The ethics of zombie killing and when to feel guilty


By Sydney Paluch

As the world continues to be destroyed by cell phones, bacon and, most horrendous of all, Twitter, humanity faces an ethical dilemma. Because we will all become mentally incapacitated as result of days spent on Netflix marathons, we must prepare ourselves for when we will have to turn our bazookas against former neighbors in a post-apocalyptic world reminiscent of “The Walking Dead.” Faced with such a terrifyingly freeing situation, we must choose who will live and who will become Christmas dinner.

Therefore, I urge you to deeply consider with me the ethics of killing zombies.

Of course, the first difficulty we come across is defining what, exactly, zombies are. Yes, Aunt Martha may look like both brain-sucker and Homo sapiens, but the hockey player who sat next to you in history? Well, after his arm and jaw fall off, it might be time to rethink that dream wedding Pinterest board.

Yet, if we are basing our standard for humanity on appearance, would we, as the last remnants of humanity, be discriminating against our zombie brethren? After all, are we really that different?

Zombies may exist for the single goal of destruction, but, as a whole, does humanity not metaphorically exist for the same purpose? As we fight and claw our ways to the top, we are living a type of apocalypse as our humanity is sucked away by Apple through our Flappy Bird fix.

In the same vein, legions of living dead might be a good thing. After all, “drinkin’ beer and wastin’ bullets” (all credit to Luke Bryan!) may be fun, but just imagine going to the range with a real, relatively live target!

A zombie apocalypse has all the benefits of a real-life “Modern Warfare 3” without any of the pesky morality issues associated with murder! It’s a win-win situation!

Then again, zombies were human at one point, and who is to say they cannot turn back? Here we, as conscientious collegiates, run into some moral ambiguity. If the brain-bashers are nothing more than reanimated corpses, then  open fire.

However, if zombies are the result of a pandemic disease, what if they get better? With the lack of quarantine facilities in developing countries and modern strains’ resistance to treatment, a zombie-pandemic is becoming more of a possibility.

So, if zombies are simply “sick,” are we killing human beings or things that have the potential to become human? After all, if a zombie could theoretically be cured, would we not be taking away its opportunity to live by slicing and dicing it? Likewise, if an embryo could theoretically be “wanted,” would we not be taking away its opportunity to live by aborting it?

Therefore, truly the only time you truly should not feel guilty for killing zombies is in instances of self-defense. If a dead guy is slinking toward you, salivating at the prospect of your plump, $60,000-a-year-trained brain, you are perfectly in the moral right to pump that puppy full of lead!

It is when we go beyond that, when we look for ways to hurt others, when we judge based solely on looks, when we discriminate against anyone, be they zombie, white, black, female or male, that we are not acting in self-defense. We are trying to hurt. We steal others’ humanity when we discriminate and dehumanize our equals.

When we discriminate, we are killing zombies in our own day-to-day lives. When we kill those we have made into zombies, we truly should feel guilty for doing so.



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