It is Acceptable to Kill Another Human Being in Some Scenarios
Debate Rounds (3)
As pro, I offer the following scenarios for rebuttal. I would like con to try explaining why these scenarios are not acceptable instances in which to kill another human being, and to offer further argument as to the cause of human killing being inherently wrong.
Scenario One: You are at home caring for your children while your spouse is away at work. Suddenly, you hear a door being broken in your home. You grab a personal sidearm and tell your two of your three children to hide in your bedroom. You quietly go downstairs and see three armed individuals, one of which is a male who is forcing himself upon your youngest daughter. Is it not acceptable to fire upon them?
Scenario Two: You are an average citizen living in a country at war. Suddenly, a soldier that is a part of the invading army bursts into your home. You have an infant who is sleeping in the nursery, and a knife right next to you. Can you be judged for taking action to protect your innocent child?
Scenario Three: You are an adolescent who has stayed late at school. As you pick up your things and get ready to leave, an adult you do not recognize walks through the doorway. You nervously mumble a hello and attempt to leave the class. At this point, the man grabs your arm and throws you to the ground with much force, then shuts the door. You remember that the trash bin, which is behind you, has broken glass from a science lab accident inside of it. As the villain pulls out a knife, you make your move. Is it not understandable to use the only form of defense offered to you to protect yourself from death?
Again, I say that multiple people argued against my "killing a human can be reasonable" claim, so I know there are those out there who feel this way. I was not, however, able to have a full discussion with them. I would like to see this point of view in full, so I encourage anyone who wishes to champion that cause to do so.
I am arguing from the perspective of looking for life in eternity. The one that is being lived right now has little significance when it come to forever. Gandhi was not a christian believer, yet he is famous for echoing the Apostles' philosophy when he said "I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill."(1) For each and every single scenario in which you provided, I must admit that I am a human being, and the thought of my love ones or myself being victimized in such brutal ways is too much for me too handle. I cannot guarantee that I would have the strength of the Apostles who followed Our Lord's example, enduring persecution without defending Himself.
Two of your scenarios involved premeditation. Owning a firearm or keeping a knife nearby signaled a clear intention to take a life if deemed necessary. This requires practice, planning, and a particular mind set. Just having a weapon means having the willingness to use it.
You're arguing from a Christian standpoint, which is fine, because I am also a Christian, so I know how I would like to respond to your points.
First I'd like to say that God certainly accepts the killing of human beings when He deems it the best course of action. For example, when He gave Canaan to the Jewish people, He ordered them to kill specific groups of people along the way. These were all people who turned their backs on him and walked in iniquity, but they were human nonetheless. Therefore, I believe I can safely say that sometimes, God wishes for us to do unfortunate things to ultimately lead to a better outcome.
Secondly, to address the case of Jesus and the apostles. They maintained pacifism because that is what the Lord wished. There is a difference between them and us that must be addressed. They were protected from things that were absolutely not for God's glory. To explain this point, I will use the first scenario.
-Say you do not kill the intruders. They do what they do, which I will not explain in detail, it's pretty obvious what their intent is-suffice to say, they do bad things. Then what? They may get away with it, and go on to perform more evil deeds in the future. Nothing has worked out for the better, except for these evil men.
-Now, let's look at an example of something that happened to the apostles, because God specifically intended for them to perform no violent deeds. Some of the apostles (I do not specifically remember which, but this is a pretty well-known story, so you may recognize it) were preaching in the temple. They were arrested and sent to prison, where they converted many of the prisoners to Christianity. Here, we see that it worked out, because God intended it to. In the scenarios above, there is no guarantee of a commission from God, so I believe that action should be taken against the evildoers. It is either you living to continue walking in His way, or them continuing to live in iniquity. Surely He will forgive us for making the former decision.
-Not all of the scenarios signaled a premeditated decision to fight other human beings if it came to it. Actually, only one did.
-God at times has not only allowed and forgiven human killing, but has commanded it.
-The apostles and Jesus had absolute protection of God to live for Him until their purpose was done. We do not have this protection over us.
It will turn out better in the end if certain people are killed.
However, this is the exact point I am arguing against. Because you are defining the end as what will happen now. I am defining the end as eternity. As I said before, the life that is being lived now has little significance when it comes to eternity. It will turn out for the better ultimately, but it may not happen on this earth.
There were times in the Old Testament were God required killing.
God use force to protect the Jewish nation. In the New Testament God has not protected his people in the same way. which leads into my third point.
We are not the apostles.
However, Paul says specifically, in 1 Corinthians 11:1, to "Be imitators of [him], as [he is] of Christ.". It is also said about Jesus in, 1 John 2:6, "Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." Jesus said, in Mathew 5:39, "But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." We are to do just this. You have said that the apostles had protection that we did not. However, everyone of the apostles were persecuted and killed.
There is no precedent in the Bible for Christians to kill.
I can see what you're saying about eternity, but I see one issue. If we are truly believing in Him, the an act of defense such as the ones I listed would be forgiven by Him, therefore they would have no effect on our eternal life. Therefore mentioning it doesn't really have any effect on what I'm saying here.
I have found nothing against this point, so I must concede it.
While there is no precedent, we are always faced with new challenges day-to-day. Just because something was not done then, does not mean it won't be necessary now.
Secondly, this refers to oneself. But in two of the scenarios, someone else was at risk. Protecting the innocent adds a whole extra layer of necessity to action. I one was on their own, pacifism would be acceptable, but I don't believe it would be acceptable to allow others a terrible fate, especially someone so young who has not yet gotten any chance to experience the world in great measure. I may consider accepting this line of thought when I am the only one at risk, but I see no good reason to allow the innocent to experience pain when it can be stopped.
Finally for rebuttals, I believe that verse is meant in a sense of verbal or emotional abuse. I don't believe this means: "If someone tries to hurt you or someone else, let them." I'm pretty sure it's more along the lines of: "If someone's being a jerk, keep calm and canter on."
To conclude, while I still hold firm my stance on this issue, I thank my you for showing me the viewpoint that the others who disagreed with me were maintaining. While I do not follow this complete-pacifism stance, I can understand it better now. I hold my stance on the following primary points:
-The protection of others is a far more serious matter than the protection of one's self.
-Our life in Heaven will not be affected by the act of killing someone for the purpose of protection.
-While we should aspire to be like Jesus, he had a reason to remain utterly pacifist. From our view, we cannot determine if it is better in the long run if we die or not, so I feel it is logical to go with the one that will definitely produce good results- protecting ourselves and/or others to go on being non-villainous individuals.
When you conceded that having no concern for my attackers eternity is something God will forgive me for, You acknowledged that that killing is wrong. God does not forgive what is right.
You say it was not done then, but might be necessary now. The apostles were treated brutally and murdered. What times in the history of Christianity had been more brutal and villainous then the first century, when they killed our lord and he said "father forgive them." If it was not done in those conditions, then I can certainly reject the conditions you created in your scenarios.
When you say someone should kill in defense of those who have not had the chance to experience life in the fullest, you revealed that you have misunderstood my premise. You said the innocent life has not experienced life in the fullest, however, my point has been that this life pales in comparison to eternity.
You have said that we do not have a reason to remain pacifist, however, the fact that Jesus was pacifist is the only reason we need. As I had said before we are to walk as Jesus walked.
You have also said that "we cannot determine if it is better in the long run if we die or not". It is said in Philippians 1:21"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." As I had said we are to live like Christ and when we die our earthly life will pale in comparison to eternity. We do know which is better in the long run.
I once again thank you for a good debate and hope you do well in your further debates.
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