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A short story designed to challenge popular views of right and wrong.


Submitted:Jun 29, 2007    Reads: 170    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


The Arbiter

People in the military and law enforcement kill people every day. Supporters of these killers considered such killing to be necessary. Instead I ask why these killers put themselves in such situations. Shouldn't we avoid these situations? Perhaps we have found too many reasons to kill each other. What would you do to avoid killing someone?

I find that mythology can be used to put ethical ideas in perspective. Image a supreme arbiter of right and wrong. Let us suppose this arbiter wrote on a stone tablet, "Thou shall not kill another person." Under this line he wrote, "No exceptions." He then wrote, "It is the responsibility of each person to find a path in life that avoids Killing."

A soldier who kills another person in war or a police officer who kills a person while enforcing a law is violating the rule of the arbiter. Remember the arbiter said, "No exceptions." These people have failed to find an alternative path. Instead they put themselves in a position where they killed another person.

Let us suppose the arbiter adds more rules. He wrote, "Anyone who is a member of an organization that that kills another person is also guilty of the murder. These organizations include nations and religions." This rule makes it our duty not to belong to any groups who murder other people. The arbiter them wrote, "You must help these organizations stop killing."

Some people might find the rules of the arbiter too difficult to follow. These people do not have the courage or strength to obey the arbiter. Instead such people prefer inferior ethical doctrines such as the Christian Bible, the Muslim Koran, the Hindu Gita or the American Constitution. Such documents are full of loopholes, exceptions and excuses that permit a person to kill another person.

I think it would be better to follow the rules of the arbiter. Let us find ways to avoid killing people. Let us not join organizations that kill. Let us build a path in life where we can avoid killing. Let us not put ourselves in situations where we feel a need to kill. Let us help all people to find a better path.

Some of you might say that my arbiter myth is unrealistic. You might say that situations will come up where we are unable to follow the rules of the arbiter. The arbiter then wrote one final line on his tablet, "I check with the goddess of fortune. She told me that we should never think that we must kill. There is always an alternative Path. Look and you will find that path."





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