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CaptainHarley's avatar

Under what circumstances ( if any ) would you kill another human being?

Asked by CaptainHarley (22437points) January 22nd, 2010

I consider this a serious question. What would drive you to kill someone? Extreme violence against someone you love? Trying to prevent them from kllling another person you don’t know? Or are there NO circumstances whatsoever which would drive you to take the life of another person?

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48 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

If they were trying to kill me, and there was no other way about it.

rangerr's avatar

To protect my loved ones, a child or my horses.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Self defense, or to protect my family.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

It’s hard to say exactly what I would actually do if I were in that situation, but I think I would most likely kill for revenge. Say, if they had murdered anybody in my family.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know if I could. I suppose to protect my family I would. Fortunately I’ve never been in that situation and hope never to be.

mammal's avatar

as someone who subscribes to Buddhism i find the taking of life abhorrent, that is, all life all sentient life, having said that i could do it, if it were cosmically expedient, so to speak.

plethora's avatar

I would kill someone who was trying to kill me or someone I loved. I would kill a known terrorist in a moment even if he were drinking a cup of coffee and minding his own business at the moment.

knitfroggy's avatar

Obviously if they were trying to kill me, I’d try to kill them back. Or if someone hurt one of my kids or molested them, they’d be dead meat. Other than that, everyone is pretty safe.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

To protect my wife, children, parents, in-laws.

Not that I’d have much luck doing so, in my condition.

mammal's avatar

@plethora that is sad, that you could kill someone who is driven to terrorism, for reasons you could probably never comprehend, you in your world, they in theirs.

Bluefreedom's avatar

My exact answer from another Fluther question similar to this one:

Only if it was in the line of duty and it was under circumstances that warranted the use of deadly force. (I’m in a law enforcement career field)

Edit: I’d also use deadly force in self-defense and defense of others (where applicable)

mammal's avatar

on the subject i find this very poignant, what about a mercy killing?

DrBill's avatar

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

If their continued existence would cause the death of an innocent.

As a person who has taken life, I can honestly tell you, even though this question and the answers are purely academic, no one will know how the taking of a human life will effect them until they do, but it is something that cannot be undone.

filmfann's avatar

I used to think that I wouldn’t kill anyone under any circumstance.
Since then, I have worked for the worst, most evil boss in the world.
I now believe I can do it.

poisonedantidote's avatar

if they where trying to kill me i would defend my self by whatever means, including killing them first, or if anyone killed or seriously harmed a member of my family intentionally i would do so as an act of revenge.

most likely with some torture attached for the latter event

plethora's avatar

@mammal My friend, no one is “driven” to terrorism. They take themselves there and they murder the innocent without a second thought.

mammal's avatar

@plethora no they do not….. you play too many video games, or watch too much fox news, or Stephen Seagal movies

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

To defend my own life, I’m sure.

Hopefully to defend the lives of loved ones or neighbors being grievously attacked.

If chosen to execute rapists, torturers and child molesters.

plethora's avatar

@mammal To the best of my recollection the guys who flew the planes into the World Trade towers were terrorists and they did it willingly and proudly and murdered over 3000 innocent people in one day. I believe all the networks carried that.

DrMC's avatar

If I was a gynecologist?

DrMC's avatar

Silly americans carrying on about human rights. We have a fresh and ready source of organs…

kevbo's avatar

One time I had to kill this Japanese executive because he wouldn’t give me the code to the vault in the basement on the 30th floor of Nakatomi Plaza.

DrBill's avatar

The vault was on the 30th floor

kevbo's avatar

Yeah, it was like 20 years ago, so it’s hard to remember all the details.

Master's avatar

Better not to self incriminate, just in case!

shego's avatar

I would, for loved ones, doesn’t matter to me if they are family or friends. To me, they are family.

Violet's avatar

Self defence, or defending someone else
(and I agree with @Master)

mammal's avatar

@plethora perhaps they whoop and cheer and high five like the American Military when they score a direct hit on some dirt poor ramshackle village in the ass end of no-where, perhaps they are steely calm, confident in their convictions, or maybe they are plagued with second thoughts and the cold sweat of creeping uncertainty….who knows….not you, that’s for sure.

TexasDude's avatar

In defending myself or someone I love.
I would also do the same, if required, to protect someone I don’t know who was under attack.

scotsbloke's avatar

Hard question.
In self defence, or as part of my job maybe (If I was still in the Army)
............accidently….... – gwd I hope not!.

or if they stole my chocolate bar!

augustlan's avatar

Self defense, or in defense of family, certainly. Hopefully, in defense of a stranger if needed. If I caught someone in the act of molesting one of my children. That last one would be an act of rage… pure and simple. I would never kill the perpetrator after the fact.

Seek's avatar

I honestly don’t know.

If I ever killed someone, it would be sheer accident. Even in the instances mentioned above (self-defense, protecting family), I’m much more likely to injure or disable them. I’d rather the bastards live with the guilt (and whatever scars I happen to leave upon them).

Tenpinmaster's avatar

If the life of someone that i loved was in imment danger, i would defiantly do it. It’s hard to put yourself in that situation though because killing another human being is big business and is against everything that I believe in. Though if it came down to self preservation or the preservation of those that I hold dear, fight or flight response kicks in and I will kill to protect that which matters most to me.

Cruiser's avatar

If I found a total stranger was sitting on my couch wearing my clothes, eating my last piece of chocolate cake…that would be their last breath on earth.

Ame_Evil's avatar

If they were annoying me and I would get away with it.

Seek's avatar

I’d like to add one of my favourite Clint Eastwood quotes.

“It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got, and all he’s ever going to have.”

filmfann's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr The best line from his best movie (tied with GBU)

DrBill's avatar


“Killin’ ain’t much of a living” Clint Eastwood as Josey Wales

mattbrowne's avatar

If this other human being is about to kill my children and it’s the only way to prevent this.


Only if he or she was about to kill me or my loved ones.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Just for argument’s sake, let’s say that it was obvious another country was going to invade your country. Would you kill to make sure that never happened?

DrBill's avatar

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt
“It’s bad enough to have to kill a man without having to listen to a lot of stupid talk first.”
James Garner, in Support your local sheriff

augustlan's avatar

@CaptainHarley It depends. Is the invasion justifiable? In other words, did we start it? Could I strategically assassinate the one or two people responsible for it (in charge of it, or causing it) and that would end the war altogether? If you’re asking whether I could shoot the average soldier, just doing his job, when my or my childrens lives were not in imminent danger… then no.

TexasDude's avatar

@augustlan, even if we somehow “deserved” to be invaded, I would still fight back.

CaptainHarley's avatar


As would I, but I would love to know your reason(s) for doing so. : )

augustlan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard and @CaptainHarley

Well, I’m a major pacifist (and possibly a wuss) and in the general course of things I’d be unable to kill someone unless my life (or my childrens lives) were in imminent danger. Obviously, I’d make a terrible soldier. If I expected this country to be invaded, I’d take my family and head for the hills. I’m pretty certain my husband would stay and fight, but I wouldn’t be able to. I’d much rather fight against the war long before that happened, though.

I might be able to rationalize killing one or two individuals for the greater good, if they were actually responsible for the mess and killing them would put a stop to it.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh, I gotcha, @augustlan. I had missed that second part of your answer too where you mentioned killing the “average” soldier. While we obviously differ in points of view, I can see your point more clearly now. Thanks for explaining.

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