Christian and Natural Law Ethical Principles
All societies hold that the human life is sacred. However, in some situations, killing is necessary in order to restore or protect justice. Morally, there is no absolute reason to justify killing. Any single person is very important to the society even if they do not necessarily have any use for an individual. The Bible has laid down guidelines outlining the sanctity of life. In Genesis, chapter 4: 1-13 the story of Cain and Abel shows how deeply God was angered by the shedding of innocent blood. However, in times of war God gave his people victory through bloodshed.
When many people were killed in the enemy’s side, it was considered the victory. In the Ten Commandments, the sixth commandment states that one shall not kill (NIV bible 2011).Of controversy today is the killing of embryos, human beings with severe irreversibly medical conditions and gay people. In ethics, the morality of taking an innocent life is not unitary. Whether a person is innocent or guilty lies in the legal context and in a lesser scale morally (Michael 2000).
A person’s morals, culture and religious background often dictates what is morally right and justifiable and what is wrong. The killing of innocent people, therefore, depends on many aspects. Innocence is relative while some people may pose a threat to a nation or a person’s life. Sometimes killing can be justifiable. For instance, in war, a person may discover a huge secret that poses a risk to another country, it may be justifiable to kill one and save many. This is not in any way disregarding the sanctity of life. In the cases of gay people, the bible states clearly that homosexual should not be allowed to live. Scientist argues that homosexuality is a sexual orientation just like heterosexuality. This is morally and ethically controversial issue. However, considering that all humans will ultimately face immortality and judgment before God, it is only wise to let people make their own decisions.
Homosexuality is a capital offence in many countries especially in Africa. In Uganda and Malawi, homosexuals face execution on being caught. This is because they go against the culture and beliefs of the local people. The killing of innocent unborn babies is often justified by the mothers’ psychological and physical condition. However, some people do it for selfish reasons that are beyond health. This solves social and economic problems but may not solve the guilt that one may feel thereafter. There is also the judgment of God, which may bring a curse upon one life. In my opinion, killing of any person is wrong, as only God should reserve the right to condemning people for their wrongs. However, it is justifiable depending on the moral reasons surrounding the decision. In the Islam religion, killing of innocent people is justifiable on many grounds. The killing of innocent people was witnessed in Afghan when some people were allegedly accused of burning a Quran. In this context, killing is justified in the name of God (Kaczor, 2010).
True happiness may be achieved in the killing of a person depending on the circumstances. The killing of Osama bin laden was seen as a huge success to all anti-terrorist nations and it resulted in happiness. However, the Rwandan genocide left the participants guilty and ashamed. They did not achieve the goal with which they destroyed the lives of innocent people. More than 800,000 people were killed on tribal suspicion. In the end, the war had no winner. Killing of an unborn baby may give short-term satisfaction but may lead to regrets later in life.