My daughter is taking a class on ethics. Some of the questions she was asked to comment on were about life, murder and abortion. Below are the questions and her answers.
Is killing in defense of the innocent sometimes morally justifiable? Use examples to illustrate your answer.
Oh, I believe so. In our text for example, Mary (Thiroux/Krasemann pgs.186-187), was defending herself against a rapist who wasn’t going to stop trying to hurt her. It is also justifiable to kill defending someone other than yourself. My example? If one or both of my children were being attacked and I knew that there was no other way; yeah; that person would go down. Although, using a mother may not be the best example. Very few mothers wouldn’t defend their children regardless of the consequences. Still, if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed an obvious crime against someone, child or adult, I could not just walk away, or watch. I would do everything in my power to help, even if it meant taking a human life. I know this makes me sound like I don’t have an issue killing. I really do. I would do everything I possibly could to avoid it; but I would if I absolutely had to.
What about abortion? Are there any justifiable exceptions for abortion? Why or why not?
Absolutely not, in any way, shape, or form is abortion acceptable. I have heard, I think, possible “reasons” why, and I still don’t think it’s okay. Yes, I have been sexually assaulted; as a child, and as a teen, and there was a risk of pregnancy. There is still no reason. There is adoption. There are so many people out there who cannot have children naturally, but want nothing more than to raise a child. And there is biological proof, by doctors and scientists alike that have said that life begins at conception. The fetes’ (which, by the way is Latin for baby) heart starts beating and pumping vital blood at five weeks of development. The amniotic sac is present at four weeks of development.
Most women don’t even know that they’re pregnant until the fourth or fifth week!
And when lives are at stake, such as the child’s, or the mothers, the answer is still the same. Care needs to be taken when the pregnancy turns high risk. There are so many technological advances now, that no one needs to terminate a pregnancy due to health.
How does mercy death differ from mercy killing? Is one more morally acceptable than another? Why or why not?
“The important distinction between mercy killing and mercy death is that mercy killing is involuntary, or does not involve the patient’s permission or request, whereas mercy death is voluntary and done with the permission of the patient and usually at his or her request”(Thiroux/ Krasemann, pg.209).
If I had to choose, which I guess here I do, I would have to say mercy death is the more moral of the two. I really don’t agree with either, because the Bible clearly states, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, NIV, Zondervan Publishing House, 1984, by International Bible Society), but it also states that we should, “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32, Zondervan Publishing House, 1984, by International Bible Society). And to me, just standing by and watching someone just lie there on the bed suffering, with no hope of recovery is just wrong. But then again, going back to the God factor, there may not be any hope for human intervention, but God can do anything, and it’s really not our place to decide who lives and who dies; that God’s. This is a situation that I’m lucky to not have experienced yet, but I’ve been with people who have, and seen the pain they go through; the absolute helplessness. It’s a horrible, awful experience that I hope to never go through.