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Debate Score:75
Total Votes:80
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jessald(1909) pic

Why is killing wrong?

This is a fundamental issue underlying many debates: abortion, the death penalty, war, and so on.  Nearly everyone accepts it as obvious that killing is wrong.  But can you provide a logical justification for *why* it is wrong?

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Because once the killing begins, it's hard to make it stop.

jessald(1909) Disputed
0 points

Hmm, your argument presupposes that killing is wrong, which is the point we're trying to prove here.

I agree that a little bit of killing tends to lead to a lot of killing, but why is killing wrong in the first place?

2 points

I think there are two basic answers to this question:

1) Killing someone causes pain, and pain is bad.

I think utilitarianism is the only ethical philosophy that withstands logical scrutiny. Subjective feelings of good and bad are the foundation of everything we call right and wrong. From this perspective we can conclude that killing is generally wrong.

So what if you could somehow kill a person without causing any pain to them or their friends or family? Would killing them be acceptable in that case? Well, that brings me to my second point.

2) If we don't harshly condemn killing, then we won't be able to function as a society.

I think this one speaks for itself. Furious anger is not uncommon in human interactions. If people felt that it was ok to kill each other any time things weren't going their way, then there would be a whole lot of bloodshed. Trade would be impossible. Modern civilization would be impossible.


So when dealing with any problem that involves the destruction of life we should ask ourselves: 1) Does it cause more pleasure than pain, or does it prevent a greater amount of pain from occurring? 2) Will acceptance of this behavior cause harm to society?

So let's think about abortion.

1) Early abortion causes no pain to the embryo and prevents a great deal of pain to the mother. Therefore it passes this test. 2) As long as it's clear that the destruction of life is only acceptable in certain cases, such as early abortion or the death penalty, then there is no threat to society. It passes this test as well.

Therefore, early abortions are acceptable.

| Side: Pain and Society
2 points

This is a very interesting question and I bet most would either say "Because God told me it was wrong (10 Commandments)," or "Because the law told me it's wrong," etc. But I don't want to go there. I believe these sources told us it was wrong for a reason. And when I search for this reason, I can't help but look at animal behavior. When one looks at the behavior of many other species (especially social animals), you don't regularly see murder. How come? Many species have no need for murder; in fact, murder of another member of their pack would hurt their survival chances. Instead, they fight for each other for the better survival of the entire group. That is the best way to survive- in numbers. Of course, you may see murder in between different packs. But this is territorial in nature, just like many human wars are. And I'm sure there would be the occasional murder of a mentally deranged animal. But this is similar to humans killing off one human because with him around, the group is in danger. But on the whole, animals don't murder for reasons of keeping the entire pack alive. Would that make murder wrong? No, but it would make it extremely illogical as to why you would need to murder an innocent person.

I believe murder is wrong because it is not our place to take the life of an innocent person. Murdering somebody can cause those around him much pain. And a huge part of morality is causing the least amount of people the least amount of pain, whether that be physical or emotional. Causing heartless pain that does not improve the victim at all is wrong. If you insult somebody in order to make them a better person, then your ultimate goal is improvement. You act is not wrong, albeit your methods are. Therefore, murder is both wrong and illogical

1 point

i agree with u how ever, you like me, agree murder is wrong. but i believe killing in certain circumstances is not wrong. god said you shall not MURDER, not kill. murder is unprovoked taking of a non combatants life for emotionally or political reasons.

killing in war to defend your country or killing a murderer is not wrong, its justice and self defense. but this debate is about over all killing being wrong. there for i will say no, its not wrong to kill, and i stress, in certain circumstances, but murder is wrong.

| Side: murder is wrong
1 point

Yeah, that was my fault. At first the debate title was, "Why is murder wrong?" but then I changed it to killing, because that's a better question.

1 point

Just because in some states, government capital punishment is justified due to the evil nature of a murderer; however, Two wrongs don't make a right. Capital punishment is not justice, it is revenge with government support. So, in your certain circumstances as long as they fit your tiny box, killing is OK.

Saffron(93) Disputed
1 point

Actually, the RCC uses the translation kill. ;] [Just like you use the translation murder.] And neither of the two are more correct from what I know, though I'd place more weight with the RCC than you alone.

| Side: killing is not justified
2 points

It's the reverse of mutually assured destruction, mutually assured preservation.

You, yourself, do not want to be murdered. Nor do you want anyone you love or care for to be murdered. You may not even want many strangers to be murdered. So as a society we agree that you shall not murder anyone else, either.

Anyone who goes against this, breaks our worldwide trust in this ages old pact.

That is why killing is wrong.

| Side: Mutually Assured Preservation
2 points

You assume killing IS wrong. You'd have to prove it is first.

If you think killing is wrong but don't know why, then you're starting at a conclusion and just creating rationalizations for what you already believe. Either that, or you made this debate just so you could stroke your ego by showing off how "moral" you are.

Because it is causing an end to a life. Let me ask you something, Jesse: Are you a nihilist?

jessald(1909) Disputed
1 point

Well why is it wrong to end life?

And no, I'm not a nihilist. See my argument for my beliefs regarding this issue.

lawnman(1104) Disputed
1 point

I think the question that you are attempting to debate is logically invalid.

Perhaps a better question would be:

When is killing wrong?

1 point

Why is the question wrong?

Abortion, the death penalty, war...murder?

All murder is an act of killing. But not all acts of killing are murder.

For example, is killing in self-defense murder?

Now go back and persuade me that killing is murder when it involves abortion, the death penalty, or war. Then we can entertain this question of yours.

| Side: Murdered by LOGIC
1 point

I changed it from murder to killing. That's really what I want to talk about.

In general sphere, killing is unequivocally wrong and immoral, yet killing still happens throughout the world; war is legal killing in the name of God, country or freedom; abortion is eliminating potential life or apparent unwanted life, yet still the choice still remains a woman's, and the death penalty is revenge killing justified by the government unlike it's counterpart, murder is taking the life of someone without the aid of government support. All of the previous forms of killing involve the government. Killing is wrong not matter what even if it is to defend the nation. We shouldn't be proud that we killed thousands of foreigners.


| Side: killing is not justified
1 point

i believe it's wrong becuas e who are you to be the judge of when someones life ends that is just not for anyone else to judge unless you have been convicted of a crime of course......

1 point

Because it is a violation of the right to life of another person. Your freedom ends where you violate the freedom of another person.

| Side: Human rights violation
1 point

Killing is morally wrong because it's completely removing choice from someone - the thing that makes us logical, complex humans as well as simply animals. Murder is one person enforcing their power over another in a very final and unalterable way, usually without the others consent. We humans like the ability to choose, and thus we think murder is wrong.

| Side: Human rights violation
1 point

Killing is wrong because you're taking away a person's chance at life or simply taking away their life.

1 point

There is no right and wrong because morality is subjective. For it not to be, there would need to be some factual iteration of said belief throughout time. Whom is to first instigate what is correct? The government? God? I think not. As for myself, i find it wrong because it betrays what I consider to be the basic principle of life; to exist.


And if there is a common morality, i couldn't think of a more suiting foundation than the promotion, or polonging of life.

0 points

It's not.


jessald(1909) Disputed
0 points

You forgot to add some justification for your belief. See my argument for a rebuttal.

TyTheTiger(102) Disputed
0 points

1. No I didn't and it's not a belief.

2. You haven't proven that pain = bad

3. There is no need for revenge against killers. If we are by nature self-destructive then we will destroy ourselves anyway and make room for a less retarded species.

Oh, and abortion isn't "morally correct" just because it meets the qualifications you built for it to meet. That's like saying as long as ice cream is cold, it is morally correct to eat it. =/

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