Although everyone has a different opinion about whether or not any killing is morally justified, my outlook on this topic is no, no killing is ever really justified. As a believer in the Catholic faith, it is my duty is to live by the 10 Commandments, and commandment number 5 is “You Shall Not Kill. ” This is unfortunately not seen in the epic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as well as in today’s heated debates over euthanasia, abortion or even capital punishment.
In “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” killing is not justified, and in cases of euthanasia, abortion, or capital punishment killing is not justified either, but some people continue to commit those evil acts despite their morality. In the epic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the mariner kills the albatross for no apparent reason. The author never stated why the mariner shot the bird with his crossbow. The killing of the bird at a time when the bird seemed to act as a “good luck charm” remains pointless.
The death of the albatross eventually makes the mariner realize that all types of life is special and sacred, even the “slimy creatures of the sea. ” When the bird was first slaughtered, the crew condemned the mariner’s cruel act, saying he had “killed the bird that made the breeze blow. ” Throughout this poem the mariner showed he felt remorse after killing the albatross. Because the mariner felt guilt proves that he knows he did the wrong thing and he seemed genuinely sorry for his cruel act. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” shows how no killing is McCarthy 2 ever justified because there was no apparent reason of why the man killed the bird. There are three controversial topics, among many others that are in my opinion, not justified. First is euthanasia, according to James D. Torr. “euthanasia” is a broad term for mercy killing, or taking the life of a hopelessly ill or injured individual in order to end his or her suffering. Euthanasia seems to contradict one of the most basic principles of morality, which is that killing is wrong.
Viewed from a Christian point of view, euthanasia is murder and an obvious violation of the biblical commandment “Thou shall not kill. ” Due to euthanasia, the value of life is diminishing and it is also considered by the followers of the Christian faith to be a cheap and wicked act. They think that it is cowardly to run away from the hardships of life. Euthanasia is not justified because there can be a decrease in medical research because of its practice. Even if cures are around the corner, scientists can be discouraged to continue their research if there is an increase in euthanasia.
Second is the extremely controversial subject of abortion. According to Frances Kissling, abortion can never be morally justified. Why should the unborn child pay for the mistakes of the parents? Everyone should be given the chance at life. Everyone else has been able to have a chance at life therefore an unborn child have the same right. According to the Catholic Church abortion is morally wrong. “The Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception. The Catholic Church also believes that adoption is another option to abortion.
Everything leads to the same option which is adoption rather than abortion. Pro-life advocates have realized that pro-choice advocates have covered up the bloodiness and violence of abortion. Taking the life of an unborn child in my opinion is never, ever justified, no matter what the circumstances are. Lastly, can capital punishment ever be truly justified? In my opinion no it can not be, and author John Kavanaugh agrees. McCarthy 3 The death penalty undermines basic moral beliefs because it calls for the depersonalization of humans.
As with other forms of intentional killing, the author argues, capital punishment requires that people are treated as unnecessary objects. Every human life is sacred and not replaceable. To allow any intentional killing is to say that morality worthless. There should be a just punishment to the criminals. So, I believe harsh punishment like capital punishment should be abolished. Capital punishment could never be justified because it is taking the life of another human being, and only God has the right to do that.
To conclude, although my opinion on whether or not any killing is ever justified can vary from each individual’s point of view, it is our duty as stewards of Gods creation to love and care for one another, killing is never a resolution to anything, it only distances us from God. This is seen in the pointless killing of the albatross in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” as well as in the three controversial topics of euthanasia, abortion, and capital punishment. McCarthy 4 Works Cited Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless themes.
Upper Saddle River; NY Prentice Hall, 2002. 686-7089. Print. Kavanaugh, John. “The Death Penalty Violates the Sanctity of Life. ” Opposing Viewpoints: The Death Penalty. Ed. Mary E. Williams. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 13 Apr. 2010. Kissling, Frances. “The place for individual conscience. ” Journal of Medical Ethics 27. 5 (2001): ii24. Student Resource Center – Gold. Web. 13 Apr. 2010. “Introduction to Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. ” Opposing Viewpoints: Euthanasia. Ed. James D. Torr. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000. Web. 13 Apr. 2010.