View Poll Results: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

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Thread: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

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    Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Mac and Cephus take the literal definition of murder to the extreme, arguing that dictators do not murder unless (as mac pointed out) convicted in an international court of justice.

    What is your take? Should we be blinded by literalism and refrain from calling these men murderers, or is it necessary to denounce them as murderers for unjustly taking the lives of their own citizens?

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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Mac and Cephus take the literal definition of murder to the extreme, arguing that dictators do not murder unless (as mac pointed out) convicted in an international court of justice.

    What is your take? Should we be blinded by literalism and refrain from calling these men murderers, or is it necessary to denounce them as murderers for unjustly taking the lives of their own citizens?
    It depends if said dictators violated global treaties, etc.

    Those treaties aside, any dictator could "legalize" murder and kill millions.

    If it's not somehow murder, then we can't say Hitler was a murdering tyrant.

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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Mac and Cephus take the literal definition of murder to the extreme, arguing that dictators do not murder unless (as mac pointed out) convicted in an international court of justice.

    What is your take? Should we be blinded by literalism and refrain from calling these men murderers, or is it necessary to denounce them as murderers for unjustly taking the lives of their own citizens?
    It does not take a conviction to be literally guilty of a crime. Such men are murderers as long as they have breached international law. Even in their own countries, I'm sure those same killings are often considered extralegal. Just because you haven't been convicted in a court doesn't mean you're not a murderer.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 03-17-12 at 04:16 PM.
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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    I may not be able to define it . . . may not be able to explain it . . . but I know a murderer when I "see" one. Being a murderer and being convicted of murder in a courtroom are two very different things.
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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Until someone with the power to hold them accountable takes them into custody and calls them to answer for their actions.... THEN it can be murder, legally.


    Most people use murder more haphazardly, but I think that "unjust and premeditated killing" is a reasonable benchmark.

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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    What is your take? Should we be blinded by literalism and refrain from calling these men murderers, or is it necessary to denounce them as murderers for unjustly taking the lives of their own citizens?
    Now wait a second here.

    If (and I'm saying IF) the term "murder" does not really apply, then why do you feel we ought to use it anyway? Why do you need to use language improperly in an emotional way to make your point? Why can't your point stand on its own?

    What exactly is wrong with calling it "killing" if "murder" doesn't really apply? What sane person would say "Oh, it's just killing, no big?"

    You do realize you are advocating for the misuse of language in order to hopefully manipulate emotional response, right?

    I am not saying it is or isn't murder. I'm just pointing out the serious flaw in your line of reasoning here.

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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Strictly speaking? No, not if the law is defined such that the dictator actually CAN do what they are doing, or if the law is established such that the executive's will is absolute...

    Murder is an illegal homicide. If the executive's actions are legal, they cannot be "murder."



    People sometimes use the term more broadly, but I'd suggest that can be disruptive to a political / legal discussion when a more precise term exists, and then everything devolves to semantics.


    This is an interesting point to make on multiple levels, for multiple other topics...

    But broadly, I'll just say that without the notion of human rights that extend beyond what is issued by a nation state - if there's no good and evil, only legal and illegal - you really don't have much in the way of grounds to criticize such tyrants...
    Last edited by JayDubya; 03-17-12 at 04:53 PM.

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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    In the case of dictators, as far as court of opinion is concerned, they are murderers.

    Are they convicted murderers? No.

    It's playing rhetorical semantics though.
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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Mac and Cephus take the literal definition of murder to the extreme, arguing that dictators do not murder unless (as mac pointed out) convicted in an international court of justice.

    What is your take? Should we be blinded by literalism and refrain from calling these men murderers, or is it necessary to denounce them as murderers for unjustly taking the lives of their own citizens?

    Every abortionist will point out in an abortion debate that murder is a legal technicality and that is one of the reasons abortion is not murder.Just like it is not murder to shoot a burglar in your home, for the state to execute a criminal or for troops to kill enemy soldiers,terrorists and militants. A dictator runs his country and therefore makes laws for his country,so if he declared it legal to people over the age of 40, then it would not be murder in his country to kill people over the age of 40. Now if we invade that dictator's country,take over it and capture him then we can try him on genocide.

    Murder | Define Murder at Dictionary.com
    Law . the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 03-17-12 at 05:10 PM.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Do dictators commit murder against their own citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Every abortionist will point out in an abortion debate that murder is a legal technicality and that is one of the reasons abortion is not murder.Just like it is not murder to shoot a burglar in your home, for the state to execute a criminal or for troops to kill enemy soldiers,terrorists and militants. A dictator runs his country and therefore makes laws for his country,so if he declared it legal to people over the age of 40, then it would not be murder in his country to kill people over the age of 40.

    Murder | Define Murder at Dictionary.com
    Law . the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law.
    Dictators aren't above international law . This is why we went into Iraq to begin with. To prove you couldn't get away with breaking international law? Remember?

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