A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand. – Seneca
What does that mean?
This concept is always a heated topic, but one that I believe should be addressed. This quote simply states a simple truth of basic physics. An object at rest remains at rest until acted on by an outside force. A sword, sitting there, doing nothing, will not kill anyone.
Even the famous Sword of Damocles was doing nothing besides existing. A person had set it as a trap, but the sword was doing nothing besides hanging around. It is possible to put a sword in a location and orientation where it could be dangerous, but the sword has no motive, and no method. It simply is.
The same goes for knives, broken bottles, guns, fires, golf clubs, cars, or any other item that can cause death. None of them have any intent to cause harm, that is what the human adds to the equation. The human is the weapon, everything else is just a tool to that end.
Why is the intent of a person important?
Only humans have intent, only humans can kill. The inanimate objects, however objectionable, are merely tools in the hands of a killer. Does it matter that Cain slew Abel with his bare hands, a rock, or a branch/club? Would he be any more or any less dead if the tool used in the killing was a sword or a gun?
Humans are complex beasts, and at times, the worst in us come out. When something horrific happens, rather than blaming the person, it is easier to blame the tool. But the tool has no intent, it is neither good nor evil, it simply exists. Good or evil may come of it, but that distinction is up to the human.
It is far easier to discuss the merits of a tool than it is to discuss the underlying human condition that lead to such a terrible act. That would require taking a long, hard look into the darkest corners and intents of others, and by extension, ourselves. To do that is difficult, and far too many people avoid the difficult, preferring to reach for the easy instead.
Where can I apply this in my life?
My kitchen knives have occasionally drawn a tiny bit of blood, but have never jumped up and chased or threatened me. Nor have they ever tried to kill anyone. The same goes for my swords (mostly wooden) and my other weapons and tools. And what are we to say about golf clubs and hammers? People have been killed with these as well. Might that be something about which you want to think?
Handguns are often used by murderers to kill people. There have been laws passed against murder, and against handguns. Yet the murders by handguns continue. In some countries, the murder rates have not changed, only the weapons used. Some countries with gun bans are now looking at knife and sword control, as they are now the most common tools for murder.
But, again, the tools have no intent. They simply exist. People have been killing other people since Cain and Able, or from the days of humans as apes with aspirations, depending on your creation beliefs. It’s always been with us, and always will be, until we manage to free ourselves from hatred, jealousy and our evil impulses. Not in my lifetime, at least.
Consider two situations, and their implications. The first is a trained martial artist using their training to disarm a murderer with a gun. At this point it’s easy to say gun=evil and martial artist=good. The second is a trained martial artist misusing their skills to beat someone up, and a police officer using their gun to save the life of the victim. In this case martial artist=evil and gun=good.
Now, look past the tools and focus on the intent of the individual. The people who are doing evil, in each case, are the source of the evil, not their tools. Whether they use their hands or a gun as a tool, the human is the source of the evil intent, never the tool. Again, look past the tools, and look to the intent of the people doing good. Whether it’s the hand of the martial artist or the gun of the cop, the good rests in the human, not in the tool.
Cars kill far more people each year than guns, but most people seem to understand that cars are inanimate objects and neither good nor evil. They are also easily recognized for the good they do, and their overall utility, so they are often excluded from this characterization of evil, even when used to deliberately run down and kill people.
Yes, it’s far easier to blame the tool for the evil, rather than admit that humans in general, and by extension us as individuals, are capable of such terrible acts. But as long as people have evil urges, and succumb to them, they will use tools to kill others.
This tendency to blame the inanimate object rather than the monster wielding it has been going on for over two thousand years, so it won’t likely go away any time soon. But we need to start taking a long, hard look at people, and by extension ourselves. Because that’s where the problem resides.
From: Twitter, @AmeeraBlitz
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna176805.html
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