Putin’s War Poses Uncomfortable Questions

by Todd Fulginiti

The news today shows another round of destroyed Ukrainian buildings, including a theater where civilians had been sheltering to avoid being killed by Russian shelling.  It didn’t work.  

Other headlines cite breadlines and humanitarian help centers coming under fire as well. The death tolls are unknown. But there is death. And these people are not even combatants- they are everyday people like you and I, just trying to live life.

Yet the killing continues. And it raises questions about what it takes to kill; not just in war but in many situations.

I don’t know if these questions have answers, but they certainly merit our consideration.

How does one human justify killing another?  

Is it acceptable to kill a few in order to stop the killing of many?

Do we allow some people to be killed in order to prevent the possible death of many more?

Can a person do something so heinous that they should be put to death?

Should someone behaving recklessly and endangering people’s lives be stopped at any cost before their actions result in someone’s injury or death?

Do our answers change if things become more personal?

What, if anything, would you kill for?  A cause?  A country? Ironically-love?

Could you kill an enemy soldier in a combat situation?  What if they were not posing an immediate threat?

Would you kill someone if they were an imminent and deadly threat to your family?  What if they were just threatening your friends instead?

Could you be the one to carry out the task in a capital punishment verdict?

If you eat meat, would you continue to do so if you needed to kill the animals yourself?

Have you ever had to euthanize your pet?

Killing is killing.  Or is it?  

The variations on these questions are endless.  I’m not sure thinking about them yields any great conclusions; yet not thinking about them seems unacceptable, especially in light of what’s happening now in Ukraine.

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