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The Forum > General Discussion > When is it OK to kill?

When is it OK to kill?

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In Texas recently a man beat to death a family friend he caught molesting his daughter. The authorities have found that he has no case to answer.

In north Queensland years ago, a woman was acquitted after fatally shooting her husband who had been bashing her for years (his drinking mates used to call to warn her when he left the pub to go home).

I vaguely recall another instance where an elderly man in Sydney killed an intruder and was not convicted of any crime.

These are examples of what might be called "natural justice" and I think that these outcomes are all correct. But it begs the question when is it OK to kill another person? When is this justified? Who should decide?
Posted by Peter Mac, Thursday, 21 June 2012 1:02:02 PM
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It wasn't my intention but after reflection I can see that this topic might also relate to euthanasia.
Posted by Peter Mac, Thursday, 21 June 2012 2:21:11 PM
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when is it OK to kill. In many peoples eyes whenever an unborn baby is not wanted.
Posted by runner, Thursday, 21 June 2012 2:30:01 PM
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Wow Peter Mac! What a can of worms you've opened here. A veritable Pandora's Box of the discussion forum. Be interesting how long it can go before someone quotes religious text. ;)

Anyway, it is a contentious issue and also drags in other instances like the death penalty (not applicable in this country), abortion (for some), murder suicide. Killing an intruder would be unpremeditated and therefore the outcome/penalty would undoubtedly be different than if the elderly man had lured someone into his home with the INTENT of killing. That is murder with intent and should carry an appropriate penalty.

Would I go out and kill someone whom I PERCEIVED to be a threat to my children? No. But if a person physically threatened them, to the extent that their lives were in danger, I would not hesitate to protect them and if I killed that person in the process, so be it. A mother's protective instinct is a dangerous thing. Yet, paradoxically, I pick snails off the footpath so people won't squash them!

I am not a supporter of the death penalty (though I have never lost a loved one to violence, so am not really in a position to comment. I'm sure if I had I might feel differently). But it seems to me that we have many double standards in our society - it is okay for some governments to execute prisoners, yet abortion is still deemed illegal in many places. It is okay for governments to send young men and women off to war, yet it is illegal to end the suffering of the terminally ill.

All I know is if I were asked to end someone's life, there would have to be a very good reason, and I would have to be prepared to push the button myself, not ask someone else to do it.

So, when is it okay? Probably never. Possibly always. How long is that piece of string?
Posted by scribbler, Thursday, 21 June 2012 2:51:42 PM
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Actually, just thought of the perfect answer to your question, Peter. Continuing from my previous post: It is okay when it suits the law. It is not okay when it thwarts the law.
Posted by scribbler, Thursday, 21 June 2012 3:00:40 PM
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Peter, what surprises me is the judicial systems view on the worth of a human life here in Australia. If you embezzle millions from a large corporate or financial entity you could go to jail for a decade. If you murder somebody willfully but without horrid or distasteful overtones to the crime you get a decade non parole.
Posted by sonofgloin, Thursday, 21 June 2012 3:16:49 PM
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