Morality of Murder

What is there to say about the morality of murder? The phrase seems oxymoronic at first glance and ready for immediate dismissal as being just plain moronic. Perhaps the case would be different, obvious as it is, had it been the immorality of murder. Still, I couldn’t help but question whether or not there is even a sliver of morality in murder.

When people talk about morals, they refer to what is right and good, if not unanimously then at least generally (‘personally’ is ruled out because of the collective implication inherent in morals). In that light, can murder be a good thing? If you have the luxury of time-travel, and you travel back in time and meet Hitler, would you kill him? Would his murder be justified? What would be the moral choice then?

Some people say that doing unto others as we would be done unto us is the credo to follow to act in accordance to morals. Would it then be alright for people with suicidal tendencies to go on a killing spree? How much can we rely on people’s conscience when common sense is not so common?

And what are morals, anyway? As far as I have fathomed, morals are simply the definition of what is right and wrong. Can a murder be categorized as being inherently right or wrong regardless of the circumstances involved? Can morals be deemed universally absolute when they are questionable, and hence, debatable; when the existence of an absolute truth is never even absolute? Would morals of the majority ever suffice?

How do we perceive morals? Is it through our logic, our sentiments, our senses, or the combination of variables mentioned? Either way, how much can we rely on our logic, sentiments, senses, or even the resulting judgment of it all? If morals were absolute, and therefore objective, can we absolutely depend on the objectivity of our faculties?

Issues of morality have been greatly, and heatedly, discussed. Murder, however, does not often receive such quantity of intellectual and philosophical limelight. We have always been taught that it is wrong to kill. It is simply wrong to take someone’s life and therefore the execution along with the executor is immoral. What then of death penalties? Even when the sentence is dropped as punishment for the crime of murder, is an eye for an eye vengeance or justice? What then of self defense? What then of war?

Would there be an absolute answer to questions of morals? Would there ever be an absolute solution to anything abstract? Would subjectivity ultimately and continuously prevail? As a conclusion, I suppose my limited faculties can only offer a slight alteration of that much quoted credo in reference to morals: Don’t do unto others what you would not be done unto you. Please.

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3 thoughts on “Morality of Murder

  1. “Don’t do unto others what you would not be done unto you.”

    Hmm… I think that means being a professional brazillian waxer is off the list of things-to-be-in-case-I-lost-my-job.

    On to professional shopper, then!

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