Morality in Slaughterhouse Five Essay

This essay has a total of 765 words and 4 pages.


Morality in Slaughterhouse Five







The destruction of Dresden was not "moral," nor is any destruction, really. We as mere
mortals do not have the right to judge what is moral or not, however. That jurisdiction is
left to the powers that be. But, we can still make haphazard guesses as to what strikes us
as moral and immoral.

Killing other humans is not something we were given the authority to do. The means yes,
the will, yes; but not the authority. We have no right to decide who lives or dies. Think
of it this way, how would you like it if someone decided you should die for something you
had done, malicious or not.

Events like the utter destruction of Hiroshima or Baghdad, or anywhere else for that
matter, are completely detestable. Despite the fact that the inhabitants of those places
had done some things to us that were unacceptable, we still had no right to take the
action we took. There is no excuse for such action, there is almost always an available
alternative to annihilation.

Now, Sodom and Gomorrah, on the other hand, were destroyed morally and rightly by the
powers that be. The fact that Lot’s wife, and innocent in the matter (despite the fact
that she had compassion for the doomed), just happened to make a foolish choice. The
cities were destroyed by the powers that be, whether God or the gods, for reasons they saw
fit. It would seem the lesson did not take very well.

However, this was an exception to the rule. No individual or group of individuals was
directly involved in this. Those that were fit to be saved, were, and those unfit for
salvation were demolished. With mass killings as undertaken by mortals, there is no
determining or innocence or guilt. Innocents are killed alongside guilty. Those not even
involved are massacred along with the rest. That is not to say that people should be
sorted through, it is just to say that there is no rhyme or reason to it. It is simply
senseless killing.

The morality of the crusades is also in question. Christians (a.k.a.—the crusaders)
believe in acceptance, forgiveness and universality. However, they proceed to kill those
that do not comply with their religion. Am I the only one missing something? It seems to
me that people of a religious nature would rather discuss and compromise than storm and
pillage. But hey, I guess it worked. Still, it is bothersome that people of power did not
think at all…
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