Why is murder immoral?

I asked that question of some smug atheist snowflake on Fox Nation a little while ago.

Several times.

Her repeated answer was because it was detrimental to society, to which my repeated response was that her answer explained why it was ILLEGAL, not why it was immoral.


Made me wonder...
Is it really that hard a question?

Because I can answer the question in five words.



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Comments

  • It deprives another of his natural right to life.
  • dgm said:

    It deprives another of his natural right to life.

    *ding ding ding ding*

    To acknowledge that makes conversations about Margaret Sanger and abortion very uncomfortable for liberals.
  • dgm said:

    It deprives another of his natural right to life.

    Why does that matter?
  • Seabird said:

    dgm said:

    It deprives another of his natural right to life.

    *ding ding ding ding*


    Actually, there's no "ding, ding, ding" yet.

    Although Dave got a helluva lot closer to the truth than any of those progtards did.


    One more logical leap.

    As Oma Desala would say; "Because it is so clear, it takes a longer time to realize it. If you
    immediately know the candlelight is fire, then the meal was cooked a
    long time ago
    ."
  • MC Escher said:

    dgm said:

    It deprives another of his natural right to life.

    Why does that matter?
    Because if you can deprive them, they can deprive you.
  • True, but... missing the point.

    I'll give the answer tomorrow if nobody gets it.

    Jimp will probably get it.
  • Well with that hint...

    "Because God says so."
  • Yeah, but what would the fifth word be?  My guess:

    "Thou shall not commit murder."
    -God
  • I was being compact. I could have written "Because God says it is." to satisfy the five word requirement.

    But since we're not writing Haikus here, I thought the meaning mattered more than the form.
  • My intuitive answer would be to ask:
    "Would you like to be murdered?"
  • dgm said:

    But since we're not writing Haikus here,.




    ah-HEMHemhem...

    Why is murder wrong?
    How can it be immoral
    when it feels so right?
  • *tears welling*
  • MC Escher said:

    True, but... missing the point.

    I'll give the answer tomorrow if nobody gets it.

    Jimp will probably get it.

    Wait, murder is immoral because plug-in electric cars are silly?

    Looks like nbody got it.
  • nbody said:

    dgm said:

    But since we're not writing Haikus here,.




    ah-HEMHemhem...

    Why is murder wrong?
    How can it be immoral
    when it feels so right?
    I knew I could count on you.
  • There’s a different question I sometimes pose as intellectual exercise…


    Is murder wrong because God says so; or does God say so because it’s wrong?
  • dgmdgm
    edited December 6
    I'm not entirely settled on the idea that God is a real thing. For sake of argument, let's assume He isn't.

    That means God is a mental construct created by humans.

    Why did humans do that? What problem does God solve?

    Is it a necessity of a functioning society to have some shared set of beliefs about what is right and wrong? I think so. 

    God tells us what is right and wrong. But really, it's the collective cultural/tribal wisdom about what's right and wrong, that is passed down as the word of God, in order for society to keep functioning.

    Given all that, I think "God says so, because it's wrong," because humans need to not be murdered in order to have a functioning society. In a functioning society, where it's unlikely that any of us will at any point be murdered we are able to have some basic level of trust in each other.

    If murder wasn't wrong, I could just murder you and take your stuff, instead of trading with you. Trading makes us both better off, in a functioning society.

    This all feels like consequentialism/utilitarianism to me.
  • You're over thinking it.

    Answer the question within it's own context.
  • MC Escher said:

    You're over thinking it.

    That's what I do. It's literally my job to overthink things.
    MC Escher said:


    Answer the question within it's own context.

    They speak English in What?
  • MC Escher said:

    There’s a different question I sometimes pose as intellectual exercise…


    Is murder wrong because God says so; or does God say so because it’s wrong?

    Because God says so.  Otherwise, you're positing some other higher moral authority, which is incoherent alongside the concept of God.
  • Because it is taking something that is not yours to take?  Why is theft wrong?
  • Slap said:

    MC Escher said:

    There’s a different question I sometimes pose as intellectual exercise…


    Is murder wrong because God says so; or does God say so because it’s wrong?

    Because God says so.  Otherwise, you're positing some other higher moral authority, which is incoherent alongside the concept of God.


    What makes you so sure that I am positing a higher moral authority?



  • Nothing in his life
    became him like leaving it.
    Another task done.
  • OK, two answers, the second first


    I asked the question; "Is murder wrong because God says it is; or did God say it is because it is wrong?"

    It's a verbal Rorschach test that distinguishes those who don't have an internal moral compass from those who do.




    At dinner the other night I was going to make an observation when the waiter interrupted.

    What I was going to say is that I had come to the conclusion that most people would be best off living in a Constitutional Monarchy and that relatively few have what it takes to live in a Republic.

    The problem with needing to have a set of external rules to guide you is that sooner or later you come up against a circumstance not covered by the rules.

    ==============================

    On the first question; "Why is murder immoral?", the answer is simple.

    Five Words: "Every life has inherent value"
  • MC Escher said:


    Slap said:

    MC Escher said:

    There’s a different question I sometimes pose as intellectual exercise…


    Is murder wrong because God says so; or does God say so because it’s wrong?

    Because God says so.  Otherwise, you're positing some other higher moral authority, which is incoherent alongside the concept of God.

    What makes you so sure that I am positing a higher moral authority?

    Because that is the nature of the alternatives you've posed.  Either God is the supreme moral authority or he isn't.



    MC Escher said:

    It's a verbal Rorschach test that distinguishes those who don't have an internal moral compass from those who do.


    To what magnetic field is your internal "moral" compass oriented?  If you reject the idea that there is an external North Pole and South Pole, your internal compass doesn't point you anywhere.
    If morality or moral compasses were really just internal, they why is your moral compass pointing you closer to true North, than James Dahlmer or Stalin's?


    MC Escher said:


    The problem with needing to have a set of external rules to guide you is that sooner or later you come up against a circumstance not covered by the rules.


    Then you take advantage of the New Testament, step away from being guided only by the rules if the Old Testament, and make your best effort to engage in reasoning about how to follow a good (in fact, the best) moral example.  This has been the central challenge of Christian theology since incorporating Greek philosophy into the early church.
  • edited December 7
    MC Escher said:

    On the first question; "Why is murder immoral?", the answer is simple.

    Five Words: "Every life has inherent value"


    I agree that you're answer is a true statement, but how do we convince anyone else that we have the moral authority to override their internal moral compasses, when they don't point North as truly as ours?

    I can only think of two alternatives at the moment: Either you wind up confusing political and moral authority, or you try to argue/reason from a superior or supreme moral authority.  Am I overlooking a third alternative?  Without God as a supreme moral authority are you stuck in that former alternative, where morality is just political and if you're born under Stalin's rule being a "good" soldier means torturing those enemies of the state that get sent to your gulag.
  • Meh... I still like Dave's answer the best. The right to life is pretty fundamental and murder is a deprivation of that right.
  • Slap said:

    If you reject the idea that there is an external North Pole and South Pole, your internal compass doesn't point you anywhere.




    The cage was nearer; it was closing in. Winston heard a succession of shrill cries which appeared to be occurring in the air above his head. But he fought furiously against his panic. To think, to think, even with a split second left – to think was the only hope. Suddenly the foul musty odor of the brutes struck his nostrils. There was a violent convulsion of nausea inside him, and he almost lost consciousness. Everything had gone black. For an instant he was insane, a screaming animal. Yet he came out of the blackness clutching an idea. There was one and only one way to save himself. He must interpose another human being, the body of another human being, between himself and the rats.

    "Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!"
  • My GF is reading 1984 right now. I'm next. Can you believe I've never read it???
  • edited December 7
    dgm said:

    My GF is reading 1984 right now. I'm next. Can you believe I've never read it???

    This is an interesting experiment. Both slap and I would have read this when we were 12 or 14. I had the same reaction he did, which was to feel sympathy for Smith.

    Slap reread the book as an adult and had a very different reaction, which was that Smith deserved everything he got. I wonder whether an adult mind with relatively fixed ideas of right and wrong is less likely to identify with Smith.

    Personally, I enjoyed Animal Farm more.
  • Read it in HS

    & re read it approx 3-4 yrs ago.
    (also watched the movie around that time)

    Similar reaction.
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