Violence and Morality Essay

Submitted By BrownJames1
Words: 1482
Pages: 6

Violence and Morality The world is full of people with a lot of differences. Some of the differences are based on cultures, preferences, appearances, or religious beliefs just to name a few. People have different perspectives, and they think differently about what is right and what is wrong. Some people may say that the right to do is what is in one’s own interest as long it is within the law (Bowie 576). There are also people who believe in utilitarianism which means the greatest good to the greatest number of people (Bowie 598). However, no matter the theory or principles behind people’s actions, some situations are extreme to the point where people have to think and struggle mentally before they come to a conclusion of what needs to be done, like abortion, war, or violence in general. Violence is one of extreme topics which make people debate and argue but still end up with no common answer to satisfy everyone, and it is defined as a behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something (oxford dictionaries, 2013). People who believe that violence is not morally right may justify their actions of waging for a particular war by calling it a just war. And those who consider themselves as pure pacifists believe that violence will never be morally permissible because no human being should consider his or her life worth more than any other human being at any cost in any situation for any reason. I hate violence in all its forms, but I am not a pacifist either. I believe violence is always wrong, but sometimes it is necessary.
People should not mistake necessity for morality because what is morally wrong sometimes is the necessary thing to do. Sometimes people found themselves in situations where the right way to act is not so obvious and they have to make a decision basing on what needs to be done. For example, During World War II a German Lutheran Pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was a pure pacifist. He truly believed that violence should never be used to stop violent acts. It happened that Nazis, with Adolph Hitler as their leader, in German were committing a horrible Genocide against Jews. Bonhoeffer found himself in a situation where it was possible to put an end to the extermination of Jews by killing Adolph Hitler. He did not have an easy choice. He was a convinced pacifist; he believed and taught others to never use violence for any reason. However, thousands of innocent Jews were being killed daily and he was presented with an option to save a lot of them. To make a long story short, he tried the assassination of Adolph Hitler and he failed. He was arrested and executed by hanging in 1945. But before he died he said that killing Hitler was necessary but it was wrong (“Dietrich Bonhoeffer”, 2013). I think that Bonhoeffer was trying to do the right thing; because though it was against his moral values, killing Hitler was necessary in order to save thousands of innocent Jews. Same situation may happen on a large scale where the issue of violence is between two countries. The person in the position of declaring war has only two choices. The first choice is to go to war for the right cause of saving thousands of innocent lives, but at the same time he or she will compromise his or her moral values of never taking a human life. The second choice is to hold on pacifism conviction and let thousands of innocent people, including children and old people, die hopelessly because the person with responsibility to protect them does not want to compromise his or her moral values. I believe that none of these two choices is easy to make, but the reality of life sometimes requires people to make a choice even when it is against their desires. I believe that the first choice is the right one because though going to war is morally wrong according to one’s moral values, it is necessary if it