When is it okay to kill?
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21-05-2015, 01:07 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(20-05-2015 04:46 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  I know this is opening a huge can of worms, but I have a sincere desire to hear the different perspectives of those of you on this board. This is a serious question for which I am seeking serious consideration.

First, some background on my question. I grew up and have lived my entire life in Alabama. Most of that time I attended Southern Baptist churches, with the exception of the last 7 years where I attended a United Methodist church until my recent de-conversion. The political viewpoints of the majority of Alabamians are influenced by a hodgepodge of the old southern democrats who supported farmer subsidies and state's rights and right wing Christian conservative republicans. Both of those groups have demonstrated a mastery of the art of appealing to fear and faith to polarize and solidify their constituency over the years. Willful ignorance, nationalism/patriotism, left-over racial tensions, and poverty also play a significant role in molding the mentality of the American southerner.

I have always been much more of a moderate in my political leanings. On some subjects, e.g., gay marriage, I have political stances that are in stark contrast to most of my conservative neighbors. However, I readily admit that on other subjects I have internalized biases that I, until now, have not even realized I needed to examine. Due to my participation in a recent thread on the death penalty, I realize that the topic of the death penalty is one of those heretofore un-examined biases, which leads me to the question:

Under what circumstances is it acceptable to take the life of another?

This will be my first time to really think through this topic with the religious constraints removed from the equation. Theists are welcome to respond with the caveat that biblical references or other divine revelations will not be considered legitimate arguments.

Some discussion starters:

Politics: Why is it that the conservative agenda supports the death penalty yet vehemently opposes a woman's right to an abortion while the liberal agenda passionately opposes the death penalty yet views abortion as a fundamental right?

Is it ok to kill one to save the life another? Who determines which life is more valuable?

Self-defense: What if the other person perceives you as a threat to their life?

Abortion: Is it ever ok to abort a healthy fetus five minutes before a healthy woman would have gone into what would be considered a routine labor? Are there certain identifiable thresholds in the development, consciousness or awareness of any living thing the crossing of which renders the killing that living thing acceptable or unacceptable?

Infanticide: If a child is born to a mother with no access to birth control and in extreme poverty, under what circumstances would infanticide be considered merciful or at least an acceptable act of survival of the mother and/or her other children?

Mercy: Are there conditions where a person should take the life of another to alleviate pain and suffering? I.e., if a person is in extreme pain and their death is imminent and unavoidable would giving them a quick death be acceptable, or even preferable?

Assisted Suicide: When should a person be allowed to determine the time and means of their own death?

Capital punishment: Does a group of people who live together have the right to determine when one member of the group offends and is no longer allowed to be a part of the group? If exile is not feasible, is it acceptable to deprive the offender of life or liberty (for the remainder of their life?)

To protect life and individual rights. According to my philosophy, Objectivism, The initiation of force is always wrong. If the initiation of force is always wrong, then the retaliatory use of force is a moral imperative.

Force should never be used to gain a value, only to protect values.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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21-05-2015, 05:21 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
When is it OK to kill???


After 9 a.m.


It's impolite to be making so much noise early in the morning...


Thank you for your consideration.

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The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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21-05-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(20-05-2015 07:08 PM)Cosmic Discourse Wrote:  Assisted Suicide: I'm in favor of this service being legally offered in all states (US citizen). As a single adult, it'd be a personal issue. If married (no kids), it deserves at least a discussion with your significant other. In the case of children, I feel there's no one size fits all solution, due to maturity levels, but it should be a family decision. Married adult w/children is a bit too complex for my tastes, but it would probably include elements of the child scenario, with a healthy amount of family discussion/explanation.

There are some current events regarding this in California: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/18...mg00000067

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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21-05-2015, 09:33 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(21-05-2015 08:49 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(20-05-2015 07:08 PM)Cosmic Discourse Wrote:  Assisted Suicide: I'm in favor of this service being legally offered in all states (US citizen). As a single adult, it'd be a personal issue. If married (no kids), it deserves at least a discussion with your significant other. In the case of children, I feel there's no one size fits all solution, due to maturity levels, but it should be a family decision. Married adult w/children is a bit too complex for my tastes, but it would probably include elements of the child scenario, with a healthy amount of family discussion/explanation.

There are some current events regarding this in California: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/18...mg00000067
I read that article this morning and thought: "Now, if we could get the other 45 states on board!"
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21-05-2015, 10:05 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(20-05-2015 09:30 PM)Nurse Wrote:  Pro tip - don't put a shotgun under your chin.

In EMT training, they showed us a film to start hardening us against the gruesome things we'd be seeing (I didn't need it, I had already been a firefighter in the USAF and had seen people in pieces) -- but part of the video featured a guy who attempted and failed in exactly the way you're describing. He blew the lower half of his face off, but he was conscious and aware, and in a hell of a lot of pain. You could see the muscles wriggling every time he tried to talk.
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21-05-2015, 10:57 AM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(21-05-2015 10:05 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(20-05-2015 09:30 PM)Nurse Wrote:  Pro tip - don't put a shotgun under your chin.

In EMT training, they showed us a film to start hardening us against the gruesome things we'd be seeing (I didn't need it, I had already been a firefighter in the USAF and had seen people in pieces) -- but part of the video featured a guy who attempted and failed in exactly the way you're describing. He blew the lower half of his face off, but he was conscious and aware, and in a hell of a lot of pain. You could see the muscles wriggling every time he tried to talk.

I'm not gonna look -- but there's probably a website devoted to better technique....


Sadcryface

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21-05-2015, 06:24 PM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
Two issues.
Euthanasia...........even younger people may want to opt out, a position taken by Kervorkian (Dr Death). Much stronger psychological challenging needed here. Are they depressed? existential angst? bored?............
Not so difficult with people of my vintage, though still not clear cut.
I read a long time back that one of the co founders of DNA (get back with his name)
had advocated compulsory euthansia for all who reached 80. It was a catholic article so give it whatever credence you like. As for voluntary demise of the aged, this is my preferred position. Beats the Hell out of agony, having your bum washed, and being beaten up by some carers. Still preparation while non demented seems wise. There are some rellies (and lawyers) who don't balk at bumping off an oldie who feels something of a nuisance.

Capital.... Hard too! Some crimes are horrendous to the extreme.
There is also the sane/insane dichotomy. Can we really in the latter maintain incurable madness indefinitely? How mad is mad? Obviously some calls will be clearer than others. Economics may be viewed as something of a cop out, but when we look at an aging population and the life imprisonment of a 20 year old it is an issue. I remain undecided on this issue.
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21-05-2015, 06:29 PM (This post was last modified: 21-05-2015 06:56 PM by kim.)
RE: When is it okay to kill?
When it's running across the highway. You should never swerve, it just causes you to further lose control of the vehicle and the entire situation.

I'll go back & read the original post. This was just the first thing I thought. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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21-05-2015, 06:59 PM
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(20-05-2015 05:13 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm not sure why permissible abortions end when the fetus is outside the womb.

Up until a certain point in a pregnancy the fetus-to-be is just a collection of cells too small to even see without a microscope! Getting rid of it's easier than cutting the living cells of a breast tumor out of a boob! But if it squeals when you poke it, you know it can feel pain! If you still go to smother it as it cries out for it's mother, that's when it's o.k. to kill you! Shy

(20-05-2015 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  When they've seen too much.

The Shell Shocked Soldier finds that funny! Confused
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21-05-2015, 09:14 PM (This post was last modified: 21-05-2015 09:18 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: When is it okay to kill?
(20-05-2015 09:30 PM)Nurse Wrote:  I personally don't support the right to suicide in all situations. It's a grey area for me. While I support it for terminal illnesses and severe pain, I don't support it merely for depression - I view it as a tragedy.

Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

(21-05-2015 06:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Much stronger psychological challenging needed here. Are they depressed? existential angst? bored?............

Maybe so, but it ain't your call.

I worked with this brilliant dude who was a pioneer of the Bluetooth communications protocol. One day out of the blue he just threw himself off a bridge. Tragedy for the rest of us yes, but it wasn't our call. Same with the comic genius Robin Williams. Same with Alan Turing. Their loss is a tragedy for the rest of us but I don't question their call.

#sigh
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