Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Zombie Experience

In class we've spoken quite a bit about the morality that drives the Buffyverse. Why it is morally acceptable to kill countless vampires but killing a single human is an atrocity? Every war has casualties and you would think that this would include innocents ( in war with forces that literally started "evil") but in many movies and shows that deal with similar subject matter to Buffy we see a near total evasion from killing innocents. Usually it is spun off as a characteristic of heroism to stare rationality in the face and say "no innocents will die here today." But, it sounds like bullshit to me. With that having been said I would like to ask why is it okay to kill supernatural creatures? It could be argued that they are important to some food chain or some along those lines. They are obviously conscious and interact with the world around them in most of the ways that we do. However, what about zombies? Why is it okay to kill them recklessly? Who knows if they still have any cognitive functions left? I mean I know that they are literally corpses (falling apart, gruesome injuries that don't seem to hurt them) but who know's what it's like to be a zombie? No one. And if they're walking around and can interact with the world around them then maybe they are conscious. I wonder what the morality system is around zombie killing, or more specifically, the lack of one.


  1. Well, they're animated corpses. If it's not possible for them to act in any way other than malevolent, and it's not possible for them to recover or be redeemed through conscious decisions, then it seems justified to me to 'kill' them. They're more objects than they are people. I'm sure this same reasoning could be used to justify unjust murder, but in the supernatural zombie example, it's generally supposed to be taken at face value that they cannot be considered alive in any moral or meaningful sense.

  2. While our justice system tends to deal with punishment in post facto instances, I guess this situation is unique in the sense that preemptive action is being taken against them. Assuming that the only things these beings are capable of is malevolence, then by all means yes, they should be destroyed. In that sense Andrew is also right in saying that these are more akin to objects than to conscious beings since they lack the capacity to choose to refrain from murder.

  3. Since zombies are purely fictitious beings(I hope), it really depends on the lore behind each specific zombie filled world created by the writers. Most of the time, the victim of zombification is dead. What is controlling them is purely involuntary movements brought about by some type of super virus. There is nothing left of the former human being and what is left is an abomination controlling some husk. Death is the only option

    But in some stories like "Shawn of the Dead", they can be kept around as polite gardeners or video game playmates.


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