Alright, I've had this idea for a while now and I'm going to see how it goes with this first thread and will then decide whether or not to continue. These threads will be about issues of morality that humans have to deal with. I'm going to be starting with a very strong one to show the point of the thread.
I expect that every nerdfighter here is opposed to murder (I could be wrong, please correct me if I am) and so this issue is perfect. You see, unlike threads about abortion and censorship and God, I don't want to see people going back and forth and attacking each other about their beliefs without ever analyzing their own. What I want you to do is analyze your beliefs and ask the question: why do I believe that?
First, a basic definition of murder for this thread: murder is unlawfully killing a person. This means that killing in self-defense, the defense of another person, military service, and execution don't count. Killing for revenge, out of hatred, out of greed, out of anger, ect. do count as murder.
Basically, there are no right or wrong answers for this thread or any I'll have in the series if I continue it. I just want to see how deep people are willing to go in their pursuit of the reasons for their beliefs. For most people, a belief this strong is never questioned. It is like being human. You don't usually sit around and wonder, "Why am I a human? Am I sure that I'm not really a dog?" You just accept the fact that you are human and move on.
I expect that some who read this thread will not understand what I am really asking, but I hope that most do. What I am asking is not for the obvious reasons, but for the deep reasons. Why is it that you truly believe this and not that?
So, why do you believe that murder is wrong?
My belief and self-analysis: I believe that I could never kill a person, even in my own self-defense. I couldn't kill for my country either. The only time I could see myself ever actually doing it would be to save another's life and even then it is hard to picture. I would always just try to injure the person. If I had a gun I would shoot them in the knees and shoulders. If I had a blade I would attack non-vital body parts. I just can't even imagine myself actually taking another person's life. I have a hard time killing insects, how could I ever kill another person? The idea is as foreign to me as another galaxy.
When I first had the idea for this thread, I decided that I had to first have an answer for myself and then I spent a week pondering it. The problem is that this issue is one that is so deep into my moral fiber, that I have a hard time truly defining why I believe it. In order to get down to it, I had to dig through my very being. I asked myself a question I had never asked myself before: Why do I honestly think that murder is so wrong?
At first I just said that it was wrong because of the "Golden Rule." I would never want to be murdered, so I shouldn't murder others. But then I realized that I had to go deeper than that. Why is the Golden Rule important? At that, I hit a dead end. What makes this rule so perfect that it should be the end of my self-analyzation? The Golden Rule is a good one, but if I can't pin down why it is good, then it shouldn't be a part of my argument.
Then I said that murder was wrong because it hurt society, but then I thought about how overpopulated our planet is already and realized that killing a few dozen people might actually help the world! However, what about killing just one person? Would that help society? Probably not, but, then again, would it really hurt it?
After that I said that murder is wrong because that person would never get a chance to live to their full potential and that that will harm society because we might lose the next Einstein. But then I realized that this also raises the question of whether or not I might be killing the next Hitler and therefore helping society. And then that raised the question of why Hitler was seen as evil for commiting mass murder. I mean, if those 6 million had given birth to an average of 3 children for every two people, then the world would have another 9 million people. By now, those people would have given birth and there would then be a total of 22.5 million people ranging from middle aged to child, plus a few still left over in their old age from the original 6 million. So maybe that actually was a help to the world to be without those 23 million mouths to feed. Throw in the indirect deaths of WWII as a whole and you have about 100 million more people in the world because Hitler didn't exist. Could Europe really handle 100 million more people today?
So I then said that it was wrong because I don't have the right to choose who should live and who should die and that is what I have decided. I don't deserve such a great power as the right to decide whether a person should be killed. Of course, I still have the question of why don't I deserve that right? That I can't answer because it is too deep a question for me. I think that I have good judgement, but does having good judgement give me the right to choose to kill someone? I don't think so, but maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I wouldn't exercise the right even if I had it. But what about other people? Do they deserve this right?
In the end, I decided on this: murder is wrong because if everyone was a murderer, then society would truly fall apart. In other words, only if a large percentage of society was murdered would it really matter. A small percentage can actually be good. The idea of murder being wrong probablly comes from when "society" was only a few humans in a small tribe and killing one could be devastating to the group. If someone killed a good hunter, the two dozen tribespeople might starve during the winter. After we had thousands of people in our societies, murder wasn't that bad any more, but it was still harmful. Now that we have billions, murder might even be good and this is not a truth I want to accept...
I didn't like the results of this inner searching. I thought for sure that I could find some reason for my strong belief with some logical thought. Now I see that my belief is only based on old ideas that are no longer truly relevant. I still hold on to that belief even after this. I will never kill a single person as long as I live. But I now am unsure about this topic. I shifted around my moral fibers and now they don't fit just like they used to. I mean, murder is seen by almost everyone as a universal wrong, but yet I don't have any logical reason to back this belief.
I really hope that one of you does have some reason, because some day in the future, we as a society may need to ask this question, and I want someone to be able to stand on the side that says murder is wrong with more than the Golden Rule, a Bible, and some humanist ideas. What that person in the future will need is logic and I can't find any...