To Kill someone…

August 24, 2007 at 12:31 (Uncategorized)

I had to write an argumentative piece for varsity some time ago and I eventually got it back.  I got a good mark as well 🙂

Is it aways equally wrong to kill another person, or are some killings more justifiable than others?

Planning to kill someone and accidentally killing some are two different actions with the responsibility of the resulting death being placed on different reasons. Killing may not be justifiable but it is not always wrong.

In the instance where someone has planned to kill another. All responsibility is placed on the killer. Apart from planning to kill someone, which is not only against the law but against the moral code of humanity of many people, he was aware of his actions when he executed his plan. There are situations where people are not in control of their actions such as the mentally ill but in just about every theory or case study there are exceptions.

In accidental death there are more variables that in murder. If someone was killed through negligence, such as drunk driving, the responsibility is placed on the drunk driver who drove knowing he was not in control of himself or his actions. Some responsibility could be placed on the victim in that, had he been more observant he may have seen the situation developing and attempted action to avoid the on coming situation. But how much responsibility should one take for another’s actions, if any?

Were someone to break into another’s house and he was discovered and killed in self-defence, who would take responsibility there? The killer for defending his home and family from someone who intended harm; not necessarily physical? Or the victim whose conscious actions placed him in a situation that lead to his demise. Had the victim not been in the house in the first place, he would not have been killed.

Lastly, if there was a fight between two people over something and one died. Would the responsibility be placed on the instigator or defender? Could the lack of self-control be an excuse for killing someone? Or is it that one felt so strongly about it that he was willing to kill for it? He may not have planned to kill over it but ended up doing so. He did not plan to kill and did not regret his cause but regretted the resulting death. His strong belief makes him responsible for his actions and the reactions that follow.

Killing is not always equally wrong, situations dictate the degree of responsibility placed on the killer. Justifying killing someone is removing the responsibility of taking a life; the fact that someone’s life was taken does not change. The killer should remain accountable if not responsible for the death.

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