Is it right to kill?
Is it right to kill? This ethical question has been asked throughout time, I believe there is no straight forward answer for it, and this a debateable question as it can change according to the situation. Many people have different opinions and views on if killing is right or wrong. In this essay I will be explaining whether I believe if killing is right. There are several groups of people who share different views on this question and make their decision on killing someone depending on rules, motives and consequence. There is one group who base their decisions on consequences, they are called utilitarian’s, they are a group of people that act in a way that brings about the most amount of happiness for the most amount of people.
An example to show this is The Joker and Batman, should batman kill the Joker? From a utilitarian’s perspective, they would say yes kill The Joker because only one person is killed and it is saving more people and bringing happiness to them. Another group is called absolutists; an absolutist would say no you should not kill The Joker because no matter what the moral rule should never be broken, the moral rule is you should never take the life of someone. Religious people may have the same beliefs as absolutists because they also follow rules, such as the Ten Commandments or because they believe God has given them rules. An absolutist might say ‘The Joker is a human and we should never take a human’s life’, referring to the Ten Commandments, a religious person is likely to agree. Non- religious are most likely to be utilitarian’s because religious people and absolutists believe it is bad to kill. There are pro’s and con’s in being a utilitarianism, the pro is because it brings the most happiness of more people in the end, but the con is you are still killing someone and in the end someone will die.
For example there is a fire in a building, your sibling is on your left and 5 strangers are on your right, you can only save your sibling or the group of 5, utilitarianism would save the 5 strangers because more happiness will be brought out in the end. This is why many are against utilitarian’s. Another group is relatives, a relative would look at the situation and depending on the situation would decide whether it is right to kill someone or not. An example to show this is Tony Nicklinson, he suffered with lock syndrome, and lock syndrome is a condition where you cannot move or talk. To communicate with others, a person would hold up a letter and he would look at one of the letters and spell out a word or interact with others in this way. This condition caused pain and suffering, he wanted to kill himself, but because of his condition he was unable to do anything. So he wanted his wife to do it, as he could not take the pain any longer. His wife did not want him to suffer anymore, so she agreed to it, but she did not want to do it as it would count as murder and she did not want to be sent to jail.
Tony’s family then sent a letter to the prime minster requesting if his wife could kill him to put him out of his pain and misery. David Cameron refused the letter and let Tony starve so that he died in August 2012. In this type of situation a relative would disagree with Cameron, and say yes to his wife killing her husband because of his condition. Whereas an absolutists would agree with David Cameron as they say no one should ever be killed no matter what. In this sort of situation a utilitarian would be quite confused to do as there is only one person involved, but would probably agree with a relative as it would bring happiness to his family because he would be out of pain and the suffering would stop.
Overall I do believe that killing is wrong, like if someone killed another person for no reason, or because they upset them. But could depend on the situation like Tony Nicklinson, because he wanted to die, it was his choice and it would put him out of pain and suffering. I only believe killing is right, if it is for the good of them. I think I am a relative, because some people could maybe want to die or need to die because they are in so much pain and agony.