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Morality In Slaughter-House Five Essay, Research Paper

The destruction of Dresden was not “moral,” nor is any destruction, really. We as mere mortals do not have the right to judge what is moral or not, however. That jurisdiction is left to the powers that be. But, we can still make haphazard guesses as to what strikes us as moral and immoral.

Killing other humans is not something we were given the authority to do. The means yes, the will, yes; but not the authority. We have no right to decide who lives or dies. Think of it this way, how would you like it if someone decided you should die for something you had done, malicious or not.

Events like the utter destruction of Hiroshima or Baghdad, or anywhere else for that matter, are completely detestable. Despite the fact that the inhabitants of those places had done some things to us that were unacceptable, we still had no right to take the action we took. There is no excuse for such action, there is almost always an available alternative to annihilation.

Now, Sodom and Gomorrah, on the other hand, were destroyed morally and rightly by the powers that be. The fact that Lot?s wife, and innocent in the matter (despite the fact that she had compassion for the doomed), just happened to make a foolish choice. The cities were destroyed by the powers that be, whether God or the gods, for reasons they saw fit. It would seem the lesson did not take very well.

However, this was an exception to the rule. No individual or group of individuals was directly involved in this. Those that were fit to be saved, were, and those unfit for salvation were demolished. With mass killings as undertaken by mortals, there is no determining or innocence or guilt. Innocents are killed alongside guilty. Those not even involved are massacred along with the rest. That is not to say that people should be sorted through, it is just to say that there is no rhyme or reason to it. It is simply senseless killing.

The morality of the crusades is also in question. Christians (a.k.a.?the crusaders) believe in acceptance, forgiveness and universality. However, they proceed to kill those that do not comply with their religion. Am I the only one missing something? It seems to me that people of a religious nature would rather discuss and compromise than storm and pillage. But hey, I guess it worked. Still, it is bothersome that people of power did not think at all?

I do believe that Christ would agree with me, as would Buddha. They were both deeply religious (obviously) and firm believers in peace. Neither one would desire senseless, ravaging acts of violence to be inflicted upon anyone. Forgiveness is something so often forgotten in our society. Mind you, I don not expect anyone to forget what happened to the Jews during WWI, or the other recent atrocities in the Middle East, these events are rather unforgivable. It would just be nice if people would talk things over once in a while.

Seems to me, that with all the violence that surrounds us everyday, we have become deadened to it. Almost accepting of it. People rarely, if ever, think about morality in modern times. What kind of state is a society in if someone will try to kill a pope? Not a very good one, if you ask me. Of course, morality is a very complex subject, I?m sure many people have died of aneurysms trying to puzzle it out. But, the fact remains that only the higher powers can really determine wrong from right. All we have are simple, childlike ways of reasoning out morality.

The frightening thought is, that wars have actually been fought over morality. I cannot see a bit of sense to that. Seems it would be something more appropriate for a lecture hall, or educated discussion, rather than carnage. Ah well, such is the nature of the human beast. Built to think we have the biggest brains, but bent on our own destruction.

I still feel that there is always room for reasoning and rational discussion in any situation. If discussion and real thinking were implemented in many situations today, think how much less violence we would have. However, mindless killing seems to be easier than engaging a brain. It is a pity, but humans will probably always be violent, if not at least aggressive. It is truly a shame. But, one must think of the over population problem at all times I suppose?


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