PhiloTalk Forums Subjects Philosophy Axiology Ethics When is it wrong to kill?


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    Ethical systems, such as those found in religions, often contain simple rules telling us how to behave. The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is one example. But it doesn’t take long to realize that rules like this are almost never simple. It’s almost always possible to think of examples of exceptions to the rule with which most people would agree.

    Is it possible to state a simple, universally applicable rule as to when/under what circumstances it is wrong to kill? Or does every case need to be considered individually? Are there as many aspects to the rule as there are instances of killing?

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