Why murder is a crime.

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Why murder is a crime.

Postby manishsqrt on June 21st, 2015, 11:43 am 

Don't consider me as a criminal, neither am i an unsound person who is trying to justify murder.I just want a logical reason behind murder being depict as a crime.Most of you will feel this question stupid because we have an obvious feeling that murder is a crime.But have you ever thought that if death is a truth why only a specific method to die is crime.Other forms of killing like capital punishment or killing within boundaries of law are not considered crime though both of them are nearly similar activities.Some of you may say that murder is a crime because we don't want to be killed, but then we also don't want to be failed in exam, ditched in love so why they re not crime?Does 'want' really has to do something with law?
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby TheVat on June 21st, 2015, 11:53 am 

"It's a hell of a thing, killin' a man. You take away everything he ever had and ever would have.” - Clint Eastwood, in "Unforgiven."
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby zetreque on June 21st, 2015, 12:34 pm 

It just depends on cultural perspective. It also probably has something to do with "if you aren't for us, you are against us" as being a contributor to society. Maybe it's a "crime" to kill a contributor to society (even if it's just the tiniest way or has potential to contribute) rather than someone that is just going completely against society completely. I thought of that because humans are a group species. We work together to advance "civilization". We are not a loner species all going at it alone.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby manishsqrt on June 23rd, 2015, 3:47 am 

We will have to think that is contribution to society really such a big factor these days.There are numerous people out there in the world whose contribution is no more than that of animals then why animal killing is not crime.Just because machines are here does this mean animal killing is not wrong, so in this way why is homicide a crime.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby doogles on June 23rd, 2015, 4:01 am 

Let's look at it from the other perspective. Theoretically, if we were allowed to eliminate anyone who stood between us and limited feed or water or shelter or a desirable partner or a promotion or whatever, none of us would be able to get on with life.

We would be continually looking over our shoulders and afraid to become absorbed in work or play, or even to sleep.

I guess I'm old-fashioned enough to say that I like a system wherein one gets a rap on the knuckles at least, for doing 'bad things' to one's fellow human beings, unless one's own life is under threat from another in peace or war.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby neuro on June 23rd, 2015, 11:02 am 

manishsqrt » June 21st, 2015, 4:43 pm wrote:I just want a logical reason behind murder being depict as a crime

Well, if we are dealing with the ethical aspect,
we have an obvious feeling that murder is a crime

I believe this way you already answered your question.

This may not be a "logical" reason, but ethics are not based on logics.

If instead we are dealing with the legal aspect,
Does 'want' really has to do something with law?

then obviously "want" has nothing to do with it: simply, protection of social rules requires murder to be a crime, and if killing is done to protect social rules - instead of going against them - then it obviously is no more a crime.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby CanadysPeak on June 23rd, 2015, 10:06 pm 

Murder is a crime because there is no other way for the victim to seek justice. Justice is essential to civilization.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby edy420 on June 24th, 2015, 6:45 am 

In most cases, murder goes against the victims will. (bar mercy killings, assisted suicides etc)
Its an assault on another person.

Crime itself, is a set of rules created by a society.
In modern society murder is unethical, immoral and unjust.
Murder as a result of self defense is often none of the above, and therefore not seen as a crime in modern societies eyes.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby tired_time on July 4th, 2015, 11:16 am 

When lawmakers make laws, they are trying to achieve many goals - overall happiness, economic prosperity, personal gain, etc. Forbidding murders helps to achieve most of these goals so they forbid it. Forbidding teachers to fail anyone in exam would be an impediment to most of these goals (e.g. people would study less which would hurt economy) so lawmakers don't forbid it.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby manishsqrt on July 24th, 2015, 10:45 pm 

I think the idea of unjust behavior appealed me more, its looks more logical, its a crime because its an unjust behavior, you cannot kill everyone that's don't kill anyone, thanks.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby ivanchagasp on September 26th, 2015, 9:40 pm 

It's a given social contract. People assume that I won't kill anybody, so they don't kill me. If Maslow's Pyramid had one extra last bottom layer, it would be life itself. The possibility of being makes room for security, sense of beloning, personal realization, etc.

As zetreque pointed, you kill all the possibilities of that human being being something. You kill the family that he/she could possibly have, all the people they could possible help, all the experiences that he/she could live, etc.
It's way more about than just the grief; if you killed someone I know or am close to, you are also erasing all the things I know he/she wanted to be, that's why I get too angry about it. And that's why I get so sad, because I know that now there is a 0% possibility of anything of that happening.

Imagine if that weren't the case. Everyone will be in constant state of alert. I couldn't even reproduce, because I would be worried about the possibility of being killed by my own partner. Thus, our life wouldn't go on; and we're worried about that. I can't explain why we want our species to live forever, but we do. I think that's another debate. So, by creating rules that we are not killing anyone, then we can shift our focus to other stuff. And we're constantly doing that - I mean, trying to eliminate our current worries, so we can eternally focus on more important stuff.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby vivian maxine on September 27th, 2015, 8:06 am 

manishsqrt, it's a very good question that I've pondered many times. But I ponder it from a slightly different angle. Maybe, before we ask why is murder a crime, we need to ask "what is murder?". Some of the answers above even inadvertently raise that question. Is putting someone to death for a crime he has committed a crime? Is killing in war a crime? Is sending young men off to war knowing many will die a second-hand form of a crime? (Now we get complicated.) Are mercy killings a crime? "Mercy?" What is murder and what is not? When is taking a life not murder? Is killing in self-defense a crime? What if it was "suspected" self-defense.

Looking at history and literature, I'm thinking that, by our standards, it is "murder" when it offends someone who didn't want that person dead. No more kings shouting "off with his head". The family needed the victim alive.

I think you have asked a very complicated question. Can it be answered satisfactorily - meaning to everyone's satisfaction? Who wants to be the final judge? Solomon, where art thou when needed?
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Paul Anthony on November 21st, 2015, 9:50 pm 

From a Libertarian perspective, the most valuable possession one has is one's own liberty - that is, the freedom to do with one's life as one pleases. It should be obvious that without life there can be no liberty. If it is a crime to steal a person's possessions then it must certainly be a crime to steal a person's most valuable possession, the freedom to live.

Killing in self-defense is generally considered not a crime because it is the act of protecting one's most valuable possession. In war, all killing is an act of self-defense.

In criminal justice, imprisonment is the act of depriving the criminal of his liberty. The death penalty is sometimes justified if the crime is so horrendous as to warrant depriving the criminal's most valuable possession - life itself.

What baffles me is why suicide is a crime.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Eclogite on November 22nd, 2015, 7:37 am 

Paul Anthony » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:50 pm wrote:What baffles me is why suicide is a crime.
In which countries do you think suicide (or attempted suicide) is a crime? It has been decriminalised in most Western countries for some time. India plans to decriminalise it shortly. It is not illegal in China.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Paul Anthony on November 22nd, 2015, 1:00 pm 

Eclogite » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:37 am wrote:
Paul Anthony » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:50 pm wrote:What baffles me is why suicide is a crime.
In which countries do you think suicide (or attempted suicide) is a crime? It has been decriminalised in most Western countries for some time. India plans to decriminalise it shortly. It is not illegal in China.


Yes, suicide was decriminalized in the US in 1961. It is still stigmatized, however, which is why assisted suicide is still illegal in most states.

And heirs hate it for the same reason insurance companies love it. :)
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Eclogite on November 22nd, 2015, 5:47 pm 

Paul Anthony » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:00 pm wrote:Yes, suicide was decriminalized in the US in 1961. It is still stigmatized, however, which is why assisted suicide is still illegal in most states.
You feel that assisted suicide is still illegal because it is stigmatized? You don't think it might be more related to ethical, or practical concerns? I don't believe I have ever heard anyone object to assisted suicide on those grounds.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Paul Anthony on November 22nd, 2015, 6:55 pm 

Eclogite » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:47 pm wrote: You feel that assisted suicide is still illegal because it is stigmatized? You don't think it might be more related to ethical, or practical concerns? I don't believe I have ever heard anyone object to assisted suicide on those grounds.


First of all, I "think", I don't "feel" assisted suicide is stigmatized. "Feeling" is an emotional response. I am not having an emotional reaction to this topic. I have given the matter some thought. For more on that distinction, read this: http://voltairepress.com/posts/thinking-vs-feeling/

Yes, there are other reasons some are opposed to assisted suicide, but I think those reasons have their basis in the belief that it is immoral to take a life. Some equate assisted suicide with murder. Others still consider all suicide to be morally wrong. That is the stigma to which I referred, which has a long history based on religious beliefs.

I could be wrong. Remember, I said "I think". I didn't say "I know". :)
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Eclogite on November 23rd, 2015, 5:40 am 

Paul Anthony » Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:55 pm wrote:
Eclogite » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:47 pm wrote: You feel that assisted suicide is still illegal because it is stigmatized? You don't think it might be more related to ethical, or practical concerns? I don't believe I have ever heard anyone object to assisted suicide on those grounds.
Yes, there are other reasons some are opposed to assisted suicide, but I think those reasons have their basis in the belief that it is immoral to take a life.
So, suicide was made illegal in some places because it was considered immoral to take a life. That is the same reason that it was stigmatised.

The stigmatisation and the illegality both arise from the moral issue. They are both consequences. One is not the cause of the other.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Paul Anthony on November 23rd, 2015, 1:09 pm 

Eclogite » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:40 am wrote:The stigmatisation and the illegality both arise from the moral issue. They are both consequences. One is not the cause of the other.


If you say so. What's your point?
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby TheVat on November 23rd, 2015, 1:14 pm 

The only moral grounds I have been able to find for opposing suicide are ones specific to a religion. For example, some theologians say that God gave us our life and only he/she can take it. Others say that all our actions exist in some kind of Eternity, and so we don't want an Eternity that contains anything so downbeat as self-killing. Others say there is a karmic value to suffering and we must accept a painful death if that is our fate. The point is, I don't see any secular moral basis for opposing suicide, so I don't see how a secular society can rationally take a position on suicide.

There are non-religious moral issues surrounding assisted suicide, however, given that there is a natural concern about the elderly being manipulated or coerced in some way. Personally, I don't think these are insurmountable problems, and well-crafted legislation should be able to both protect the elderly and give us all the freedom to find merciful release. And what is it about the Pacific Northwest that allows them to figure this stuff out before the rest of the country? Must be all the oxygen from those old-growth forests...
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby edy420 on November 24th, 2015, 4:44 am 

Braininvat » 24 Nov 2015, 02:14 wrote:The only moral grounds I have been able to find for opposing suicide are ones specific to a religion. For example, some theologians say that God gave us our life and only he/she can take it. Others say that all our actions exist in some kind of Eternity, and so we don't want an Eternity that contains anything so downbeat as self-killing. Others say there is a karmic value to suffering and we must accept a painful death if that is our fate. The point is, I don't see any secular moral basis for opposing suicide, so I don't see how a secular society can rationally take a position on suicide.

There are non-religious moral issues surrounding assisted suicide, however, given that there is a natural concern about the elderly being manipulated or coerced in some way. Personally, I don't think these are insurmountable problems, and well-crafted legislation should be able to both protect the elderly and give us all the freedom to find merciful release. And what is it about the Pacific Northwest that allows them to figure this stuff out before the rest of the country? Must be all the oxygen from those old-growth forests...


Suicide can sometimes be influenced by others. (perhaps always, to some degree?)
Abusive partners can cause their other half to commit suicide.
Sometimes indirectly through hardship, or directly by telling them to do it when they are frustrated/upset and the potential victim is most vulnerable.

I imagine someone who has advanced knowledge in psychology could willingly manipulate a feeble mind into self termination.

Japanese Samurai would give up their lives for their emperor, should he say so.
It is the Samurai's will to obey and to honor.
The loss of life, is not the will of the Samurai, but the will of the Emperor and therefore, murder.

IMO these are cases of murder, and I am sure there are other instances where suicide could also be a crime.

One does not simply kill themselves because its something to do when your bored.
I like to think that any suicide is societies fault, and a crime of society.
At present, the only disciplinary aspect of such a crime, is the grief caused by losing a loved one or friend.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby TheVat on November 24th, 2015, 10:47 am 

So excruciating pain from liver cancer is society's fault?

Clearly, there is rational and merciful suicide. And, as an issue, it's usually addressed in terms of agonizing terminal illness, so I find your example of dying for the emperor a bit of a red herring.

I have to get on the road for a Thanksgiving trip, so perhaps others can weigh in on this.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Eclogite on November 24th, 2015, 3:02 pm 

Paul Anthony » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:09 pm wrote:
Eclogite » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:40 am wrote:The stigmatisation and the illegality both arise from the moral issue. They are both consequences. One is not the cause of the other.


If you say so. What's your point?
You made a statement that struck me as inaccurate. I was seeking your agreement that the statement was inaccurate. You appear to be indifferent to this, which bemuses me enough to withdraw from the conversation.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby tberk on December 2nd, 2015, 5:44 pm 

Actually, these kind of law for punishments are made to prevent the abuses of the extreme points of the humans' liberty that may harm the other people.

I prefer to come up with Kant's approach of "Categorical Imperative". For Immanuel Kant, if we want to make a judgment about an issue first we should ask that What would be happen if everybody does that? Would it turn the world into a chaos or make it better?" Now let's assume that murder is not a crime and ask ourselves the question of Kant. If everybody would murder each other all of the human beings will destroy each other thus, the world would be in a chaos. Therefore, murder should be a crime. Otherwise, I am sure that some people would like to abuse it as they actually do in our real lives.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby edy420 on December 7th, 2015, 5:13 am 

Braininvat » 24 Nov 2015, 23:47 wrote:So excruciating pain from liver cancer is society's fault?

Clearly, there is rational and merciful suicide. And, as an issue, it's usually addressed in terms of agonizing terminal illness, so I find your example of dying for the emperor a bit of a red herring.

I have to get on the road for a Thanksgiving trip, so perhaps others can weigh in on this.


Hi,
In my first post I mention mercy killings/ assisted suicides are the exception.

Sometimes the only end for excruciating pain, is to end your life.
This is my position in similar threads too.

Teen suicide is usually at higher rates than other age groups.
I know two teens who did commit suicide and I know in both instances they could have been avoided, had they received more support from friends and loved ones.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Don Juan on December 9th, 2015, 12:28 pm 

manishsqrt wrote:Don't consider me as a criminal, neither am i an unsound person who is trying to justify murder.I just want a logical reason behind murder being depict as a crime.Most of you will feel this question stupid because we have an obvious feeling that murder is a crime.


We may have that kind of feeling because there are public laws in place that commands against commission of unlawful killing.

But have you ever thought that if death is a truth why only a specific method to die is crime.


We do not only die, we die within a society. Society, at least ours, have laws. You are not only an individual, but an individual in context - hierarchies of context. These levels of context have rules and constraints that one has to observe.

Other forms of killing like capital punishment or killing within boundaries of law are not considered crime though both of them are nearly similar activities.


They are not the same activities, because they happen at different conditions specified and distinguished by the laws.

Some of you may say that murder is a crime because we don't want to be killed, but then we also don't want to be failed in exam, ditched in love so why they re not crime?Does 'want' really has to do something with law?


Murder is a crime because the laws say it is a crime according the contexts these laws provided.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby BadgerJelly on December 10th, 2015, 12:14 am 

Empathy is the reason. The reason anything we define as a crime is a crime ... although in war it is deemed honourable to kill people and not classed as murder ?

Humans are contrary creatures! :)
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby edy420 on December 10th, 2015, 6:09 am 

BadgerJelly » 10 Dec 2015, 13:14 wrote:Empathy is the reason. The reason anything we define as a crime is a crime ... although in war it is deemed honourable to kill people and not classed as murder ?

Humans are contrary creatures! :)


The rules still apply, in a war situation.
When you have to kill in self defence, our justice system will often look at the act of killing, as a necessity to protect your own life.
In war, we are fighting to protect our society/way of life and protecting our fellow countrymen. (Supposedly)

When the stakes are kill or be killed, there is no crime, unless saving your life is against the law.
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby Combo on June 9th, 2016, 1:33 pm 

Murder is a crime because we've been told it has through laws, parents and TV.
Look at terrorism for instance, they think it's okay to murder people and reap the awards for it in heaven but that's an entirely different culture and that's my point. Who's right and who is wrong? Interesting perspective?
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Re: Why murder is a crime.

Postby BadgerJelly on June 9th, 2016, 1:58 pm 

The older I get I often think it is a crime not to kill certain people! Haha
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