The Morality of Murder


Why isn’t murder morally ethical? Many would argue that it entirely depends on the situation or scenario that is given. In both of the short stories, “The Ones that Walked Away from Omelas’ ‘ and “The Lottery”, there are ethical dilemmas and moral dilemmas throughout both. Both of them have to do with murder or abuse in order to have a perfect “Utopia”. The “perfect Utopia” is only sustained by murdering or abusing someone to keep up an illusion. Some may argue that what’s happening in the stories isn’t morally ethical, however , things aren’t  always as they seem at first glance.

In the short story, “The Lottery ” people gather  and pull a name from a black box every year. Whoever is chosen is stoned to death by the rest of the village. Yes, what they do is not morally ethical by any means, but in their eyes it”s justifiable. In  the village, they were raised and taught that what they were doing was right. And Many  have accepted this, including the oldest man in the village. At one point in the story, they talked about how some of the other villages are starting to abandon the lottery. When they talked about following suit the old man was opposed because  it was tradition. The old man claimed it has been a tradition since the first settlers built the village and stopping now would be abandoning it, which was morally incorrect. He looked down at the other villages that were abandoning it. Almost all the village citizens agreed with the man’s views;,  the tradition was all they had known, and abandoning it would be wrong. many villages continued the tradition, and very few had problems with it.. If you could, would you stop this or would you let it slowly fade on its own? 

In order to create their “perfect utopia” in, “The Ones that Walked away from Omelas,” they took a child and subjected them to a life of abuse and torment. This poor soul was chosen to be the sacrifice for this “Utopia”. No one chose to step in or stop it, because of tradition. This is wrong in almost everyone’s eyes. It was  morally  wrong and against what most people believe in. Many people would argue against this, but if we were to look at it from the point of view of someone inside the town, we would realize that what they are doing is justifiable. They justify the abuse and torment of this child by showing that the citizens of the town chose to ignore it.Although time was never specified, , many can assume that the tradition of the town has been practiced for a while.Readers can conclude that their tradition  will  continue on. They decided that the torment of one was more beneficial for the many.The life of the child was a necessary sacrifice. They use utilitarianism to reason, that the suffering of the child will guarantee a “perfect life for all in Omelas”. This story depicted utilitarianism perfectly. If you had a choice to make between a decision benefiting everyone at the cost of one person, would you do it?

Most of the time murder is morally unethical. It’s frowned upon in most places of the world and is illegal. unless under specific circumstances. Usually, murder is never the answer, howeversometimes it’s necessary. There are few situations that call upon it. There will always be circumstances where you have no other option and murder is the best or only option.Most people never  want to commit murder, however there are some exceptions. Some people kill for fun or because they have no other options. Those who murder for fun, do so because in their eyes, it is morally okay.. Killing for enjoyment is obviously not morally or ethically correct, however morality is not always an obvious answer. One example of wheremorallity is not so black and white  is when someone kills to save their own, or another’s, life. Majority of people wouldkill in this scenario,, but they would also have to live with that guilt. For most people, killing another in any circumstance causes an inescapable guilt that weighs on them for life.Illustrates the blurred line of right and wrong. Killing to protect human life, in self-defense, or in defense of someone else is not wrong nor completely right. It’s called justifiable homicide. Now, this brings the question…would you murder someone if you had to?

In some cases, murder is justifiable while in others it isn’t. There will always be situations and choices that push someone’s morals to the edge, but in the end it is up to that person to make their choice. Ethical and moral dilemmas will always be part of life, but that is what helps humans grow. There are always two sides to the same story and most of the time it is when someone’s morals are in the wrong place.