Should humans be allowed to decide who lives and dies?

The Death Note

Whilst it’s not necessary to watch Death Note, it may help you to understand this post better.

There are a lot of series that people will watch that will make them ask interesting questions about life, some of which can be very pressing issues and one of those series is Death Note. Having watched a few episodes of Death Note it brought an interesting question to mind. As humans should we really be allowed the right to decide who lives with the intention to kill those who have proven that they are bad people?

The premise of the series is that a young man (Light Yagami) finds a book (the Death Note) which allows him to kill anybody as long as he’s seen their face, knows their name and writes the person’s name in the book. He proceeds to use the book to kill anybody that he deems evil in an attempt to create a perfect world. Along his path there are people who disagree with what he does and attempt to stop him with the belief that he himself is evil.

As humans, we already make the choice as to who lives and dies through court and other means, of course it depends on the country that you live in. There’s also the fact that not everybody agrees with the court system but what if a random person gained the ability to kill people just like Light and set out to make a world like the one Light desires, would that be right? Even if it was, isn’t there something inherently weird about humans trying to play the role of God?

For some they may argue that if a human gained the ability to play God and killed those who proved themselves as bad people, it would be great due to the fact that the people who are dying, are dying in order to make the world a safer place however there’s also the fact that not everybody in the world has the same opinion of one particular person so while some will agree that if somebody plays the role of God and kills off ‘bad’ people it would be a good thing, there will be detractors arguing that the people being killed off aren’t objectively bad and even go as far to say that the human killing off other humans is the one who’s evil.

The question itself is a very tricky one which requires a lot of thought due to the fact that it doesn’t really have a right answer, both sides of the spectrum are easy to understand and the primary motivation for both when you really look at either side of the argument is that human life is sacred.

The chances are that something like this will never happen however it’s very interesting to think about the possibilities of a morally ambiguous question.

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