Is murder inherently amoral?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Violent Violet Menace, May 5, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Yes, I actually recognize that the government has a selection of abilities which are used for the well-being of its citizens and that murder is different than the other cases you posted due to the presence of the killer's intent, the lack of consent and if the target is defined as a victim with rights that need to be protected. State-sanctioned though it may be, capital punishment still seems an awful lot like murder and I'm not entirely sure what we hope the government will achieve with it. It doesn't seem like much of a corrective measure (sure, the condemned won't be committing any crimes afterward, be he or she won't be doing much else afterward either, and you could probably also cut down on that particular individual's crimes with incarceration, barring the corruption and thuggery present in the penal system). Jury is still out as to how effective it is as a deterrent (the states without it tend to be on the lower end of the murder rate scales, but no one is going to point to it as the sole deterrent when there's dozens of other social factors involved like poverty). I guess it's a retributive measure, but I'm not sure if I'm really all that comfortable with the "eye for an eye" philosophy.

    Imprisonment in theory can be used as a corrective and rehabilitative measure, but America's love with the idea that prison is a place where bad people go to get brutally spanked by daddy government leads to horrific abuses by such lovely individuals like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who has been re-elected four times despite being a rancid stain on the trousers of justice) and a brutal culture wherein prisoners whose crimes may not have been all that brutal to begin with are thrown into a balkanized battleground and if they get out there's a good chance that they'll not only be changed by the environment but also be essentially unemployable and thus at a high risk for recidivism. And like the death penalty, it all gets held up as a reason not to commit crimes. But if the only reason someone is avoiding committing a crime is because he or she fears the punishment (or rather, fears getting caught rather than the specific nature of the punishment), that's not a very reassuring situation.
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Baboons both practice cannibalism.


    Baboons

    Some shark species also feature intrauterine cannibalism.

  3. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    Exactly, Murder ,by definition, requires Malice or Intent.
  4. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Well what you've described there is merely a possible explanation of a framework regarding human life and killing. You're merely choosing to argue outside of that framework, whereas I might try to argue within it. But once I get my (Christian/Humanist/Liberal-Democratic) framework universally accepted by my peers, then I can very well say that murder is immoral and that the invisible man (or the law, to be more literal) will get you if you kill someone.

    You accept this framework too even if you're willing to travel outside of it, because I don't see you arguing in favor of a nuclear holocaust. If we all want to live so badly, then we might as well live regardless of how futile or delusional it might be from the perspective of pure logic.
  5. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    That's an odd single incident report, Boba. More broadly, what baboons practice is infanticide--under very limited, specific circumstances. Because there are "rules" of a sort governing the behavior, and distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable killing, it fails to meet the criteria that ViolentViolet set out, which was advocating for a complete absence of such rules.
  6. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    Muder is in fact, immoral, proven through logic. Moral relativism is entirely true, in the fact that we acquire our ethics and morals entirely after birth, through our experiences. That however does not mean that just because they are acquired, they should not be respected. In that sense, in terms of global human civilization as a whole, murder is inherently immoral. The only distinction worldwide is the definition of murder.
  7. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    No that was not my criteria. My criteria was animals that eat their offspring, let alone their own species, to keep the population down, so that they can better devote their time adequately to those that remain. They separate the strong from the weak, and manage resources to go around for the remaining individuals. Some species of spiders do this, among some other animals as I pointed to in the links in my previous post. That clearly is "rules". The reason I highlighted this was to show that the act of killing members of your own species is not as taboo across the board in nature as many would have you think. Furthermore, I pointed to the overgrown population of our own species and noted that if we were like the spiders and some other species, who simply kill the excess individuals, partly to manage resources, then the time would be ripe for that now. So why don't we? Not 'why don't we' as in "Let's do it right now!!!", but rather as an additional sub-question to the overall question of the thread: why do we [generally] not kill each other, or "is killing inherently immoral and if so, why"? Regarding the overall question, several posters have given some good answers and insights.
  8. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Oh. If your only question was "Why do some animals kill as population control/resource management" then the answer is considerably simpler. They're r-selected, and while we're among the most heavily K-selected of all species. It's a difference that lies in the life-history and reproductive strategies of the species in question. That is, humans are incredibly long-lived, take a huge portion of their life to reach sexual maturity (girls aren't having menses regularly until almost 15-16). Up until about 1900, it was a third of their entire lifespan. Likewise, human infants are extremely dependent on parental care for at least about a decade, in addition to already having a lengthy gestation, frequent fertile periods, and the smallest possible average litter size (1 offspring/pregnancy). Compare that with an r-selected species like a rat, which are fertile every 4-5 days (vs 28), are short-lived, have 5-6 pups/liter, and are sexually mature at some 17% of their average lifespan (only half the time taken in humans). The level of maternal care differs sharply as well.

    Obviously, two very different life strategies are at play. The latter, given even modest rates of survival, would lead to geometric growth that would exhaust any resources in a fashion that would always make it unsustainable. By contrast, the very tepid, but high-investment growth strategy of K-selected creatures would almost never create a similar scenario. Thus, only, one of the two groups has any incentive to ever hold down the number of newborns that survive to adulthood. We should also note, because this whole discussion has been a bit anthropomorphic, that none of these animals are consciously "choosing" any strategy at all.
  9. violent-poetry Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2010
    star 1
    this is my take in things. if you murder someone, then you forfeit your own right to life. i think that should you get caught, the relatives of your victim should be allowed to determine your fate. and the options should be as follows:

    - have their bodies donated to science, i am sure that the scientists would love to have live human subjects to conduct their experiments on, hey we need to find the cure for all manner of things

    - the offending person should be offed either in the same way that they ended the victims life or some other creative way by a person of the deceased's relatives choosing

    - they should be the ones sent to the frontlines to fight in any major wars!

    this may make me sound callous and hard but i say again, when you murder in cold blood you forfeit your right to any kind of life.
  10. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Manslaughter is usually when it's either involuntary or has mitigating circumstances.

    Execution is when the state sanctions the killing.

    Self-defense is when it's justifiable.


    None of these really have to do with morality.
  11. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Open season on people with no family or friends, I see. And rapin' season on certain convicted murderers (do you have a state-sanctioned rapist? Is there a test you need to take to get your raping license?). How do you make sure you have a cannibal for the right occasions? When the state accidentally grabs and violates the wrong guy (as they've been known to do), do you send the Capitol Building to fight on the front lines or what? Or do they get a scapegoat to which they may attribute all witchcraft and chase out of the village with sticks? How long have sympathized with the Nazi party (or those fine folks at Holmesburg)?
  12. violent-poetry Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2010
    star 1
    well you could choose to see it that way. the system is flawed and always has been, there are some out there who may be guilty of the crimes that they are accused of. i still stand by what i said.
  13. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Your "well, if we kill enough people, we're bound to get the right one sometime" position sounds you don't really care that much about what you're doing, you just want blood. Or in this case, attention to validate your life. I'm not going to tell you that you're "callous and hard", because you would just take it as a compliment, as you want to believe that you have what it takes to make the tough decisions in life when no one else has the strength to do so... decisions that just so coincidentally involve brutality towards those you've just deemed to be "lesser" human beings, bereft of rights. Race, creed, deed, it doesn't really matter which one you choose, so long as at the end of the day you can fit them in a wooden box and call it done. So long as you can justify the behavior that you won't permit any other time. Because so many people need that other, that lesser, so that no matter how hard the world may press down upon them they will know that there is someone worse off, and they will glory in that power like a rope thrown to a drowning man as they grind a blood-flecked bootheel upon those lesser beings.

    Sorry, but I just can't work up the effort to shower you with scorn. I've left a bowl of my pity on the counter though, feel free to help yourself.
  14. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    These come off as really barbaric. Well, except the third one which is suggesting arming our nation's murderers. Which sounds terrifying.
  15. violent-poetry Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2010
    star 1
    quite honestly i would love to get a crack at my friends killer.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    And also quite honestly, while I'd want to see justice served one day, I would never endorse such a cruel treatment for my friend's killer.
  17. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Somehow the post makes sense if you see the signup date.
    violent_poetry: stick around.
  18. violent-poetry Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2010
    star 1
    ha ha thanks wouldn't have it any other way, and my friend would approve, totally.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.