6.1 Suicide By Cop
A 19 year old college student and addicted gambler was pulled over for erratic driving on the Long Island Expressway. He pulled out a toy pistol and pointed it at the officer, he was then shot and killed. Another incident involving a 45 year old cancer patient had the same ending in new Jersey. He walked into a Pizza Shop and pointed a gun at the officers inside eating. Experts believe that they force the cops to kill them as a form of suicide. Suicide is difficult to commit and forcing an officer to kill you takes away the pressure of completing the task. Some insurance companies don’t cover suicide and religions forbid it so it is away of taking the guilt and shame away from common suicide. 10% of fatal police shootings are brought on by people seeking to die.
-Evaluate the moral permissibility of “suicide by cop”
-To what extent is a police officer morally obligated to assess whether a person he or she shoots actually wants to be killed?
Aristotle’s theory of moral virtue categorizes the pursuit of happiness as a process that is achieved by pursuing real goods in a morally correct way. It is a mean between two vices (excess & defect). Our actions are voluntary and the product of choice. In these cases they seem to have self delusion defects. They are rationalizing conduct (suicide) and making excuses in an effort to justify their morally impermissible actions(carried out by cops vs. self). A person is giving up on their pursuit of happiness and there for, from the victims standpoint nothing is morally permissible about their actions. The officer doesn’t have time to assess the motives of suspects that pull firearms on them. They have to make a quick decision at the drop of a hat. Kill or be killed. Their own pursuit of happiness and life is protected. Formalizism
Emmanuel Kant developed formalizes theory. It focuses on carrying out your duties without thinking about the consequences. Categorical and Practical...
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