When Is It Ok To Kill?
The Ultimate Question
I believe we would be hard-pressed to find any living human being over the age of 16 who has not "felt" like killing another human being.
What exactly would get you to kill another human being?
This hub in no way is condoning killing in any sense. I am just trying to find an answer to this age-old question of when is ok to kill?
Here are a series of polls that I hope will open our eyes and minds to this question.
You are coming out of the barber shop. It is dusk and a man approaches holding a gun and demands all you have. You have your pistol on your waist just above your wallet. You are licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
You have been training as a crane operator for 1 year now. You are pretty good at operations of this piece of heavy equipment. Today isn't your day though, just you and another man are working. You swing a piece of iron to him and it knocks him off the wall killing him.
You are in the middle of Afghanistan with your platoon of soldiers. You have entered a village with nothing but aged and women and children. You are ordered to kill them all. Do you?
You are a police officer and have been for going on 10 years. Martial law has been declared in the United States. You have been given a list of addresses of dissidents who have weapons you are to confiscate. Your pastor from your young days is on the list; upon arrival at his home you realize the only way you will get his guns is to kill him.
Tough questions, huh?
Is it really ever ok to kill?
I don't believe so. After all, one of the ten commandments says to not kill. Are there exceptions? That is between you and God.
Let's look at what all Holy books say about killing. I am a Christian and follow the Bible and the teachings of Jesus-my Savior and Lord, but I also understand many follow other teachings. Let us just see which ones actually condone killing.
Confucius in the Analects is quoted as saying:
XII.19: Chi K'ang-tzu asked Confucius about government, saying, "What do you say to killing unprincipled people for the sake of principled people?" Confucius replied, "Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors (chün-tzu ) and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it."
In the Hindu religion you have the term Ahimsa, which means non-violence across the board. In his commentary on the Yoga Sutras, sage Vyasa defines ahimsa as "the absence of injuriousness (anabhidroha) toward all living beings (sarvabhuta) in all respects (sarvatha) and for all times (sarvada)." He noted that a person who draws near one engaged in the true practice of ahimsa would be freed from all enmity. Similarly, Patanjali (circa 100 ce) regards ahimsa as the yogi's mahavrata, the great vow and foremost spiritual discipline which those seeking Truth must follow strictly and without fail. This was not meant merely to condemn killing, but extended to harm caused by one's thoughts, words and deeds of all kinds--including injury to the natural environment. Even the intent to injure, even violence committed in a dream, is a violation of the principle of ahimsa.
There are many who say that the Koran supports killing. I have not read the whole book, so I will not agree or disagree. It does seem to me that many Muslims do interpret their Holy book to say so. I did find this in the Koran that seems to dispel killing:
5:32: "For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), but afterwards lo! Many of them become prodigals of the earth."
The Talmud teaches that killing is only right in self defense situations. The Talmud is the Jewish scriptures.
If you read the whole Tao-te-ching you will see that killing of anything is really not condoned. This is Chinese philosophy.
So for the most part, the Holy books don't condone killing. So why does mankind keep killing. Greed, money and power are 3 reasons I see.
God did tell us to kill to eat, I understand that, but to kill other humans is wrong. It is evil. Yes mankind has found loopholes in these books to go on killing. I wonder how they will answer to our ultimate judge.
I hope that this hub opens minds and hearts.
I know I cannot bring peace to this world myself, but if we all look deeper within-maybe there is a chance for a more peaceful world.
© G.L. Boudonck
© 2010 Greg Boudonck