Monday, April 23, 2007

Universal Laws (8) Murder

Murder is wrong in every religion and every culture. Even soldiers trained for warfare can find it hard to pull the trigger when they meet their enemy face-to-face. Gangsters and thugs may seem to kill people quite casually, but they know it is wrong. Here is another simple law accepted by everyone.

You shall not murder
Murder is deliberately taking another person's life. Intention to kill is an important ingredient.

Everyone understands that accidents sometimes happen. If a person is killed by accident, it is clearly not murder. These situations are not always black and white. Someone may take a careless action that results in the death of another. He did not intend to kill the person, so he has not committed murder, but his action did cause the death of another, so he is partly responsibility.

For example, if the head flies off the axe of person chopping wood and kills someone walking by, the wood chopper is not guilty of murder. However, if the he knew that the axe head was loose and had come off several times before, the axeman would be partly responsible for the death. In these circumstance, a judge would have to decide how dangerous risky it was to use the axe and how clearly the axeman understood the risk.

If he had borrowed the axe from someone else, he may not have known that the head had flown off several times. In this case, part of the responsibility might lie with the person who owned the axe.

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