Distinction between Killing and Murder
The terms “murder” and “kill” have been reported through media channels several times, especially when the media is informing the public about the deaths of people either as result of accidents or planned attacks. Both murder and killing results in the loss of lives. However, there is no clear distinction between the two terms. Aspects of murder and killing have only been associated with human beings. Limiting the concepts of kill and murder to human beings, it is an assumption that they are only living things that possess life. To clear this notion, this paper will focus on distinguishing between murder and killing as well highlighting various objects that possess life and are subject to death. The paper will also explore multiple individual actions that can be associated or may result in murder or killing. The “murder” and “kill” terms can be explained from different contexts. Ideally, murder is an intentional termination of other person’s life while killing is an accidental act that results in death (Papachristos 74). First, it is important to note that murder and killing can be perpetuated either by the ones-self actions or by another person. For example, the cases of suicide have been found to contribute to the self-murder. In this context, the cause of death is largely attributable to the individual actions. However, other factors such as mental illness indirectly cause self-murder. If someone commits suicide as a result of mental illness, the act becomes self-killing instead of murder. When one attempts to take his or her life through suicide, he or she violates his or her right to life.
The murder and killing can also be explored in the context of abortion. The issue of whether abortion is murder has been a topic of debate for years (Papachristos 84). Abortion in relation to death can be investigated from two points of views, as a murder and as killing. For example, in the situation where a woman where is aware that the pregnancy is worth human life and voluntarily proceeds to carry our termination; the action can be classified as the murder. On the other hand, whereby a woman is forced by circumstances such as health implications to carry out abortion then this can be termed as killing. However, moral, ethical and religious grounds do not support the termination of a vulnerable person even when the individual executing the task her life is in danger (Jawer).
Euthanasia is another cause of death that can be either through murder or killing. Ideally, euthanasia is taking of someone life with or without the consent of the person (Papachristos 74). In this context it difficult to explain how euthanasia is a form of killing. This paper finds it appropriate to define euthanasia as a murder. It is factual that this form of killing is not carried accidentally but with the knowledge of the healthcare professional and that the patient is going to die. Secondly, in the event where the death victim voluntarily agrees with the euthanasia procedure, then the killing is not accidental. Additionally, when euthanasia is undertaken without the consent of the victim, it is murder. Based on the general definitions of murder and killing, euthanasia is more of murder than a killing.Infanticide death can be perceived as a murder rather than a killing. The perpetrators of this act may be fully aware or unaware of the consequences to the infant. The ethical and moral ground rebukes infanticide if it is carried out intentionally but if the perpetuator carries out the cat out of mentally related ailments, it results in the killing. If death is as a result of self-defense, then it falls in the definition of killing because the perpetuator does so to protect himself or herself from imminent danger. Animal killing to provide food to the human beings is not murder, but when animals are killed to achieve evil goals, then it is murder.
People attribute murder to human beings only, and as a result, some scholars have defined murder as intentional actions by an individual to take someone else life (Papachristos 74). For example, when defining murder with the human being notion in mind only, it is purported that human death is caused by other person malicious intentions and actions. The definition of murder within the confinement of human life locks out other living things that can be subjected to death through murder. From the ethical perspective, it is considered wrong to terminate the life of any living organism. Therefore, apart from the human beings, animals and plants are also subjects of death, and their lives can terminate.
In the above discussion, it has come evident that plants and animals are subjects of death. This is an indication that they can go through pain and agony likewise, human beings go through when being murdered. The same way human murder is based on the malicious intentions and actions, also those who murder plants do so intentionally either to achieve certain satisfaction or out of sadist behavior. This because murder is not an intentional action but rather a planned duty that the perpetrators have to execute perfectly (Papachristos 75). For example, the murder of wild animals by the licensed hunters is an action that is well planned. Secondly, the murder of plants by the Vegans because they believe that is their way of lifestyle are not accidental acts. Besides, on several occasions, the world has witnessed the murdering of animals that are perceived to cause a threat to human life.
Killing is used not depict the death of human beings, animals, and plants. Just as it is the case with murder; killing has also been confined to loss of human lives only (Papachristos 74). However, this paper explores the act of killing from the perspective of human, animal, and plant lives. The term “kill” is a broad one, and it has frequently been used to explain the death of human beings. The killing of human beings has been largely associated with the unintentional individual actions. Therefore, the killing can be defined as an accidental event that results in the death of human beings. However, on many occasions they killing may not be strictly confined to the unintentional actions but also to intentional and planned actions. Likewise, plants and animals can be killed either intentionally or accidentally.
The definitions of murder and kill may appear confusing. The two terms sound almost the same. However, murder is more of a planned act than to kill. Additionally, killing may also be an act of committing murder. The acts of murder and killing have been largely discussed in relation to the human beings. However, from the ethical and moral perspectives murder and killing is not only limited to the human beings but also to other living things. Those who confine the two terms in the human environment argue that human and other livings are very distinct and cannot be classified in the same class (Jawer). For example, the subscribers of human beings as the only living organisms with souls advocate that humans are relational, rational and conscious beings who are ethical and responsible. On the other hand, they hold that animal lives are guided by their instincts, and they must be trained to conform to certain behavior. They go ahead to argue that plant lives are controlled by nature and cannot be said to possess soul as human beings. The dispositions against animal and plant lives depict that the two lacks morality as it is the case with human beings.This paper differs with subscribers who argue that only human beings who have feelings and therefore, definitions of murder and killing should be confined humans solely. The modern studies indicate that animals can feel and respond to the changes in the environment and human actions accordingly (Jawer). For example, they can show anxiety, pain, grief, embarrassment, and sadness. This is an indication that animals have souls and therefore, killing them is morally wrong. It can also argue that some animals may be cognizant more with their feelings than the human race. For example, elephants, monkeys, parrots, and rats are endowed with the certain form of consciousness, and they are less affected by the environmental complexities that affect human consciousness. On the other hand, plants just like humans and animals can interact, thrive and survive. These plant properties are an indication that plant possesses life like humans.
In conclusion, it has been evidently proven that human beings, animals, and plants possess almost similar characteristics that make them prone to murder and killing. All the three organisms are subjects to death. However, human beings are more associable with murder and killing aspects than the animal and plants. Human beings are rational and more conscious than other two objects. Additionally, a human being can be subjected to death through different forms of murder such as euthanasia, suicide, self-defense, abortion, and infanticide, unlike plant and animals.