Is killing ever justified?

Savage murder
Savage murder

Self-defence is a right that everyone should enjoy. Paralysing an attacker isn’t the same as killing him/her.

There is no excuse to kill a person with intent. This amounts to taking the law in one’s hand. Killing can be possible only in special circumstances when there is just the choice of killing or being killed.

However, there are cases in which murder is committed because of the loss of temper, which starts in a violent argument ending in a fatal action.

Killing for some is a matter of survival, when it comes to preserving a passionate relationship and the victim is seen as a threat to it. It can be due to feud between gangs etc.

But when the law is strong and society is nurtured with the principle to respect life, the chances of murder become extremely rare. There are two countries that are in sharp contrast: Japan and South Africa. In Japan, there is one of the biggest rates of suicide but very rare cases of murder. In South Africa, it is estimated that about 30,000 are killed every year. So the more murder there is, the more desire for revenge. It’s a vicious circle.

When the law and justice are well carried out, people can feel safe and the risk of killing or being killed will be very minimal.

Here is a poem by Robert Frost : “Fire and Ice“, which sums up the drive to kill, namely hate which can be the cause of fatal revenge.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

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Is there an excuse to murder?


  1. Royce Christian said,

    December 13, 2008 at 6:40 am

    You completely misunderstand the premise of self defence. When someone has made the decision to attack you, your life and well being is threatened. The choice to attack someone is not a rational decision and so any one attempting assault on your person is not going to act rationally. They may simply punch you once or twice, or they may attempt to beat you into a pulp. If you are forced to defend yourself, you don’t have a choice between paralysis or death, you can only defend yourself with as much force as necessary to stop the attacker. In fact, paralysing your attacking may be more brutal than killing them; knowing how to paralyse someone effectively and easily takes expertise. Those who know how have the skills necessary to make a rational, conscious decision to paralyse rather than kill. Paralysis can either manifest as either maiming an individual or leaving them in a wheelchair; both are life sentences and greatly affect the quality of a persons life. On the other hand, most people when attacked will defend themselves and sometimes lethal force is necessary to stop the attack, which is entirely justified based on the knowledge that your attack is irrational and could do anything.

    Then, fundamentally, I disagree about you position on the ‘law’. Murder won’t disappear because of an efficient legal system. Ever. People kill people even with the law, nothing shall ever change that. To talk of ‘less killing’ in a particular country as the result of a ‘good legal’ system is simplistic. Cultural, economic and other factors play an important role. South Africa, the example you cited, is notorious for its economic woes. Japan, culturally seems to have a thing for suicide which harks back to the days of the Samurai, but its populace are generally considered ‘better off’ meaning people are less inclined to murder and more inclined to suicide.

  2. gidana arefe said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:56 am

    jest i like horror films and i wont to be artist romantic and horror films

  3. Ayreck said,

    July 7, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Who drew the picture titled savage murder. Is there anyway for me to contact the artist?
    thank you

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