Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The Lesser of Evils...

So I know this is an old conundrum in Christian circles, but I pose it here for a point I might feel like making if I don't think anyone will jump to the obvious conclusion. Which is worse? To steal bread or let your family starve?

Invariably, almost everyone, except the store-owner (and maybe even he), would agree that letting your family starve is by far worse than the simple stealing of bread.

Now, let's change it slightly. Which is worse? To kill before you are killed, or to let yourself be killed to prevent yourself from killing?

Oooohhhhh, didn't see that one coming, eh?

The bible says "Thou shalt not kill." Of course, God told this to Moses before he sent them out to rape, kill, plunder and destroy other people who were living in the so-called "Promised Land." But then he set up that whole system of one lamb sacrificed for this, two calves sacrificed for that, and so on and so forth, and blessed be another victory except for the breaking of that one commandment thingy.....

Some have interpreted "Kill" to mean "Murder." Others, any kind of "Killing" meets the meaning of the commandment. 'Cause if it's only murder that's forbidden, no wonder Paul thinks so highly of the soldier that he made a whole Christian analogy thingy in the new testament. But if it is killing in general, the bible has bigger problems than just how a couple of loaves and 2 fish fed the multitudes, let me tell you. I'd have to go back and look at the Hebrew to know for sure, but I'm feeling pretty damn lazy today.


I think everyone knows by now that the death penalty is not a deterrent. I mean, if it were an actual deterrent, people would stop being murdered, am I right? But then the argument follows that, "But at least that murderer won't murder again." True, but then, hasn't the state become the murderer? "But the state has an interest in protecting its citizens." The murderer is a citizen too. "He gave up his rights when he took someone else's life." He did? What if it was self-defense? Or an accident? "Well, in that case..."

So would state-sanctioned murder fall under "Kill." Do two wrongs make a right? Does it even matter?


Guard #1: “Who goes there?
Arthur: “It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, Defeater of the Saxons, sovereign of ALL England!
Guard #1: “What, ridden on a horse?
Arthur: Yes.
Guard #1: You're using coconuts!
Arthur: What?
Guard #1: You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're banging 'em together!
Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun, or the house martin or the plummer may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land!
Guard #1: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
Arthur: Not at all. They could be carried.
Guard #1: What, a swallow, carrying a coconut?
Arthur: It could grip it by the husk.
Guard #1: It's not a question of where he grips it. It's a simple question of weight ratios. A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut! [...]
Guard #1: Listen, in order to maintain air speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings 43 times every second, right?
Guard #2: It could be carried by an African swallow!
Guard #1: Oh, yeah, an African swallow, maybe. But not a European swallow, that's my point.
Guard #2: Oh, yeah, I agree with that.
Arthur: Will you ask your master if he wants to join my court at Camelot?
Guard #1: But then, of course, African swallows are non-migratory.
Guard #2: Oh, yeah.
Guard #1: So they couldn't bring a coconut back anyway.
Guard #2: Wait a minute! Supposing two swallows carried it together?


The above is more along the lines of my thought-processes today... :D

I'm just rambling here. Let me know what you all think...

7 comments:

Marco Valente said...

In my view, the death penalty is inhumane and unconstitutional! No one has the right to judge if another shall live or die, irrespective af all past offences. Life is of fundamental and paramount importance!!

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bill said...

Jason - I think you know my opinion on this one, but rather than retype the whole thing, I will just provide the link to why I think Killing is always wrong.

http://billarends.blogspot.com/2006/03/my-christian-pacifism-or-why-killing.html

terriamachine said...

In most of your posts you consistently confuse the teachings of Jesus (xianity in its purest form, like the teachings of the Buddha or Lao-tzu, which are all pretty similar with one huge exception which I cannot get into at the moment) with the teachings of men (christianity in all of its most heinous and ludicrous forms of hell fire and brimstone that you and I both loathe, especially when it rears its ugly head in the dancing monkey and his minions). Christianity and Xianity are not the same. It's an easy mistake to make, especially if you have been raised by christians and have to struggle with the paradoxes (which, by the way, don't exist in xianity). I remember when my anger used to be misplaced as well. You sound just like I did a few years ago. The problem lies with assholes who besmirch Jesus' teachings under the guise of their distorted view of christianity, not with xianity itself (note the chasm of separation; and yes, I call my tree a xmas tree, not a christmas tree in case you were wondering. And Ann says I did a better job than you, so maybe we can have a contest someday). So there is no conundrum at all if you know that Jesus came to write the law in the sand (which constantly changes) and not on a stone (which never changes). Having shown the light instead of condemning and castigating, though, he did say that there are universal wrongs--like murder. Murder--whether sanctioned by the state or by the government--is always wrong--always, always, always. Christians say it is okay to murder at certain times. Xians side with the dude who said steal the bread if you're going to die without it. Now back to my self-inflicted torture of grading tenth grade "research" papers (most of these kids couldn't research their way out of a wet paper bag... but it's still better than the onus always being upon me...)

Jason Hughes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason Hughes said...

Where was the confusion? Maybe I'm just dense this morning....

As for christmas tree decorating, I think Ann looks at your tree with rose-colored glasses... :D I'd win, hands down!

And I will state for the record, that I also hold any form of killing to be wrong as well, down to Horatio, the mouse in my kitchen. (Remember when I got into that huge fight with Michael because he shot a groundhog with his BB gun?) Life is life is life, and I am in no position, and neither is anyone else, to say who or what should live and/or die, despite anything that anyone might have done to me (and maybe even especially then!) Life may be at times wretched, painful, and filled with depair, but at other times it is all sunshine and gummy bears!

This is not to say I'm about to become Vegan or anything. But I think that if killing for food is to be done, then eat the food, damn it! I'm really anti-sport hunting, and I'm sure Pop-pop is rolling over in his grave right now! But I'll digress for now.

terriamachine said...

In most of your posts you consistently confuse the teachings of Jesus (xianity in its purest form, like the teachings of the Buddha or Lao-tzu, which are all pretty similar with one huge exception which I cannot get into at the moment) with the teachings of men (christianity in all of its most heinous and ludicrous forms of hell fire and brimstone that you and I both loathe, especially when it rears its ugly head in the dancing monkey and his minions). Christianity and Xianity are not the same. It's an easy mistake to make, especially if you have been raised by christians and have to struggle with the paradoxes (which, by the way, don't exist in xianity). I remember when my anger used to be misplaced as well. You sound just like I did a few years ago. The problem lies with assholes who besmirch Jesus' teachings under the guise of their distorted view of christianity, not with xianity itself (note the chasm of separation; and yes, I call my tree a xmas tree, not a christmas tree in case you were wondering. And Ann says I did a better job than you, so maybe we can have a contest someday). So there is no conundrum at all if you know that Jesus came to write the law in the sand (which constantly changes) and not on a stone (which never changes). Having shown the light instead of condemning and castigating, though, he did say that there are universal wrongs--like murder. Murder--whether sanctioned by the state or by the government--is always wrong--always, always, always. Christians say it is okay to murder at certain times. Xians side with the dude who said steal the bread if you're going to die without it. Now back to my self-inflicted torture of grading tenth grade "research" papers (most of these kids couldn't research their way out of a wet paper bag... but it's still better than the onus always being upon me...)