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Passions in Poetry

Kill v. Murder

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Brad
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0 posted 01-27-2005 07:21 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I've quoted or paraphrased Stalin before,

"1 death is a tragedy, 10,000 is a statistic" but this, arguably, says more about us than it does about the actions of a monster.

A few years back, Jim pointed out that "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is better rendered as "Thou Shalt Not Murder" and that made a lot of sense to me. But, what exactly are we talking about here?

Now?

Why do we go to war? We go to war to kill people. If we kill more people than they can take, we win. If we don't we lose.

And yet those of us protesting the war use numbers that increase the numbers of kills, those that support the war use lesser numbers.

Who wants to win the war?

No, I don't want to make this another thread on statistics, I want to look at something else. About a month ago, I read American Psycho and then saw the movie (the Disney version of the book by the way -- I do not recommend this book to those with a weak constitution). Now, on the internet and with a few buddies, one question that kept coming up was, "Were the murders fantasy or did Bateman really commit them?"

Now, aside from the obvious problems with that question concerning a novel, I think the point, one point, of the book, was to consider the question from a character point of view:

Who do you respect more? The Bateman who fantasizes about being a homicidal maniac or the actual homicidal maniac?

I've answered the question, everyone I've asked and who have read the book, have answered it.

What do you think? What do you think we answered?

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1 posted 01-30-2005 10:04 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Brad, is this a serious Question?
I can't really apply the word RESPECT for either.
Brad
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2 posted 01-31-2005 06:18 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

That's not an option.
jbouder
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3 posted 01-31-2005 04:36 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

quote:
Who do you respect more? The Bateman who fantasizes about being a homicidal maniac or the actual homicidal maniac?


If this is an either/or question with no "none of the above" option, I'd say I respect the Bateman who fantasizes about being a homicidal maniac more than the actual-homicidal-maniac-Bateman.  Either way, I think Bateman needs to get help.

I don't think this is tantamount to saying that I respect Bateman's act of fantasy - if anything, I respect Bateman's restraint (for whatever reason) in not carrying out his fantasy.  Both fantasy and action, in my opinion, are immoral and are like teflon to respect.

Interesting question, though, with applications to many situations.  Who do you respect more - the husband who fantasizes about adulterous relationships or the husband who actually pursues adulterous relationships?

Following your earlier vein about war and killing, it is clear that Western juridical tradition doesn't deny that homicide is the killing of another human being.  I wish we could post diagrams here (I think that would be the most effective way of explaining it), but I work with what I've got.

Regarding murder, there are two main ingredients: intent and the act.  Accident that does not involve willful recklessness will not satisfy the legal definition of "murder."  The type of intent (specific intent to kill, commit serious bodily injury or murder that results from the commission of another violent crime) will take you to the various legal degrees of murder.

Assuming a specific intent to kill or inflict serious bodily injury exists and the result is the victim's death, the next question to ask is whether the act is either justifiable, legally excused, or whether there are any mitigating circumstances that warrant reducing the typical sanctions for committing murder.

Murder during times of war would be an example of excused homicide (assuming it satisfies the legal criteria).  Self-defense would be an example of justifiable homicide.  Catching your wife in bed with another man and killing her paramour in a "heat of passion" would be an example of a mitigating circumstance.

But these only address the legality of the act, not the morality of it.  I think it is important to draw that distinction (because it so often gets muddled today).  The Christian should be aware of Christ's admonition that if you even so much as hate your neighbor, you are guilty of murder under the Commandment (i.e., you've crossed the line of God's perfect moral standard).  Although it may not bring with it the legal consequences of actual homicide, it bears the eternal consequences of sin before a God who despises sin.

Good question, Brad.  Sorry for the ramble.

Jim

Brad
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4 posted 02-04-2005 06:09 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Interesting question, though, with applications to many situations.  Who do you respect more - the husband who fantasizes about adulterous relationships or the husband who actually pursues adulterous relationships?


This is a good counter-example. Instinctively, I would choose the fantasizer (It's okay to look, but not touch).

Have you read the book?

The people I've asked personally, with no prep time, have all responded that they respect the doer, not the fantasizer. This may have something to do with the character as well. My own gut reaction was the same.

In trying to tie this up a bit, my own thinking is that when it comes to narratives, we prefer action to talk. In this way, I keep wondering if this war is the first Hollywood war.

People want a good story, a strong leading man, and good guys winning in the end.
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5 posted 02-04-2005 09:29 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

I'll put the book on my "to read" list, but I'm too busy now trying to defend Albert Camus from Edward Said's attack on him for being a mouthpiece for French colonialism.

Isn't academia grand?

Jim
Brad
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6 posted 02-04-2005 06:06 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Just read it as a Black, or red?, comedy.

I don't think I've read Said on Camus, but Said's thesis is a little more nuanced than that. He sees colonialism in literature as a kind of mechanism that allows much of what happens in great literature to happen. I don't know, I saw the same thing in late 19th and early 20th century Japanese literature.

Had I continued, I probably would have written a paper on it.

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7 posted 02-07-2005 05:04 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

On Said, the tone is "nuanced" but the implications are not.  He situates colonial-era writers "contrapuntally" by searching for those things generally overlooked by Western readers.  In large part, he's right, as in his reading of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" in which even Marlow's revolutionary (for his day) realization that "savages" are human beings and "civilization" is a facade is only a start, and that Conrad (via Marlowe) still carries more than enough colonialist baggage.

On Camus, again Said makes an important observation that Camus' writings are often (mis)read as existential writings alone, failing to recognize the human rights activist in Camus (e.g., seing Meursault as a metaphor for French-Algerian indifference toward the human dignity of Arab Algerians).  But Said situates Camus contrapuntally by quoting a short paragraph from one of Camus' letters - arguing that Camus was against Algerian independence, but failing to mention the rest of the letter in which it becomes clear that Camus favored reason over the extremes of either position.  He acknowledged certain Arab grievances with what I though was very strong language and posited that other Arab demands had illegitimate bases.  I see Camus as more of an advocate for reconciliation and eventual cooperative rule in Algeria, and certainly not as a mouthpiece for colonialist rhetoric.

Said's treatment of Camus leads me to believe that postcolonialist criticism (or feminist, queer, deconstructive, etc.) can be dangerously and unnecessarily destructive if the critic fails to evaluate (or reveal) his own agenda in approaching the text in that manner.

Way off topic, but "way" interesting (in a pathetic, nerdy kind of way).  It's interesting, though, that from either extreme, the moderate appears to be on the "other side."

Jim
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8 posted 03-26-2006 09:34 PM       View Profile for Knubian   Email Knubian   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Knubian's Home Page   View IP for Knubian

Kill v Murder

It seems this question came up about four years ago here.  Back then we talked about collateral damage concerning bombing raids over civilian populations in WWII Germany.  The kill ratios in the Vietnam War.  And people that had committed out-right murders and self-defense.  The thread went on for weeks… but I think we came to a conclusion that intent was the ultimate measuring stick.

As for this character in this novel, he’s one sick puppy!  He had already plotted and committed murder in his heart... waiting on the act itself.

But my question would be, “how would you measure our soldiers caught-up in murder and torture tactics?


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9 posted 03-27-2006 12:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

You don’t go to war to kill,
you go to war to win.
If you can fake or intimidate the enemy
into surrender without firing a shot, ( or arrow
as Chuang-Tzu who spoke of this would say),
so much the better.
JesusChristPose
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10 posted 03-27-2006 06:23 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

"A few years back, Jim pointed out that "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is better rendered as "Thou Shalt Not Murder" and that made a lot of sense to me. But, what exactly are we talking about here?"

~ Not every Christian buys into the, what I call, a cop-out and excuse for armies to fight and kill other human beings. I looked up the Hebrew word for "kill" in Strong's concordance, and to me it means just that - kill, not murder.


"... Melvin, you overwhelm me."

Brad
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11 posted 03-27-2006 07:06 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
“how would you measure our soldiers caught-up in murder and torture tactics?


And what does our reaction say about ourselves?

Who is the better person?

The man who condemns without being in that position himself?

The man who justifies out of loyalty?

Or the man who shrugs his shoulders?


Knubian
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12 posted 03-28-2006 09:02 AM       View Profile for Knubian   Email Knubian   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Knubian's Home Page   View IP for Knubian

If I may touch of the movie Kingdom of Heaven, in it the king tells the main character Balian that he may be moved and positioned in life by men of power, and circumstances, but ultimately he is responsible for his own actions and his soul.  But later as the king is dying, he asks Balian to assist him in committing murder, and marry his sister, the wife of the man to be killed, or murdered.  The kings’ reasoning for the murder is to retain peace between Christians and Islam… and ultimately protect all the people of the region.

It would have to be a dreadful position for our soldiers, being pulled one-way by honor for their fallen comrades, pushed another by duty of the uniform, and being stuck somewhere in the middle of their own sense of justice and fair-play.

I could only wonder sitting in the bush, or hiding behind a sand dune holding the brains of true and trusted friend what actions I would take.  It is hard to speculate not being in that position or ever having being in those positions our soldiers is put in everyday.  

The hard part is, I guess… is not knowing who your enemy is; or where the next car-bomb will explode; or who is strapped with explosives in what marketplace.

I keep asking myself the question, could I in fact protect a people who want and need the protection, but hate the guts of the people doing the protection.  So I guess I’m mostly shaking my head in disbelief.  And thank God that I’m not in these positions to even have to make the choice.

Regards,
Knubian

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13 posted 03-28-2006 09:38 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Kill or murder... it's all a matter of somantics.


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
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jbouder
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14 posted 03-28-2006 01:57 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

quote:
Kill or murder... it's all a matter of somantics.


Actually, its a matter of definition.  More later.

Jim
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15 posted 03-28-2006 06:23 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

Home > Lexicons > Hebrew Lexicon > Ratsach

The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon

Strong's Number:  7523 xcr

Original Word Word Origin
xcr   a primitive root

Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling

Ratsach   raw-tsakh'    

Parts of Speech TWOT
Verb   2208

Definition

to murder, slay, kill

premeditated
accidental
as avenger
slayer
(intentional) (participle)
(Niphal) to be slain
(Piel)
to murder, assassinate
murderer, assassin (participle)(subst)
(Pual) to be killed


~ Accidentally kill someone? That could be considered murder, or how about as an avenger, like soldiers in war, that could be considered to be killing, murder, slaying. I don't see a difference.

~ It is funny how humankind throughout the ages twisted and turned Biblical words to fit their own carnal beliefs.

~ Jesus said to love one's enemy, pray for those who abuse you, to turn the other cheek, yet certain christian folk think it is okay and justified for a human being to don a uniform, and out of a call to duty for a nation's perception of god - KILL his brother on a battlefield.

~ Seriously, I find it rather amusing. I can see Christ now, leading a battalion of tanks across the Iraqi border.





"... Melvin, you overwhelm me."
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16 posted 03-29-2006 08:50 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

JCP:

quote:
~ Accidentally kill someone? That could be considered murder, or how about as an avenger, like soldiers in war, that could be considered to be killing, murder, slaying. I don't see a difference.


Your handle on the OT law needs work here.  The Ten Commandments outline God's standards for moral perfection.  It's worth mentioning that Jesus regarding hating one's brother to be in violation of the moral law against murder.  The Mosaic Law includes both moral and civil applications of God's standard.  Murder is still sin, whether it is intentional or accidental, but, depending on the intent (or lack thereof) of the "slayer," the civil penalties vary.  This idea, in part, serves as a foundation to Anglo-American criminal law.  Murder = homicide.  That is, in its simplest form, the killing of one human being by another.  Accident, negligent homicide, and intential homicide with malice aforethought bear differing degrees of penalty.  As in the Mosaic law, the criminal penalties are driven by the facts in the case (see the 47 verses in which "ratsach" appears in the OT).  This does not make accidental homicide "not murder" or "not sin." It simply mitigates the criminal penalty for the act.

quote:
~ It is funny how humankind throughout the ages twisted and turned Biblical words to fit their own carnal beliefs.


Funny.  I was just thinking the same thing.

quote:
~ Jesus said to love one's enemy, pray for those who abuse you, to turn the other cheek, yet certain christian folk think it is okay and justified for a human being to don a uniform, and out of a call to duty for a nation's perception of god - KILL his brother on a battlefield.


War is a necessary evil in a sinful world.  Even Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurian (who was a professional soldier).  Tyrants, despots  ... the genocidal maniacs of this world ... require, at times, that good men take the lives of others.  Including the lives of other good men who, out of compulsion, serve as the means to the tyrant's ends.  This doesn't justify their actions (i.e., it doesn't "declare their actions just and good").  I think, in a jurisprudential sense, is excuses their actions.  In other words, it doesn't change the Godly moral standard ... it changes the punitive Earthly standard.

Below is a summary of a word study on the semitic word "ratsach" you defined.  As you can see, its use is limited, in context, to the definition you posted.  A different word is used to denote killing in battle.  Again, this does not mean that it is "not murder" or "not homicide" in the moral sense.  It simply indicates that the Mosaic Law treated such killing differently than it treated involuntary and voluntary manslaughter and malicious murder.

I've included the Strong's number since that is the tool you are using.  I'd also recommend you invest in a good Hebrew lexicon.  Strong's is a good general tool to have, but the lexicon will give you far more information on the meanings of the Hebrew words than Strong's can deliver.

***

Ratsach

(1) to murder, slay, kill (a) (Qal) to murder, slay (1) premeditated , (2) accidental, (3) as avenger (4) slayer (intentional) (participle) (b) (Niphal) to be slain  (c) (Piel) (1) to murder, assassinate, (2) murderer, assassin (participle)(subst), (d) (Pual) to be killed

Exd 20:13 Thou shalt not kill [07523].

Num 35:6 And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites [there shall be] six  cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer [07523], that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.

Num 35:11 Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer [07523] may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.

Num 35:12 And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer [07523] die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.

Num 35:16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he [is] a murderer 07523 : the murderer [07523] shall surely be put to death.

Num 35:17 And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die , and he die, he [is] a murderer 07523 : the murderer [07523] shall surely be put to death.

Num 35:18 Or [if] he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he [is] a murderer [07523] : the murderer [07523] shall surely be put to death.

Num 35:19 The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer [07523] : when he meeteth him, he  shall slay him.

Num 35:21 Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote [him] shall surely be put to death; [for] he [is] a murderer [07523] : the revengerof blood shall slay the murderer [07523], when he meeteth him.

Num 35:25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer [07523] out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil.

Num 35:26 But if the slayer [07523] shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled;

Num 35:27 And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill [07523] the slayer [07523]; he shall not be guilty of blood:

Num 35:28 Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer [07523]shall return into the land of his possession.

Num 35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer [07523] shall be put to death [07523] by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person [to cause him] to die.

Num 35:31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer [07523], which [is] guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

Deu 4:42 That the slayer [07523] might flee thither, which should kill [07523] his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live:

Deu 5:17 Thou shalt not kill [07523].

Deu 19:3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer [07523] may flee thither.

Deu 19:4 And this [is] the case of the slayer [07523], which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;

Deu 19:6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer [07523], while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he [was] not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.

Deu 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; [there is] in the damsel no sin [worthy] of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth [07523] him, even so [is] this matter:

Jos 20:3 That the slayer [07523] that killeth [any] person unawares [and] unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

Jos 20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer [07523] up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.

Jos 20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, [and] until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer [07523] return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

Jos 21:13 Thus they gave to the children of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, [to be] a city of refuge for the slayer [07523]; and Libnah with her suburbs,
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17 posted 03-29-2006 11:21 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

quote:
...certain christian folk think it is okay and justified for a human being to don a uniform, and out of a call to duty for a nation's perception of god - KILL his brother on a battlefield.


It has been said in these forums more than once, and it still applies here:
No one likes to fight, but someone has to know how.

IF you were to ask any of the young men and women (and the not so young men and women) who are over there, NONE of them want to be putting high velocity lead downrange. NONE of them want to kill people they don't know. Certainly, NONE of them want to die for their country.

If you were to ask the majority of them, you will find out that they did not join the military because it was OK to don a uniform and kill for their country. The very great majority of them joined the military for the educational benefits, or the travel, or to do something with their lives, or to get out of their 1/2 horse towns. There are a few who joined because they felt it was their job to go to Iraq and help free these people from the tyranny they were living under. There is even one who re-joined after his son was killed, and is now serving in Iraq. Yet, NONE of them feel it is justified to kill another human being just because they are in uniform.

They feel it is justified to kill another human being because, at that moment, there is another human being trying to kill them and the men and women standing beside them. That human being standing beside them is depending on them to protect them, and is- in turn- willing to protect them, even at the risk of sacrificing their own lives.

To bring this back into the discussion, a study that was done while I was in the Marine Corps showed that there are more Believers percentage-wise in the military than there are in the civilian population. The churches are also more active, and hve more members than in the civilian world. Yet these Christians, and Christian- acting men and women don that uniform every single day. And they ask G-d to protect their brothers and sisters in harms way (and themselves if they are there) and then these same men and women who are doing the killing go out and do His work by bringing aid to those who cannot help themselves, and by bringing medical care to those who have no one to care for them, and by bringing water... the very cornerstone of life... to those who are thirsty.

It is written somewhere (I apologize for not having chapter and verse)- and I am paraphrasing- When I was hungry you gave me to eat; when I was thirsty, you gave me to drink; when I was cold you gave me your cloak.... when the disciples asked when they had done so, He replied "That which you have done unto the least of My brothers, that you have also done unto me."

So, which is the more Christian act: Staying home safe and protected, and excercising the rights that someone killed to give you, or donning that uniform knowing you might have to protect someone by killing an aggressor so that you can do unto the least you your brothers?


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
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18 posted 03-29-2006 11:52 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ringo:

Well put.

Jim
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19 posted 03-29-2006 12:57 PM       View Profile for Knubian   Email Knubian   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Knubian's Home Page   View IP for Knubian

Some say the things worth living for, are indeed worth dying for.  And if this is true, wouldn’t they also be worth killing for?

Would we protect one of our children to the death and in doing so kill a perpetrator, a rapist… someone giving our children drugs?  Would we take-up arms if the US was attacked?  Without being in a situation that calls for drastic actions, none of us would know what we would do.

I’ve said many times before that this person or that person had made me mad enough to kill them… but I really didn’t mean that I could go out and murder someone out of anger, or jealousy, or revenge.  But am I in fact capable of killing someone?  I think we all are given the right circumstances.  Because I don’t thing God would like me very much if I just stood there and even watch s stranger being raped!  Or my mother, (God rest her soul), being stabbed to death.

In defense of ones’ life or the defense someone else’s life, shouldn’t there be certain stipulations, or obligations that each of us have to the other to protect each other… to stand for each other.

I know it’s a shabby world, and life is not fair, but the old saying still stands – if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!  That can be easily translated to; if I’m not willing to take drastic measures in protecting those who can’t protect themselves, will I just stand there and watch?  I don’t think so!      

Regards,
Knubian

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20 posted 03-29-2006 01:18 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

Back to your comment:

quote:
The people I've asked personally, with no prep time, have all responded that they respect the doer, not the fantasizer. This may have something to do with the character as well. My own gut reaction was the same.


In general, existentialists value action.  In general, pietists value restraint.  Could the answers you've gotten from those around you be influenced by philosophy (imagine that ... philosophy having an influence on one's thinking!).  Just trying to make some cause and effect connections here.

Jim
JesusChristPose
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21 posted 03-29-2006 06:19 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

Jim,

Are you saying that Christ advocates a Christian killing another human being, justified by war?

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

Stephanos
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22 posted 03-30-2006 12:20 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

JCP & Jim,

I tend to think that we have strong biblical support for the nations (ie Governments of earthly provinces) being given the sword, by God, for the punishment of evildoers, self defense etc.  But I think when one puts the Christian in that same context, biblical support becomes tenuous.  In the New Testament I feel that the Church's role, and the worldly government's role are quite different.  Something higher than pragmatism and justice is to be practiced and communicated by the Church.  It is literally a "higher" standard.  


Does that mean that a Christian should never be a soldier who kills for purposes of national war?  I don't know, but I know where I lean.  The thought of a disciple of Christ becoming an agent of God's wrath, leaves me with a deep sense of impropriety spiritually ... nay, almost obscenity.  But I have no sway over another man's conscience, and can answer only for myself.  I have had Christian friends in the armed forces, who felt the very tension I am describing.  So, doubtless the spiritual antithesis exists, in reality and not just philosophy forums.  And I think there are reasons Jesus most often spoke in terms which could very well be described as passivist ... (put away your sword Peter ... Those who live by the sword will die by the sword, etc ...)


Hold your breath, JCP, I almost agree with you on this one.     However, I will grant war as a necessity in a fallen world, and as a possible expression of wrath and justice ordained by God, if not positively loved by God.  A provisional, pro-tempore kind of thing.  Truth in a very minor key.  I just think there ought to be a pretty strong dualism between the interests of the state and the church.  (That's as close as you'll ever hear me come to "separation of church and state")  But this is more in terms of practical moral standards, and spiritually speaking, not a complete separation of influence.


Stephen.
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23 posted 03-30-2006 04:21 PM       View Profile for Mandamus   Email Mandamus   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for Mandamus

[edit]
jbouder
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24 posted 03-31-2006 08:23 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

JCP:

First, I would say that Christ justifies the sinner who kills at time of war by grace alone through faith alone, just as he justifies anyone who sins.

Second, I would say that a soldier who kills an enemy during a time of war is legally excused for committing such a homicide (i.e., at times of war, and subject to certain conditions and restrictions, governments license soldiers to kill).  A soldier who kills another person while carrying out the legitimate actions of his government is not held legally responsible for his actions.  

Therefore, a soldier who is a Christian who commits the sin of killing is justified in the same manner any other Christian is justified for sin he or she has committed.  A right understanding of Law and Gospel should make this point obvious.

I don't know how I can make that more clear than I just did and than I did above.  "Though shalt not kill" or "Thou shalt not commit homicide" is an unambiguous moral standard.  The criminal penalties for such an act depend on the explicit facts of each case.

Jim
 
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