Would you convict this man?

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Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 08:53 pm
George Tiller, an abortionist, was killed today. A pro life activist shot him. "It's so sad," I hear said by the many. "I hope they convict that murderer," it is, I am sure, spoken aloud by the masses.

Yet, by "murder" I understand the slaying of one who is not guilty of a capital crime. Had one killed Hitler, Sadaam, Stalin...that man would not have been killed a murderer. Rather, he would have been proclaimed a hero. I tell you, then, that more innocent lives have been stripped away by monsters like George Tiller than all of the Hitlers, Sadaams, Stalins...in the whole world combined.

The gunman is a murderer? Show me an innocent man who has been killed, and perhaps I'll more clearly see the murder.

The man who slays one who sheds innocent blood on account of that crime, in order to save innocent lives, is not a murderer. That man is a hero.

"But we have a law! Our system does not delegate the power to convict and execute to that man!" When a system shields murderers and perpetuates the slaughter of innocents, that system is broken, that system has failed, and we are, so far as I am concerned, under no moral obligation to comply.

The gunman, so far as I am concerned, is a hero. Were I on a jury trying that man, I wouldn't convict, even if it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did it.

Would you?
 
nameless
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 03:17 am
@Bonaventurian,
Interesting how 'beliefs' can cause an otherwise sane and thoughtful person to support murder.
You go Xtians! You go Muslims!
Rather not have you for a neighbor, though...
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 05:58 am
@Bonaventurian,
Yea, this kind of thing scares me a bit.

For an act to be defined as 'murder', the slain need not be innocent at all. Although I think I can understand the feelings involved, this idea that it's OK to kill the killer because the killer killed never made much sense to me.

Yea, not in my neighborhood either.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 06:08 am
@nameless,
Yes, I would convict the gunman if the gunman shot and killed the victim.

There is a key difference in someone killing Hitler and someone killing this doctor: the doctor was not in control of the legal system. Hitler, et al, were beyond check, whereas this doctor is subject to the same laws as his neighbors.

As for your reply to calls for law and order, they are a bit worrisome. We are under no moral obligation to comply with laws against killing one another?

As far as I can tell, regardless of one's belief about abortion, the killing of this doctor is unacceptable. Unlike Hitler, this doctor was within the reach of the legal system. This act of violence deprives the man his day in court, a right even criminals deserve, and deprives the nation of justice.

From the point of view of the anti-abortion side, killing this doctor seems counterproductive. These sorts of extreme reactions only alienate undecideds and moderates from your side. These sorts of extreme reactions will make the anti-abortion position seem extreme and desperate. The higher ground, and smarter strategy, is to refrain from killing and instead exercise your right to influence government and law in this nation. Then, perhaps, one day you can sit back with the comfort of knowing that your nation has properly adjusted its abortion laws and can now seek justice against murderers.

To justify the killing of this doctor is to proclaim that any person has the right to kill another provided that 1. the law does not allow for the person to be killed and 2. that the killer believes he is justified. That's shaky ground for justifying the killing of another human being.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 06:19 am
@Bonaventurian,
So Bo, you're saying that it's wrong to kill feotus' but ok to kill a fully grown human? Isnt that a contradiction? Isnt that saying one rule for you and another rule for them? What you're saying is 'it's wrong to kill but we are going to kill you'.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 06:49 am
@Caroline,
http://thereaganwing.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/china_dead_baby_and_children.jpg

This kid would have been better off had its parents been to see an abortionist.

http://www.order-order.com/wp-content/plugins/hot-linked-image-cacher/upload/3.bp.blogspot.com/_EQc_hLHXONE/SRqGhRorlGI/AAAAAAAADUA/SURcINAzuyg/s400/abuse.jpg

Wouldn't it have been preferable for his mother to have terminated the pregnancy?

The problem with children suffering has more to do with too many being born, and being born for the wrong reasons, or to parents who are not willing to be responsible to them, than it does with snuffing out life before the ignition of awareness. If we want to improve the value of human life (if not life in other forms as well) I think we have to give more creedence to those who want to wait until they are ready before breeding, and support them and their decisions rather than worry about ensuring that every conception reaches term - and therefore inherits a world that cannot properly care for them once the umbilical cord is snipped.

With this in mind I hope George Tiller's murderer spends a long, long time in prison.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:06 am
@Bonaventurian,
A karate teacher molests a little boy. The karate teacher is arrested and held in prison. He is transferred from one jail to another via plain. A crowd awaits him, one of whom among the crowd is the boy's father, who shoots him to death upon arrival. The boy's father is arrested. So far as I know, he never spent even a single day in jail. He's acquitted.

The intuition, I think, is that when one slays another man either in self defense, in the defense of others, or in vengeance of a grevious wrong, that killing is justified. It doesn't matter what the State says. Each of us has this intuition. It is not a matter, DT, of "feeling" justified. It's a matter of the justification being obvious to every rational moral agent.

No man, I think, would hold that man at fault for slaying his son's molestor. Likewise, no man, if people truly understood what George Tiller was "aborting," would hold the gunman at fault for slaying George Tiller in order both to avenge the lives of those innocent children, and further to protect others that he assuredly would have slain.

It's not about "feeling" justified. That man's crimes cried out to high heaven for justice, and since the State did not and would not answer that cry, this man did instead.

George Tiller deserved to die.

In each of us, there is an intrinsic sense of right and wrong, and when the "law" becomes inconsistent with that intrinsic Moral Law, the "law" becomes unlawful, and it ceases to be binding on anyone. Quoting St. Augustine, "an unjust law is no law, but rather violence."
 
IMO phil
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:30 am
@Bonaventurian,
Abortion is not murder.

That guy should not only be convicted, he should be locked up for life for such a senseless act.

These anti-abortionists are twisted. Do you want more children living in ghettos? More children growing up into gangs? Crack head parents raising children they cannot raise? These anti-abortionists are the first to turn their heads away from the living poor.
 
Lily
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:32 am
@Bonaventurian,
I would convict him. Mostly because he's a murderer and not a hero in any way, but partly because we can't let people create their own justice. It wouldn't work. And I'm against death penelty.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:50 am
@Bonaventurian,
It's not a matter of "creating their own justice." Justice is set and universal for all men, even when the State fails to acknowledge it.

---------- Post added at 11:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:50 AM ----------

Caroline, I say that it is wrong to kill an innocent human person.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 10:56 am
@Bonaventurian,
Of course the gun man should rot in prison. By your reasoning Bona, anyone that serves in the government and sanctions murder of anyone at all for war, capital punishment, etc would be fair game for an open hunting season. Not to mention, soldiers that fight in battle and kill people would also be fair game as well.

Just out of curiosity, do you support war Bona? I see this time and time again with the pro-life people. They are against abortion, but are often pro-war. This is a fine example of cognitive dissonance. Pro-life means no war!
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 11:20 am
@Bonaventurian,
Soldiers kill in self defense. Executioners (in the case of capital punishment) kill guilty men.

The abortionist slays an innocent, unborn child who has done no wrong. There is a difference, The.

Granted, I am generally against war in general and against capital punishment. There -is- a very clear difference between war/capital punishment and abortion. Whereas the former two involve the slaying of guilty men and killing in self defense, the latter involves the killing of an innocent.
 
nameless
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:01 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;65962 wrote:
So Bo, you're saying that it's wrong to kill feotus' but ok to kill a fully grown human? Isnt that a contradiction? Isnt that saying one rule for you and another rule for them? What you're saying is 'it's wrong to kill but we are going to kill you'.

Another example (from a long list) of the hypocrisy that seems to define Xtianity.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:20 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;66016 wrote:
Soldiers kill in self defense. Executioners (in the case of capital punishment) kill guilty men.

The abortionist slays an innocent, unborn child who has done no wrong. There is a difference, The.

Granted, I am generally against war in general and against capital punishment. There -is- a very clear difference between war/capital punishment and abortion. Whereas the former two involve the slaying of guilty men and killing in self defense, the latter involves the killing of an innocent.


Sure, there is a major difference between war/capital punishment and abortion. Personally, I don't see abortion as murder, because I don't see the unborn as an individual, much less an individual with rights. Many things could go wrong with a pregnancy before birth. Is the mother a murderer if she has a miscarriage?

But to the pro-lifers that see abortion as murder, must also see war and capital punishment deaths as murder as well. To be pro-life should mean the individual is pro-life to everything and not just selectively as they chose. But of course, most pro-lifers are religious nuts that have little to no ability to think for themselves, and follow others like drones. Religions have always promoted wars, and need all the followers they can get, thus, the reason why the preachers take the stance that they do. If they were truly pro-life, they would not help beat on the war drums.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:33 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;65996 wrote:

The intuition, I think, is that when one slays another man either in self defense, in the defense of others, or in vengeance of a grevious wrong, that killing is justified. It doesn't matter what the State says. Each of us has this intuition. It is not a matter, DT, of "feeling" justified. It's a matter of the justification being obvious to every rational moral agent.


And it is not obvious to me that the man is justified in killing the karate teacher. In that particular case, there is absolutely no justification for the killing because the karate teacher is already in prison, which means he has been convicted of his crime.

Bonaventurian;65996 wrote:
No man, I think, would hold that man at fault for slaying his son's molestor.


I would. I would also feel a great deal of sympathy for the man and his family, and I would probably like to see the father receive a lenient sentence (many years probation and psychiatric help). But this sympathy does not mean that I would imagine the father to be blameless in the killing: he likely succumbed to feelings of anger and vengeance, which are not healthy, and to act on them is morally wrong. I feel for the man for having those feelings, but I cannot make the leap that he is justified on acting on them.

Bonaventurian;65996 wrote:
It's not about "feeling" justified. That man's crimes cried out to high heaven for justice, and since the State did not and would not answer that cry, this man did instead.


But vigilantism is not justice, it is vengeance. Justice is done within a society, not in spite of a society.

Bonaventurian;65996 wrote:
George Tiller deserved to die.


I recall Nietzsche saying that God was dead, but I do not recall Nietzsche or anyone else electing you God.

Bonaventurian;65996 wrote:
In each of us, there is an intrinsic sense of right and wrong, and when the "law" becomes inconsistent with that intrinsic Moral Law, the "law" becomes unlawful, and it ceases to be binding on anyone. Quoting St. Augustine, "an unjust law is no law, but rather violence."


I agree. However, that's not the point. We disagree on what to do in the face of unjust law. You would have people run around assassinating anyone and everyone that any given individual may find disagreeable, whereas I would have people pursue peaceful means of improving the human condition.

So, which is better? Unbridled vengeful violence, or paced peaceful progress?

I think any rational moral agent would pick peace, but I may be wrong. After all, you thought any rational moral agent would condone vengeance. Then again, most moral systems seem more fond of peace than they are of vengeance, so maybe I'll poll better numbers than your assumption of what a rational moral agent would think.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 05:54 pm
@Bonaventurian,
I wonder how many similarly rabid pro-lifers refuse medical treatment on grounds that their health system includes abortion among its services. Or should the doctor be allowed to live should a certain pro-lifer require a heart bypass?

---------- Post added at 07:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:54 PM ----------

Bonaventurian;66016 wrote:
Soldiers kill in self defense.


Interesting analogy #1: What part of 'shock and awe' constituted self-defense? That Iraq might one day have attacked America, a highly improbable proposition? Just as an unborn person might one day commit murder, a statistically unlikely proposition?

Bonaventurian;66016 wrote:

Executioners (in the case of capital punishment) kill guilty men.


Interesting analogy #2: The guilt of a convicted felon is ascertained by human judgement, a most fallible process. Similarly, the moral rightness of abortion is ascertained by the people in the state in which it is permitted, which apparently is also fallible. So if the system is wrong and the executioner kills an innocent man... he deserves to be murderered, right? Because it was him wot did it - the question of who decided that course of action is irrelevant... right?
 
Lily
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 08:25 am
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;66000 wrote:
It's not a matter of "creating their own justice." Justice is set and universal for all men, even when the State fails to acknowledge it.


What is justice and who are you to tell me what it is?
But I could of course shoot everyone who thinks deserves it? With your logic we should murder Bush, the pope and everyone that have killed someone.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 08:39 am
@Lily,
I believe that the man should go to jail because he broke the law, and a justified law at that. We have laws against vigilante killing for a reason.

However, I believe that the debate over abortion deals more with the personhood of the fetus. I believe that like a child, a fetus is a dependent person. Once all of the organs and limbs have grown, the fetus should be considered to be a person. Still and all, I'm more concerned with better preventative medicine in order to decrease unwanted pregnancies; like a pill you can take that prevents pregnancy for months or something.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 09:42 am
@Bonaventurian,
So Bo, what exactly makes you innocent or guilty to start with?

You are a guilty person when you kill an innocent person? (is this right?)
You are not a guilty person if you kill a guilty person? (is this right too?)

Is this how you classify guilt and non-guilt?

So are you saying killing is a sin and that is why you are considered guilty?

Well according to Christianity everyone who is born is guilty so using your definition, everyone is fair game to kill without making you guilty. In fact that would still account for unborn babies as well since it is original sin that makes you guilty.

So everyone is fair game, everyone is guilty, therefore everyone should die.

Yeah I love this theology!
 
henry quirk
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:58 pm
@Krumple,
"...an abortionist, was killed today. A pro life activist shot him..."

"Would you convict this man?"


allow me to parade my amorality

how is the death of one stranger at the hands of another my concern?

i have no relationship to either, so, why should i care?

the 'abortionist' should have self-defended better

the pro-lifer best fly low if he intends to remain free (if, however, he's been captured, then he's truly screwed...he deserves what he gets...not because he killed someone, but, because he was too dull-minded to get away with it)


abortion: i could not care less either way...abort...don't abort...all the moralizing either way matters to me to sum of zero

my advice: if you don't wanna a baby refrain from sex...if you won't refrain: put a rubber on your willie, or, cap your cervix...exercising 'control over the body' is best done before you make with the rutting

but, again: i could not care less about aborted kids...having appetites (rather than being had by appetites) i'll never make a baby...but: if i did, and the woman and i wanted to abort, we would, regardless of what the law, or culture, had to say on the subject

now: have i sufficiently damned myself in the eyes of the 'just' and 'pure'?

HA!
 
 

 
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