Is Violence Ever Justified When Life is at Stake?

Ben Spangler

Is violence ever justified when life is at stake?


My English class was talking about whether violence was ever justified when your life is at stake in a Socratic seminar. Some people said that violence was never justified, but in rebuttal other classmates said that violence was justified if it is life-threatening.

Some articles stated that violence is closely linked with religion. There are multiple accounts where a religious figure uses violence to solve a problem. Ra’anan S. Boustan is a religious enforcer and reader of all types of religion. Ra’anan S. Boustan states that “violence can be found throughout the pages of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.” Philip Jenkins is a researcher of the Bible and all the hidden messages in it. Philip Jenkins describes the Bible as overflowing with “texts of terror.” By stating this many people might disagree and say that the Bible wasn’t just violence oriented, but it does use violence to solve problems. Some problems include in Duet 20:16 God orders the Israelites to slaughter everything that breathes. This shows violence because they killed everyone in the village. This is a case where violence was justified because it saved an entire village to the west. So in response a rebuttal could be that if no one would ever used violence there would be no life-threatening problems. The weakness is that average citizens have different points of view on what violence is. People might not think it is violent to kill.

Finally In response I believe that violence is justified in some cases. like if someone was going to get shot you should be able to hit the shooter to protect them. In conclusion I have learned that what religion you believe in can alter your feelings on violence and whether it is justified or not.