not part of the military code, so there is no exception there. And this is the problem with terrorists. They think that their goal is more important then the usual military code, simpy because they either don't have the recources or they think they can have a bigger impact with killing civilians. It defines terrorists.

    Muslim terrorists who give their live in order to take many others is a murderer to my defenitions, because even giving his own life doesn't give him the right to take others. But in the end, this concept is bound to religion. Religion is something people are willing to die for, if they are threatened not to be able to live by it in the way they want. And for Islam this is much the same as for any other religion I know of, with a few possible exceptions. This all, however doesn't give anyone the right to kill. It is just something I preceive as the flaw in believe and religion.
     
  5. Celestial Wanderer

    Celestial Wanderer searching for peace...

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    Indeed. We all are bound to our beliefs and ideas our society teaches us. Not only for murder issues but other social and sexual issues are also dependant on what we think. Its just than many of us commonly view killing as wrong. Mainly, its killing for unnecessary murder that all of us are against. Then again, "unnecessary" itself is subjective as well.

    Yet, morality itself is built on the base of the considerate opinions of people. Sometimes, we do lots of things that are right, albeit painful.
     
  6. AcrobaticHippo

    AcrobaticHippo Determined

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    Thanks for proving my point. They saw those things you mentioned as effects because that's what they've been told. Granted, it's hard to resist being brainwashed, but the problem is, they became fanatics and they took everything to heart. They didn't want to think for themselves. They believed that everyhting that was spoonfed to them was right, and THAt is wrong. They might have been told that everything told to them is right, but at leats they should have thought more instead of blindly following it. They in turn brainwash their kids, who in turn brainwash everyone else, including their kids and what I'm trying to say is, THAT is wrong. Worse thing is, they know what they're doing and yet they think it's right. That's when they're wrong. They spilled the blood of thousands for their gains. That's also wrong.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2004
  7. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Not to defend terrorism but....

    Civilians pay the taxes that fund a nation's power, they work the factories that create the machines of war. In many cases the medical units that help soldiers recover quickly are comprised of civilians. The media that potentially carry secrets about military plans are civilians. Civilian agencies like the CIA are know to operate inside hostile countries. Scientists that invent new tools for war are civilians. Civilians have been known to act as shields for soldier to prevent engagement.

    Not all civilians can be acceptable targets but not all civilians are exempt either.
     
  8. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    murder is justified in defence and maybe revenge. Depends on what you want revenge for. If you make an act that makes a man worthless and you destroyed his life figurly speaking as an act of cruelty, than revenge maybe justified. for he killed you figurly and the other kills litterally. What is worse of both. Killing you figurly speaking or litteraly. It might be justified in the world we live in, cause we live in a world of cruelty. But is not justified in a world of peace, but peace seems like an illusion. Cause men always will fight men. We are mentally raised like that or born with it. Who can say that he or she has never done something cruel in his life?
     
  9. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Anduril, God says killing is wrong because he gave us life to fulfill our duties as stewards of the earth. We are supposed to take care of it. We can take life of animals only if we need it to survive. The same with plants. We do not have to take another human's life for food to put on our tables, as well as the fact that Turumbar stated that life is the gift given to us. This is my understanding of why it is wrong according to God. There are exceptions however.

    Jnanee: Perhaps I didn't explain myself thouroughly enough. I was speaking of the offender when I was talking about war, not the defender. It is in our nature to destroy ourselves, if another attacks us to kill us, we have the right to defend, but not be the offender in the first place. When I said that war seems perfectly moral, I was referring to the fact that it is legal in most societies, not like murder. I hope my opinions no longer 'contradict' eachother. If I still haven't explained intelligibly, I apologize, anyone is welcome to pm me to discuss it further.
     
  10. Waena Myrrien

    Waena Myrrien Troubadour

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    It's possibly necessary within this debate to differentiate between the concept of retribution and revenge. Earlier in the debate a point was raised that if a wife or child was placed in danger that would justify an action - including personally taking action against the perpetrator. Are we ever justified in taking revenge? I'm not sure that we are, although feeling that way is understandable.

    What if the family of every person who was murdered by terrorists took action against the terrorists, would that be justified? Historically it was not unusual (and still occurs in some cultures where the family group or society are of more import than the individual) that family members shared in the fate of a perpetrator as well - after all they are "tainted" too, sharing common values and beliefs.

    That is how repercussion and revenge can lead to events being out of control.

    We once had a discussion in my workplace about whether terrorism was ever justified. I was asked to consider who defined terrorism in any action - what may be seen as terrorism by one group or society may not find their views shared by another. I was also asked to consider that frequently terrorism occurs when a particular group do not have the "power" to bring about what they feel they require. The notion of something being a terrorist activity can change over time, within the history of my own country William Wallace was seen as a terrorist but is now in the light of history considered a hero but he and his men murdered and raped to try and bring about what they wished, another example could be considered the Maccabees from Israel's history.

    Our own emotions and experiences at the time of an incident do play a part in how we see them. In the media I have seen people who raised points that should be considered in explaining an action shot down and lambasted because their views are not popular however should these views remain silent?
     
  11. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I can't believe what I've just read. Do you honestly think that in a society where you are told everything, where elders are not just respected but revered, where politicians and religious leaders and beyond reproach, that questioning things is really a serious, viable, life-prolonging option? Hell no. Try standing in the middle of some of these countries and shouting out "Our country's leader is a jackass, all religious leaders are insane, and you are all idiots for blindly following without question!" Here in Australia, people would walk past without batting an eyelid. Some might even smile and pat you on the back :) But do you really think you'd survive after saying something like that in some parts of the world? No. You'd be dead.

    Living in modern democratic (mostly) western countries, we are encouraged to think for ourselves, to question our elders and those in positions of authority. Freedom of speech is encouraged (unless you're against George Bush in the USA< but that's another story ;-) We regularly lampoon our nations' leaders on TV shows and political newspaper cartoons. The fact we're online right now with this debating forum open to us is another example of our freedom and encouragement to think outside the square.

    With all of these powers at your disposal, why can't you understand the simple concept that we have these luxuries, but other people don't? That's why they don't question anything - because they've never been allowed to.
     
  12. curunir's bane

    curunir's bane Kwisatch Haderach

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    I must say that if one grows up being brainwashed (by everyone in one's family and society) into thinking something is moral or immoral then there really isn't much room for free thinking or free expression for that matter. I could have each of you come sit in a room with me everyday and tell you that you are ugly. And after about a month or so, you would probably start to believe it's true. Now imagine that I knew you from your birth, and I called you ugly from day one, and EVERYONE that you met called you ugly. Imagine that for 20 years straight. Are you gonna think that you are good looking? I wouldn't bet on it. If a kid is told from day one by his parents that Americans are evil and that all americans should be killed; do you think he will believe them? Yes, he will. If his whole country were to tell him that killing american's was ok from day one do you think he would start to think that it's ok to kill americans?

    From the early stages of life we begin to form a superego which is basically us forming our morals from what our parents tell us. As we (humans) enter adolescents, we begin to develop an ego based off of what society teaches us and our previous morals from our parents. For example: Parents might say that smoking is bad whereas society might view it as ok. At that point the adolescent is left to choose and decide which he/she thinks is right or moral. But what if the parents say that smoking is not only ok but is the right thing to do and that society also says that it is the right thing to do and both the family and society encourage it? The adolescent doesn't really have much of a choice to decide whether or not he thinks smoking is bad. His family's values are the same as society's values so the only thing he has ever known and believed is that smoking is good.







    These kids are being "brainwashed" into believing what is moral from day one. Society's values and family values are constantly being imbedded into these adolescents' heads. These kids know nothing other than what they have been told and cannot form opinions and thoughts for themselves and don't know to "think for themselves" when their family and society, both, tell them that something is moral. These kids are indeed "brainwashed" when everyone around them says the same thing throughout their whole lives. All that these kids can do is "blindly" follow what has been "spoonfed" to them throughout their lives.

    Now, forget that I'm talking about american kids. Try now and imagine that these kids are Iraqis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2005
  13. aule

    aule The Smithy of the Valar

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    True, but still... the religion that they supposedly follow isn't too far from Chrisianity, it teaches that murder is wrong. but the thing is that they are mostly extremists that make the rest of thier faith look bad, not all iraqi kids are taught that, i'm sure.
     
  14. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    And a radical muslim is just going to say that he is fulfilling his duties as a steward of the earth. And the way you put it, it makes it sound like survival is the deciding issue. Jim Eliot was armed with a fire arm when he was murdered by natives he was trying to help. His survival was at stake.

    :devilspin Playing the devil's advocate.
     
  15. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Yes, but their main want is to dominate the earth and destroy their enemies. Just because a radical muslim says he's fulfilling his duties as a steward of the earth doesn't make it true. (Just because I'm saying all this right now doesn't make it true, disagree with it all you like. It's my opinion and understanding, it doesn't have to be yours.) Well, survival IS (or was) the deciding issue. In ancient times, life was about staying alive and serving God. Now, it's about enjoying it to most people, though God might still influence their lives. Since we humans (the race, not neccesarily all of the individuals) aren't as concerned about working to survive as we once had to be, we look for power over others because of our nature and kill other living things for mere sport.
     
  16. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    And what drew you to that particular conclusion?
     
  17. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Which conclusion? I made many statements, which part would you like me to explain?
     
  18. PenguinofDeath

    PenguinofDeath The name says it all.

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    I think Murder itself is wrong- you're taking one of the most precious things from someone, against their will.

    I don't think that everyone who commits murder, however, is neccessarily wrong. People'd see stealing for the joy of it as a worse thing than stealing food to stay alive- so I think most people see taking a life to ensure your own survival is not as bad as killing out of jealousy or spite. Again, I think murder itself is a terrible thing, but the person who commits it may not be a terrible person.

    Just my tupennies :)
     
  19. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Now, how did you come to this conclusion? I have the feeling you haven't taken the pain of getting into the subject and instead used your limited knowledge to explain the acts of the "enemy". I call this dangerous, it really sounds like most civilisations have described their barbarian, and in such underestimating the enemy greatly. If you think Osama crept out of a cave just a few years ago, think again. He is smart and is still very able to manipulate the Americans in ways he wants. His goal is not to destroy the entire world and civilisation, but reinstall the feudal states in the greater Middle East area, like described by the Quran and to ged rid of the "corrupted" current ruling forces. And yes, the USA is concidered part of that, but for now the war against the US has a completely different reason. 10 points if you can tell me what it is...

    We are well aware of this, that's why this is a discussion forum. Hoewver, when you want to express your opinion, rather ues "I think" or equivalent, in stead of using a factly formulation, with "is" as it's center.

    Nice theory, wrong conclusion. We have ascended the times in which we had to struggle to stay alive, I think that is what defines a civilisation. I'd like to note though that worshipping God(s) is part of staying alive, but that is just a sidenote. Now we are able to survive on our own, God's role diminishes. In stead of working to keep our heads above the water, we can concentrate on other things, called leasure (and luxuries). I think this is the main driving force behind most things at the moment, being able to have as much leasure as possible and that in as much luxury as time, space and money allow. If anything, this could be quite selfish, and can broing up the worst in Humans and many goods and bads of the last 1.5 centuries could be traced back to this. In my opinion, people don't kill each other for fun, but merely to keep their time, space and money for leasure and luxury.
     
  20. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    I think Bin Ladin wishes he was as good at predicting the future as you think he is Tur. I dont see any way that he could have predicted a full assault on Afghanistan and Iraq, (or the political isolationism that the US is in now as a result) from an attack on the trade center because he had done it before and we knew it. At that time we did nothing remotely approaching that scale. I think the only thing Bin Ladin has going for him is the wide popularity he has among muslims, but his cause had that support before the attacks even if his name wasnt the focus. But Im off topic.

    As for you last point I dont dissagree much... Murder is generally an act of petty jealousy or envy. Perhaps modern prosperity hasnt increased the occurances of murder so much as clarified the motives.