Friday, May 13, 2011

The Right to Self-Defense

For the right to self-defense,
 I refer to a single being's self-defense 
rather than a group or a nation's self-defense.

This right derives from medieval natural law:
Thomas Aquinas's (1225?-1274) "principle of double effect"
in his Summa Theologica (II-II, Qu. 64, Art.7).
He wrote that harming or killing an assailant was justified,
as long as it is not taken out of proportion to excessive violence
and if the killing is not intentional.

This principle has been used
to defend actions of war, abortion, and assisted suicide.



Actor Matt Damon as the main character in the film The Bourne Ultimatum,
using the Right to Self-Defense.


47 comments:

the nyanzi report said...

interesting.

Anonymous said...

The right to self-defense is an important one, but to what extent? Is it justifiable to attack first in order to protect you yourself from imminent attack? Is that preemptive self-defense or outright aggression? Where is the line drawn?

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should agree with this right. I know if I feel as if my life is in danger, I would have no hesitation in exercising my right to self-defense.
Ma Mo

Perry Colon said...

The right to self defense starts with choosing your fights wisely. Defending yourself if your life is at risk is where this right should be used. A lot of people abuse this right and that is why it’s such a controversial right. What if you’re protecting your wife, best friend, or children from being injured or killed? There are so many complications with this right and it very hard to determine when you really are defending yourself or others in a right manner.

Anonymous said...

The right to self-defense is an important human right even though not all individuals have the determination, the necessary strength, or the probability of getting help to enforce it.
AL

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to self-defence depending upon the circumstances. If the cnflict may be avoided it should. No one needs a city full of vigilantes.

Stefan H.

emilport74 said...

As humans, we have our self-defense as a natural reaction. When we exaggerate in our actions and commit crimes of hate for the sake of saving our integrity, it stops being a right, and becomes an out of proportion act, caused by our egoism.

Emilio P.

Anonymous said...

The "Fight or Flight" response comes to play in this scenario. We as human beings have the natural reaction to defend ourselves and our loved ones or to run away from the situation all together. But, now as we mature and become more aware of the consequences of our actions, we must learn to deliberate between what is acceptable and what is just malicious. - K.A.S

Anonymous said...

Jason Bourne is used as an example to explain the right to self-defense, yet he was an international assassin himself, and he was ordered to kill his targets in cold blood. He only used his right to self-defense when he fought off those trying to arrest him (at least in the first movie). Now my question is this: Was his fighting really self-defense, or was he simply keeping his renegade status as long as he could?

Javier H.

Anonymous said...

This right is very important. Someone will try and harm you at some point in your life and you must use self defense. If you don’t, people will abuse you and beat you to the ground. You must defend yourself and stand your ground that way you will be left alone and hopefully be in peace. Though fighting is not the answer, sometimes you have no chic but to fight to stay alive or be left alone.
A.Lazo

Anonymous said...

The right to self-defense is important. Everyone has the right to protect them self's with out fear of consequence as long as it is to PROTECT ones self. To use this right in an other way is destructive to everyone.

Sarah M

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to self-defence depending upon the circumstances. If the conflict can be avoided it should. We as people should be smart in the choosing of our conflicts. I believe that it is our human right to defend ourselves at the appropriate time and measure.

Alexis Herrero

Anonymous said...

I think self-defense it is something that is in us and it comes naturally when we feel threaten or in danger. When we are in a life and death situation our instinct is to protect ourselves, loved ones and sometimes the life of people we don’t even know. The issue is when does it become unjustifiable to use the right to defend yourself, it has been proven that a combination of fear and anger makes people react in a violent manner, however one has to learn self control and learn to pick our battles. The question is when does self-defense become more then just protecting one self? (LCL)

Anonymous said...

I agree. If you feel that your life is in danger, as humans it is a natural reflex to act upon instinct. We must also think about what is right and what is wrong, and learn to choose what we think should be self-defense. J.P.

Anonymous said...

The use of the character, Jason Bourne, as an example of self-defense may be a bit off, given that he is an assassin (as previously stated by Javier H.). Going back to Thomas Aquinas and his Summa Theologica, he states that "harming or killing an assailant was justified,
as long as it is not taken out of proportion to excessive violence and if the killing is not intentional;" Jason Bourne's profession calls for him to intentionally end someone's life, using excessive violence if necessary.

MCL

Anonymous said...

As humans we tend to defend ourselves when someone attacks us. Whether it is verbal or physical, we have that in our nature. It is not something that we learn as we grow; rather it is in us to defend what we think is right or good for us. When this instinct goes beyond the law this is when it becomes too dangerous and can cause fatal consequences. With this being said, there is a question that we should ask ourselves and that is: Do we have the right to take justice into our own hands?

O.V.

Anonymous said...

Heavily agreed for this right! Self defense is and always will be our only way to protect ourselves and our loved ones. what good will shelter or protection be if any criminal could find their way in and leave you with two choices: one being that you fend for yourself and end up in jail for life for protecting your family or two let that criminal dispose of you and your family. You tell me what would you do?
-J.J.V.

Anonymous said...

I agree with having the right to self-defense, I protect myself and the people around me by any means necessary. I will kill if I get put in a situation were my life is threaten or the life of my loved ones. If somebody is were to try to get into my house and put any of my family members in danger I will torture this person until I feel is right then I will call the police to come pick up the rest.


Carlos G.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a right and need to defend themselves and families.
Self-defense is a right that many don’t ever use or take it to an extreme level and end up doing something they regret. It should be kept to an individual’s choice of how to manage that right. Some do take it t an extreme where they end up killing someone who wasn’t even a threat. In the end, it’s just the way each person handles the situation, some may work with using words, others with fists.


-M.Quintanilla

Anonymous said...

As humans our first instinct is to protect ourselves when we sense a threat. When this happens our body is releasing adrenaline that we can't control. This is a way of survival, which makes self defense acceptable.

-Alli Brecht.

Anonymous said...

I think that the right to attack someone in self-defense should come into play only when our fight or flight reflex is triggered. Although there are exceptions to this rule, I think that should be the major guideline when attacking someone who threatens our safety or the safety of those we love.
-A.B.

Anonymous said...

Many people argue that the right to self defense is justified. Even though it is a natural instinct to defend oneself, is violence still justified? We live in a civilized society governed by laws, so is it still necessary to take matters into our own hands? If everyone would resort to violence we might derail from this civilized society to a society of chaos. I would like to quote U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who said: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

LC

Anonymous said...

I agree that all individuals have the right to defend themselves when they feel threatened or they are in danger. While nonviolence is preferred, sometimes you have to use whatever means necessary for protection.
Chelsea M.

L.M.L said...

I agree with the right to defend one's self in a dangerous situation but only to a certain extent. Individuals should not justify violence and call it "self defense". There are other ways to protect ourselves with non violent acts, and verbal communication.

Anonymous said...

The right to self-defense is natural to human beings for an example if you were being attacked with a bat naturally you would automatically defend yourself it’s our survival mode that kicks in. As long as you don’t purposely murder someone we do have the right to self-defense.
Angel M

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with this post, in every aspect of the forum. Thimk about it. If a man dressed in dark clothes breaks into your house hold, should any questions be asked at all? Politly introduce him to your smith and weston and escourt him out the door. For the sake of your daughter and mother, there should only be one lion in the pride.
F.H

Anonymous said...

I agree with this right because all of us should be able to protect ourselves from any unfortunately situation. However, this right had been used before to start wars without having enough evidences to prove who were guilty. Even though these specific cases, I think that this is a right that all of us should have.

J.C (Jean Capra)

Anonymous said...

I personally think that this right its a dangerous weapon, it could easily be used as an excuse for a planned murder, or for other thousands of planned cases. However, I obviously would act defensive if someone comes to me with a knife and try to kill me. In other words, it is a right that people should use in an honest.

H.D.A

Anonymous said...

If something or someone is going to cause you harm, then I feel you have the right to go one step further to prevent it. But only one step further.

Sheeda M.

Anonymous said...

The right to self-defense is a right that every creature on earth is born with and cannot be taken away.
---Lauren Franco

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should defiantly have the right to self-defense. In the United States here where I live, we are a free country. We should be or are able to defend ourselves and just like Lauren Franco said "It cannot be taken away".

- Krystal Garcia

Anonymous said...

I believe the right to self-defense is necessary for protecting ourselves when we need to. It is not meant to harm or kill any other person in cold blood.


Etel

Anonymous said...

I reasonably believe a person may use physical force to prevent imminent physical injury or death in their own defense or the defense of others.

-Ana DM

D.Zabala said...

When someone is being physically attacked they have no choice but to act in self defense. This is where a double effect will take place. In the act of protecting yourself the bad effect of killing the assailant is permissible by the good effect that you will no longer be in danger. These types of situations must be avoided at all costs, but when confronted by them we all have the right to self defense.

Anonymous said...

A right to self defense is a defense that provides people their own personal protection from what they can put forward. I believe it is necessary and when it comes to violence. Without it I personally wouldn't feel safe in the public or basically anywhere!

Robert S.

Anonymous said...

The right of self defense supports our primary instinct of survival, which is why, this right has been granted to members of society for so long in history. If another person jeopardizes our safety, we should be able to defend ourselves, always knowing that our acts should be equivalent to the amount of danger in which we find ourselves in.
D.C.R

Anonymous said...

The right to self defense is not only a right but a natural instinct in nature. Do animals not growl when coming in contact with an unknown entity? Yes we are human, and yes we use reason to solve conflicts, but, I'm just asking that if someone punches you in the face will you just stand there and do nothing?

-D.E.C.

Anonymous said...

Self Defense is a natural instinct that all human beings possess. Humans use this natural instinct to survive. The principal of “double effect” is a concept or theory that is used to justify the killing of another human being when done in self- defense. The principle is use a lot by law enforcement. A police officer that shoots and kills a person who was trying to rob a bank with a deadly weapon is justified by the principal of “double effect” because he was trying to prevent the robbery. The officer’s actions prevented a bad thing from happening and other innocent people from getting hurt. His intent was not for good and is justifies the killing of the robber. I agree with this principal when it is use with only as the last result when nothing else works to prevent a bad doing. No human being has the right to take another man’s life in vain and the consequences of his actions may lead to his own death. The assailant who has the mind set of “killing” is guilty of premeditated murder. If he isn’t stopped it will result in murder of another a victim. A victim who defends himself by killing the assailant, should not be punished because his actions were triggered in response to his attack. L.J.B.R.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to self defense humans usually have two reactions; fight or flight. Some people may fight, others may take the flight. I personally feel that the reaction depends on the situation. If I feel that it isn't worth risking getting hurt or in trouble, I might just walk away from the quarrel. On the other hand if it is worth physically fighting over, I will.
SJB

N.Cruz said...

The right to self-defense is part of every human beings nature. When an individual is put in a circumstance that they feel threatened, their instinct is to protect themselves. In such situations were self-defense is used, there will always be a double effect; therefore we should always try to avoid conflict.

Anonymous said...

People have the right to self-defense at any given point in time. Many people don’t consider using this right and to some, it will always come down to using self-defense. It all depends on the situation, persons involved, time, and place. And at the end of the day the right to self-defense will be used in many different ways, or none at all. C.M.A.

Anonymous said...

I think I would have to agree with this right given the circumstances. Of course, self defense is part of being human. If we feel we are being attacked or that we are in danger, we would want to fight back. We want to defend ourselves. Who wouldn't?

N.Av

Anonymous said...

The Right to Self-Defense....

As a mixed martial arts trainee, self-defense comes from all different corners and avenues. We humans are just as much animalistic than anything else in this world. An animal instinct when being threatened is to be defensive or protection from harm. Learning is the objective to all that we do in life. We can learn from self-defense the need to be strong, fearless,quick,and brave. Everyones has the right of self-defense...We will not make it out alive too long otherwise.

-GR

Anonymous said...

I believe in the right to self-defense, we all need to protect our selves when in danger. Natural instinct makes us fight back and try to survive when being attacked. -ABL

COL said...

The right to self-defense is of great importance for the "living"! It is key that people understand that this right should be exercised only when provoked. I personally think the world takes this right to the extreme. Over time our culture has progressed from daggers to swords, to pepper spray to stun guns, and grenades to guns. There is a difference in the RIGHT to self-defense and the RIGHT to kill!

~COL

Anonymous said...

Im all for self defense sometimes it's the only way you can get your point across. Sometimes we have to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves protected, especially when we are in harms way. G.A.

Adrian del Pino said...

Very true, everyone has the right to self-defense. If you are under attack in any way you have the right to fight back. Its not your fault in any way, if you did not provoke the fight or action of harm to yourself. You might end up hurting or harming the other person while defending yourself but you shouldn't feel guilty. Its your right to protect yourself in any way needed.

AMD