Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Occasionally I Contemplate Murder 13

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A nother kind of socially sanctioned murder than the execution, and much more efficient, is war.

War has its own so called ethical laws, by necessity being far more summary. The verdict is narrowed down to one single, decisive circumstance — the type of garment.

Friend or foe. The book is judged by its cover.

The excuse of the soldier, whatever rank, for participating in this formidable gluttony in the ending of people's lives, is familiar with that of a peacetime executioner:

"I only obeyed orders."

Like good watchdogs do.

Well, obedience, however neat, is not a 'carte blanche', neither for dogs nor men. Much less for men.

There is a choice — as always, it seems, in this universe of confusion. Unfortunately, there is a choice.

Although the price is high, many soldiers do choose to act in accordance with the most distant world. In war, Heaven is surely as distant as it can ever be.

Lots of soldiers refuse to obey, when ordered to shoot members of their own species, although dressed in different garment — regrettably, not nearly many enough.

That morbid farce of the Vietnam war produced some very pretty statistics. It seems the soldiers of the US army shot some nine out of ten bullets high above the heads of the people with the wrong clothes on, never at all intending to hit them.

However sissy that might have made them feel at the occasion, I'm sure the remembrance will make them blush of pride, once facing the kind of Jesus.

The enemy, though, surely didn't aim as high.

They had a reason, a motivation that the US soldiers were desperately lacking. But what will the conclusion be, in the beyond? Will the reason suffice also there?

The idea of defending one's land against intruders, must be somewhat alienated in the domain that knows no nationalities and invites absolutely everybody.

Quite an amusing way for some soldiers to defend themselves is:

"It was him or me."

The Gods would not hesitate the least to reply:

"So what?"

You sacrifice someone else for yourself, or yourself for someone else. That's the arithmetic of it. Only somebody with the total conviction of a beyond, could be accused for choosing the latter alternative.

On the other hand — if his certainty of the heavenly laws were solid, then he should be obliged to choose the former and shoot, to deny himself the easy way out, and not to make his fellow man a sinner.

Who wants to be a judge in Heaven?

F rankly, I don't really believe it's too much of a problem for the Gods. They read not the circumstances involved in our actions, but simply the sincerity of our minds.

Our hearts, as we usually say — they read what's in our hearts.

However much of a tangle the conscious mind makes our thoughts and motivations, the degree of our sincerity is always evident to the Gods.

Mortal men, though, cannot read such intricate diagrams with much reliability, if at all. We have to stick to the less disputable facts of circumstance. The who-dun-it of the event, for starters.

Followed by more or less inspired guessing work as to why.

Not even that is an easy road of considerations.

Even when we can safely claim to know the factual circumstances, beyond any reasonable doubt, still the decision of judgement demands little less than a prodigious capacity of mind. We're hardly ever that sure about the facts.

Also, we take into consideration the concept of differing degrees of malice, when judging murder. Different in methods as well as in motives.

There's manslaughter, crime of passion or in sudden anger, and calculated homicide one — also a number of nuances in between them. There's self defence and acts of confusion, where the murderer is said to be less responsible for his action.

Is all that really relevant?


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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder
by 2006, 2011,2015
Paperback, 124 pages
Arriba Publ.
ISBN: 978-1-5142-2337-6

The same book in Swedish

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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.