Jump to content

Why Do You Think Murder Is Wrong?


Bsix

Recommended Posts

This concept is an interesting export from another thread. I'm interested in understanding your reasons.

Please tell us why you think murder is wrong. Where do you derive the moral imperative (or categorical imperative if you wish) for such a position. Is there such a thing as a moral imperative?

Is it Godly command...magical laws...supernatural authority...social responsibility... human fairness...biology...practical benefit...evolution...communal law...you tell us.

Why is murder wrong? How absolutely provable is your reason?

Regards,

Six

Link to comment

This concept is an interesting export from another thread. I'm interested in understanding your reasons.

Please tell us why you think murder is wrong. Where do you derive the moral imperative (or categorical imperative if you wish) for such a position. Is there such a thing as a moral imperative?

Is it Godly command...magical laws...supernatural authority...social responsibility... human fairness...biology...practical benefit...evolution...communal law...you tell us.

Why is murder wrong? How absolutely provable is your reason?

Regards,

Six

I'm not prepared with a well thought out, complete answer - maybe I'll revisit it later when I have more time. But the topic did remind me of a pastor, Justin Alfred, who gave a sermon at our church a month ago. His youngest daughter, who was 23 at the time, was murdered in 2006. So Justin shared that he struggled a lot with feelings of vengence - he wanted to murder the man who had murdered his daughter.

So one night he was awakened by the Lord, who spoke to him "Justin, my grace (he might have said "mercy" - I forget now) is perfect and just and holy. So is my wrath perfect and just and holy, but yours isn't". And that helped him forgive the murderer and let go of the vengence, which belongs to the Lord.

Link to comment

This reminds me of a question posed by Plato that I read back in college. Maybe one of the scholars on this forum will help me here. "Is an act right because the God approves, or does he approve because the act is right?"

Something like that.

Sorry if this is a little off. It just reminded me.

Interesting question.

Link to comment

I think the real question is if we are nothing but deterministic sacks of chemicals each doomed to act out whatever fate was programmed into us at the Big Bang, then what does it matter what any of us do? If there is no free will, then who cares? If we are just sacks of chemicals, then why should one sack of chemicals even be aware of another sack of chemicals, let alone care about it?

If the universe is completely deterministic, why would professional magicians like Randi or Penn and Teller try to convince us there is not God? Why are there magicians at all? Why would we be entertained by them? It is like asking a rock to care about the rock next to it. We are nothing but a collection of mostly hydrogen and oxygen atoms, some carbon, iron, and trace elements. Perhaps if the universe is deterministic, we can't help ourselves for believing in God, and Randi or Penn or Teller can't help trying to get us to stop believing in Him. It is the great unresolvable paradox of skepticism.

If the universe is deterministic, everything will end when the universe finally collapses in on itself. Nothing we do or say or build or write or anything else will be spared. It will disappear into the great singularity and nothing will be left. So who then can possibly give a hoot about anything if ultimately it does not matter anyway?

I don't believe the universe is deterministic. I believe we have freedom of choice (although I admit the possibility that I only believe that way because determinism has ordained so). Consequently, I believe that our choices and acts do matter, that there is such at thing as good and evil, and that the determinism of the universe may be escaped through God's plan. If that plan requires people not to kill each other, then I am opposed to murder. Whatever it takes to escape the finality of the long night of the death of the universe.

Link to comment

I've always thought that murder is wrong because it is a way for someone to usurp some of God's power-a form of giving ourselves authority when we have none.

For atheists though-i've often wondered why they would think that murder was wrong? I mean, i can understand why they would believe it would be bad-but why is it wrong?

To believe a choice someone makes is wrong-doesn't that mean that you believe there are rules that all humans should live by (if you didn't believe that, then you couldn't really be angry at someone for not following them) and if there are rules for all of us to follow-where did they come from and who decides what they should be?

:P

Link to comment

I think the real question is if we are nothing but deterministic sacks of chemicals each doomed to act out whatever fate was programmed into us at the Big Bang, then what does it matter what any of us do? If there is no free will, then who cares? If we are just sacks of chemicals, then why should one sack of chemicals even be aware of another sack of chemicals, let alone care about it?

If the universe is completely deterministic, why would professional magicians like Randi or Penn and Teller try to convince us there is not God? Why are there magicians at all? Why would we be entertained by them? It is like asking a rock to care about the rock next to it. We are nothing but a collection of mostly hydrogen and oxygen atoms, some carbon, iron, and trace elements. Perhaps if the universe is deterministic, we can't help ourselves for believing in God, and Randi or Penn or Teller can't help trying to get us to stop believing in Him. It is the great unresolvable paradox of skepticism.

If the universe is deterministic, everything will end when the universe finally collapses in on itself. Nothing we do or say or build or write or anything else will be spared. It will disappear into the great singularity and nothing will be left. So who then can possibly give a hoot about anything if ultimately it does not matter anyway?

I don't believe the universe is deterministic. I believe we have freedom of choice (although I admit the possibility that I only believe that way because determinism has ordained so). Consequently, I believe that our choices and acts do matter, that there is such at thing as good and evil, and that the determinism of the universe may be escaped through God's plan. If that plan requires people not to kill each other, then I am opposed to murder. Whatever it takes to escape the finality of the long night of the death of the universe.

Leo Tolstoy made this same point, or at least he asked himself these same questions in A Confession (at least the part about us being a sack of fermenting molecules or chemicals). I guess every good philosopher has asked themselves such questions. Ultimately, such questions can't be answered and proven collectively unless we all died collectively or saw God collectively. They can only be answered individually in private and in the heart. God is the true individualist. He ultimately deals with us all on an individual level. Only in rare and extreme cases does he do otherwise. It's for our best this way, I gather. Socrates made the point that perhaps death was the greatest and most wonderful thing that could happen to us. He also stated that he would have no peace until he was dead so he could finally get these questions answered; which might explain why he volunteered to drink poison at his execution. He welcomed it.

disclaimer: Scholars, please correct me if I'm wrong. I welcome the schooling. I'm a programmer and very amateur philosopher, so I know my limits. :P

Link to comment

I've always thought that murder is wrong because it is a way for someone to usurp some of God's power-a form of giving ourselves authority when we have none.

For atheists though-i've often wondered why they would think that murder was wrong? I mean, i can understand why they would believe it would be bad-but why is it wrong?

To believe a choice someone makes is wrong-doesn't that mean that you believe there are rules that all humans should live by (if you didn't believe that, then you couldn't really be angry at someone for not following them) and if there are rules for all of us to follow-where did they come from and who decides what they should be?

:P

This is going to be a fun discussion. Let's start with the only argument for the wrongness of murder offered so far. I filled in what I think, for clarity, should be part of bluebells argument for the wrongness of murder:

P It is wrong to usurp Gods power

P Murdering somebody usurps Gods power

C Murder is wrong

First, what do you mean by murder? That may be a silly question but it's important to be nit picky in philosophy. Second, specifically what power of Gods is being usurped when sombody murders somebody else?

Link to comment

The fact that the human race still exists is proof enough for me that murder is wrong. If murder is right, all mothers would murder their children out of frustration at some point before they reach maturity.

So...that's what stopped my mother? :P

Link to comment

This reminds me of a question posed by Plato that I read back in college. Maybe one of the scholars on this forum will help me here. "Is an act right because the God approves, or does he approve because the act is right?"

Something like that.

Sorry if this is a little off. It just reminded me.

Interesting question.

If I remember correctly this was in Plato's dialogue with Euthyphro[sp]. Also if I remember correctly Plato argued that an God approves because the act is right ("holy" were his words I think). This notion is counter to the divine command theory which is what Euthyphro was suggesting. That is that the act is right because God approves.

Link to comment

This is going to be a fun discussion. Let's start with the only argument for the wrongness of murder offered so far. I filled in what I think, for clarity, should be part of bluebells argument for the wrongness of murder:

P It is wrong to usurp Gods power

P Murdering somebody usurps Gods power

C Murder is wrong

First, what do you mean by murder? That may be a silly question but it's important to be nit picky in philosophy. Second, specifically what power of Gods is being usurped when sombody murders somebody else?

For myself, i define murder as killing anyone that God has not said it is all right to kill. I know that sounds a bit cold-harded, but what i mean is-we know that God has told us we can kill in self defense, so to do so is not murder-same for killing in wars or when we are commandment by God specifically to end someone's life-

And the power that i believe is being usurped is God's ownership of our bodies-so to speak. He created us and as His creations-He and only He has any right to dictate when that body is done being used.

And thanks for clarifying my points.

:P

Link to comment

If I remember correctly this was in Plato's dialogue with Euthyphro[sp]. Also if I remember correctly Plato argued that an God approves because the act is right ("holy" were his words I think). This notion is counter to the divine command theory which is what Euthyphro was suggesting. That is that the act is right because God approves.

I think it was Socrates that was having the conversation with Euthryphro and Plato was recounting it, or it was made up by Plato, or something to that effect. :P

Link to comment

For myself, i define murder as killing anyone that God has not said it is all right to kill. I know that sounds a bit cold-harded, but what i mean is-we know that God has told us we can kill in self defense, so to do so is not murder-same for killing in wars or when we are commandment by God specifically to end someone's life-

And the power that i believe is being usurped is God's ownership of our bodies-so to speak. He created us and as His creations-He and only He has any right to dictate when that body is done being used.

And thanks for clarifying my points.

<_<

Alright, now we're getting nice and specific. How does this sound to you?

P It is wrong to perform acts that only God as the right to perform.

P Only God has the right to perform the act of killing humans unless he specifically permits others to perform the act.

C Killing humans without God permitting it is wrong.

Now the question is, who believes this argument is valid and cogent? I guess we could also add another premise which just defines murder so that we retain the language of the OP.

P It is wrong to perform acts that only God as the right to perform.

P Only God has the right to perform the act of killing humans unless he specifically permits others to perform the act.

P Killing humans without God permitting it is murder.

C Murder is wrong.

I think it was Socrates that was having the conversation with Euthryphro and Plato was recounting it, or it was made up by Plato, or something to that effect. :P

Maybe. We talked about it briefly this last sememster during my course in normative ethics. I'll have to look it up.

Link to comment

Alright, now we're getting nice and specific. How does this sound to you?

P It is wrong to perform acts that only God as the right to perform.

P Only God has the right to perform the act of killing humans unless he specifically permits others to perform the act.

C Killing humans without God permitting it is wrong.

I've been painting all day and i'm a bit hazy from the fumes but i think that sounds right (as in, that sounds like what i'm trying to say).

:P

Link to comment

I don't think we answered the original questions:

1.

Please tell us why you think murder is wrong.

2.

Where do you derive the moral imperative (or categorical imperative if you wish) for such a position.

3.

Is there such a thing as a moral imperative?

4.

Is it Godly command...magical laws...supernatural authority...social responsibility... human fairness...biology...practical benefit...evolution...communal law...you tell us.

5.

Why is murder wrong? How absolutely provable is your reason?

I think Bsix wants a much deeper answer than what we have provided. These are more philosophical questions than religious ones, I believe.

Link to comment

For example, my answers would be:

Please tell us why you think murder is wrong.

Because it is a commandment of God.

Where do you derive the moral imperative (or categorical imperative if you wish) for such a position.

My understanding of God and his commandments may be correct or incorrect...but I accept his omnipotent authority to outlaw certain acts.

Is there such a thing as a moral imperative?

As a theist who believes in a God who sets moral rules, I do believe there is a moral imperative. Again, I could be wrong, but IF God exists, there are most likely moral imperatives.

How absolutely provable is your reason?

My position is not provable in the least.

Regards,

Six

Link to comment

I think it's wrong because it causes suffering for the victim, their loved ones, the murderer, and the loved ones of the murderer. And I believe it goes against a person's own conscience to commit such an act.

Link to comment

There are several possibilities, but first off let's at least admit that murder is defined as wrongful killing. After all, a soldier who kills an enemy soldier is not charged with murder.

One possible reason that killing tends to be wrong is because God said so.

Another possible reason is that it represents a less-than optimal outcome in the iterated prisoner's dilemma game especially where the number of repititions is not certain and where the strategy must be averaged with many competitors.

Link to comment

Unless a person is a pacifist, all of us condone "murder". We just contextualize it depending on the circumstances and situation, and we as a society murder in the name of justice, warfare, and self defense. Thus, murder isn't absolutely wrong, it is situationally wrong.

Link to comment

Unless a person is a pacifist, all of us condone "murder". We just contextualize it depending on the circumstances and situation, and we as a society murder in the name of justice, warfare, and self defense. Thus, murder isn't absolutely wrong, it is situationally wrong.

Good point... even we LDS believe that it was situationally alright for Nephi to kill Laban.

Bsix... it's your thread. Give us some restrictions on your definition of murder.

Link to comment

This concept is an interesting export from another thread. I'm interested in understanding your reasons.

Please tell us why you think murder is wrong. Where do you derive the moral imperative (or categorical imperative if you wish) for such a position. Is there such a thing as a moral imperative?

Is it Godly command...magical laws...supernatural authority...social responsibility... human fairness...biology...practical benefit...evolution...communal law...you tell us.

Why is murder wrong? How absolutely provable is your reason?

Regards,

Six

i think its mainly wrong because........I DONT WANT TO GET KILLED!...........

{and that is very provable!}

:P

Link to comment
I think it's wrong because it causes suffering for the victim, their loved ones, the murderer, and the loved ones of the murderer.

I am not saying those are bad reasons. However, in your mind, in what way is that a moral imperative? How are those not subjective

And I believe it goes against a person's own conscience to commit such an act.

Where does conscience come from? What if your conscience is different from mine? Isn't this subjective?

Other animals kill without apparent conscience. What makes us different from other animals? If humans are of a higher order...what is the objective basis for that?

Regards,

Six

Link to comment

I'm open to all definitions of murder. Some people think that abortion is murder. Some think that capital punishment is murder. Some think that soldiers killing in battle is murder...or at least immoral. Some think that suicide is immoral self-murder.

I'll leave it open to people to define homocide and their moral justifications for or against.

Thanks all for participating. I don't want to be a censor...just help out by staying close to the topic.

Regards,

Six

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...