The Argument On Self Defence

1205 Words5 Pages
My view is that killing an innocent threat in defence of oneself or others can be justified, but only when it meets the traditional constraints of being necessary, proportionate and imminent (Townsend 2014:34-35). I take this position because, in agreeance with Hobbes (1651:153-163) and Thompson (1990:135-141), I hold that person’s always retain the liberty right to self defence and that by perpetrating a lethal threat to a person’s life, one forfeits their own right to life. I will defend this claim by explaining the position of Hobbes (1651:153-163) and Thompson (1991:287), showing why traditional constraints are necessary and replying to Otsuka’s (1994:143-151) argument on self defence. Throughout this essay, I shall take any argument that espouses or rejects the killing of innocent threats in self defence to also espouse or reject the killing of innocent threats in defence of others. Hobbes (1651:153-163) argues that at root, all men are equal and this produces equality of hope for attaining goals, leading to competition, distrust and eventually the desire for glory. These characteristics lead men to invade for various reasons and therefore, without someone to ‘over-awe’ them all, man is in a perpetual state of war of every man against every man. In order to become a more advanced society and in the interest of self-preservation men must seek peace and follow it. Hopefully entering into a contract and submitting to a commonwealth that can act as the ‘over awe’ and thereby govern its citizens with laws and continue the state of war as a collective. However, since man chooses to enter this contract as a means of self-preservation then he always retains the right to self defence. Even against the commonwealth to which he has subm... ... middle of paper ... ...on 1991:287). I then showed that the traditional constraints on self defence are necessary in order to maintain peace and how the constraints fit nicely into Thompsons (1991:287) view. In fairness, I have presented Otsuka’s (1994:148) opposing view and then replied with three independent reasons for rejecting that view. I have then shown why even if one finds this moral reasoning objectionable that intuition alone stands in stark opposition to the impermissibility of using lethal force in defence of Innocent Threats. The independent sub conclusions of Hobbes (1651:153-163) and Thompson (1991:287), the supporting conclusion of the necessity of traditional constraints and the reasoned rejection of a seemingly compelling counter argument should be enough to show the reader the strength of the argument for the permissibility of killing an Innocent Threat in self defence.

More about The Argument On Self Defence

Open Document