The Morality Of Killing

877 Words4 Pages
The Morality of Killing There is a clear distinction between killing, and murdering. To kill is defined as “to deprive of life ” while murder is defined as “the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought ”. To kill something or someone is not necessarily to murder them. Even in religion, which often serves as a source of moral authority, this definition is very clear. In the Old Testament, God asserts that humans should follow the law “thou shall not kill” . He however, instructs people to kill one another several times, showing that killing itself is not always immoral or unjustified in the eyes of God. Killing is not justified unless it is for a purpose that values life such as for food, survival, self-defense, warfare, or as a deterrent for murder. Killing for food or for survival is not wrong, as it is part of the natural order and is done in the interest of preserving the life of oneself. Since the origin of the first complex organisms on Earth, creatures have depended on other living things, plants and animals, as means of sustenance. Although taking an organisms life is technically killing, it is done in the justification of the food chain and order as defined by nature. Because humans rarely kill other humans out of necessity however, the circumstances under which killing or murdering is viewed as acceptable, are often very controversial. If killing is done as a form of self-defense is not wrong, because it is an act that values life, and is meant to protect life. In an industrialized society, particularly one that is consistent with and operates on Judeo-Christian beliefs, it is generally accepted that every individual has the fundamental right to protect himself or herself. When an individual intentionally threatens to violate the fundamental right of someone else’s life or safety, they forfeit
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