When to Kill the Wolf?

Let’s say there was a murderer loose in your town. Everybody knows the culprit. He admitted it was him. He did so proudly and often. He is a confessed murderer of children and preyed only on the most marginalized and vulnerable. There is not a scintilla of doubt as to his guilt.

 

You have tried to rally your community to do something, but no one will commit. You’ve tried calling the police, but they won’t arrest him. You visited the mayor at city hall, but he’s unwilling to do anything. All of the usual civil and governmental strategies have failed, and the killing spree has been going on for years.

 

At what point is it morally incumbent on you as an individual to find this man and take his life? Or, at the very least to burn his house and run him out of town- sternly warning him that if he show his face again, he will pay with his life. Would that be justice? Would that be murder? Is there ever a morally justifiable time and place for this kind of action?

 

We say we hate evil, but we often allow it to live- even thrive- in our midst.

 

If you think it can be moral, if you believe this is a scenario where this kind of vigilantism can be morally justifiable, if you’d likely kill the man, or at least burn down his house, then why are there still abortion clinics in your town?

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