Philosophical Questions: Is It Ethical To Kill Lives To Save Others?

The BBC Magazine has an article on several "what if ..." scenarios on extremely difficult ethical questions.This article was also discussed on Digg. The examples in the article seem to too extreme, but there are real life examples that pose the same questions. For example, the policeman or soldier who has to kill people in their normal line of work. On a larger scale is how politicians and heads of state justify war on other countries to themselves and to the public. Remember when Tony Blair said that that war is for the sake of peace?This is not the simple case of "lesser evil", but more complex situations that that. Another somewhat related issue is moral relativity, which was first explained by Plato (quoting Socrates) in Republic, where giving back what is borrowed is a virtue, and a just person must do it. However, there are cases where giving back what is borrowed would be foolish, for example, the owner of a sword has lended it to you, but he has now went mad. In this case giving back the sword to him puts your life and that of others as well. In this case the moral obligation of giving back what  is borrowed is no longer and absolute. 




i believe it is ethical to kill those who oppress, exploit, and cause suffering to others. Politicians, leaders of the World Trade Court, and some high ranking members of corporations deserve this kind of punishment. It is in the best interest of the common people to inform themselves of the issues in the world today and act upon those issues in an extreme manner to protect themselves and others. I highly recommend researching corporations such as Monsanto for a start.

That is extreme

Wow, that is extreme.

I was discussing the philosophy of it, not advocating it, let alone name names ...

Taking one person life to

Taking one person life to save 100 others is logical, but emotions might keep us from otherwise making this decision. The further we can keep emotion from these decisions the better. Say the person you were gonna kill was some random guy you don't know, and all you would have to do is press a button to kill him/her. This would be a whole lot easier if this person was, say your brother,mother,son,etc, and you would have to strangle them. The second situation involves a huge amount of emotion with most people, that would otherwise keep them from making the logical choice.

I'm not saying emotions are bad, they just have their downsides. If it wasn't for emotions we'd be cold hard machines. Emotions are human (animals too) characteristics, and like all human characteristics, they have equal ups and equal downs.

But would it be ethical? Well keeping 100 mothers from crying is more ethical than keeping just 1 mother from crying. Not saving these lives because (in simple terms) "you don't have the balls" to make the necessary decision is selfish. You dont wanna get your hands dirty,you dont wanna have to go through this, so your gonna let 100 people die.

it is both yes and no..

For me, it is both YES and No, It is ethical in a way that you save one’s life whether you kill someone or not. It is better to kill someone who cause suffering to others than to see someone who suffers from those kind of person. And I do believe that if somebody died or if somebody was killed, it is their fate that brings them to it; it is the end of their life line. And even though they already gone, only the body was died, but their soul reaches its perfection (it is according to the Philosophy of man of Socrates).
But, it is also not ethical in a way that “we don’t have any license to take somebody’s life.” Only God owned those rights to take one person’s life in order to save others who deserves to live more. No one has the right to kill others, and besides there’s another way to save lives.

i feel that if you choose to

i feel that if you choose to kill one to save many that your commiting a crime but the amount of necessity can change the morality of the situation giving the killer of one the obligation to do so.