Kill Euphie to Save Her?
Copyright 2010 M.A. Golding
Some people believe that Lelouch killed Euphemia to save her. To save her from the horrors of being controlled by the geass command for the rest of her life, or the horrors of guilt if she was ever freed from the geass command and informed of what her body had done when controlled by the geass.
Taking an action to achieve a goal or purpose can be justified if that goal or purpose is good enough.
Condition A for justifying taking an action is that the goal or purpose for that action is good enough that some, but not all, actions that could be taken to achieve that goal or purpose are justified.
Preventing someone, such as Euphemia, from suffering in the future is a goal good enough that some, though not all, actions taken to achieve it are justified.
Killing Euphemia to save her satisfies Condition A.
But it seems improbable that there could possibly be some “fate worse than death” so terrible that killing her to save her from that fate would be saving her.
But an action which satisfies condition A can be justified only if it also satisfies one or more of the four following conditions:
Condition B: The action in question is absolutely necessary to achieve the goal or purpose which satisfies Condition A.
Condition C1: The action in question is not absolutely necessary to achieve the goal or purpose, but other and less extreme alternatives would be significantly more difficult than the act in question and might not be doable.
Condition C2: The action in question is not absolutely necessary to achieve the goal or purpose, but other and less extreme alternatives would take significantly more time than the act in question and thus might prevent the goal or purpose from being achieved in time.
Condition C3: The action in question is not absolutely necessary to achieve the goal or purpose, but other and less extreme alternatives would be too dangerous for the person or persons deciding what actions to take, or too dangerous for another person or persons
Does killing Euphemia to saver her from hypothetical future suffering satisfy Condition B?
Killing Euphemia to save her from possible future stress, punishment, insanity, and guilt seems like the most extreme method imaginable to save her from hypothetical future suffering.
One way Lelouch could have saved Euphemia from hypothetical future suffering without killing her would be to persuade his followers that Euphemia must have been insane or under some kind of mind control when she ordered the massacre which was so out of character. He could persuade them to think of Euphemia as a sort of fellow victim of her insanity or some evil person’s mind control.
So they would be less likely to hate Euphemia and lynch her or torture her to death or abuse her if she was a prisoner and more likely to treat her as a dangerous but innocent fellow victim.
And if Euphemia was ever cured of her geass command she would not remember anything she did while controlled by it. She would learn what her body during the black out period but not feel much guilt for actions she could not remember doing – probably more guilt than most people would feel but not enough to ruin her life.
Another way to save Euphemia from suffering would have been to find her and call in Suzaku to remove her from her knightmare and fly away with her to safety. Lelouch could warn Suzaku that Euphemia had a compulsive desire to kill Japanese people, possibly including Suzaku.
To me, killing Euphie to “save” her from future suffering seems like a cure worse than the disease. But in any case Lelouch had other, much less extreme and harmful, options to greatly reduce her potential future suffering. Killing Euphemia was not the only way to “save” her from suffering and so does not satisfy Condition B.
What about condition C1? Would it have been too difficult for Lelouch to save Euphemia from hypothetical future suffering without killing her?
After Euphemia’s knightmare was sliced up by the Slash Harkens of the Gawain she climbed out of the wreckage and was just one unarmed girl facing two powerful Knightmares. How could it have been hard for them to capture her?
Then she could have been transferred to the G1 vehicle for the march on Tokyo. CC could have made Euphie unconscious as CC did Suzaku at Narita, and Euphie could have been tied up and locked up somewhere. Once Tokyo was captured countless thousands of Japanese political prisoners and possibly Japanese ordinary criminals would have been released from prisons and there would have been plenty of emptied cells to put Euphie in.
Lelouch would not have to spend more than a few minutes over several days deciding what to do with Euphie and giving the necessary orders. And after she was locked up in a cell Lelouch could forget about her for weeks until he had time to think about more permanent arrangements.
Capturing Euphemia seems just as easy as killing her, so killing Euphemia to “save” her from possible future trouble does not satisfy Condition C1.
Condition C2. How much time would Lelouch spend capturing Euphie the way described above? As I said, he would have spent about as much time as he spent killing her, and then would have had to spend a minute or two deciding what to do with her a few times over the next few days until she was safely locked up in some cell and he wouldn’t have to consider more permanent arrangement for several weeks or so.
Answer: Not much time.
And there was no big hurry to save Euphie from a life of hypothetical future horror and suffering. She was only sixteen years old and had a life expectancy of about another sixty years.
If she was killed 22 days in the future she would be “saved” from 99.9 percent of her future life. If she was killed 7.2 months in the future she would be “saved” from 99 percent of her future life. If she was killed three years in the future she would be “saved” from 95 percent of her future life. If she was killed six years in the future she would be “saved” from 90 percent of her future life. If she was killed thirty years in the future she would be ”saved” from half of her future life.
I don’t believe anyone could ever be better off dead. But even people who do believe some people might sometimes be better off dead usually think that it makes sense to observe someone for days, weeks, months, or even years to see if he gives any signs of suffering so badly he would be better off dead -- screaming in pain and begging to be killed, for example -- before deciding to kill him to save him. It made sense to observe Euphemia for signs of suffering before deciding to kill her.
And even begging for death can sometimes deceive someone into acting too hastily.
About 12,693 Confederate soldiers were wounded at Gettysburg. Probably half of them, or about 6,000, were still alive thirty years after the battle in 1893 or forty years after the battle in 1903. Some of them lived long enough to be among the 8,174 Confederate veterans attending the Fiftieth Anniversary reunion at Gettysburg in 1913.
And it seems probable that most of them were glad to be alive and thankful that they survived during most of the time they survived.
but on July 4th and 5th, 1863, many of them did not want to live, as General Imboden related in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/battles/vol3/pageview.cfm?page=424 in his account of escorting the seventeen-mile-long wagon train with the supplies and the wounded over a bumpy mountain road between Cashtown and Chambersburg.
After dark I set out from Cashtown to gain the head of the Column during the night….. From nearly every wagon as the teams trotted on, urged by whip and shout, came such cries and shrieks as these:
"O God! why can't I die?”
"My God ! will no one have mercy and kill me?”
"Stop Oh! for God's sake, stop just for one minute; take me out and leave me to die on the roadside."
"I am dying! I am dying! My poor wife, my dear children, what will become of you ?"…. except the drivers and the guards, all were wounded and utterly helpless in that vast procession of misery. During this one night I realized more of the horrors of war than I had in all the two preceding years.
If hundreds or thousands of the Confederate wounded at Gettysburg were in the wagon train and begging for death that night, many of them must have recovered and lived for decades reasonably happy and reasonably glad that no one had be deceived by their pleas and killed them that night.
Euphemia was not writhing and screaming in pain and begging to be killed when Lelouch shot her. If it is ever right to kill someone who is suffering intense physical pain to put them out of their misery, Euphemia was not one of those persons. Lelouch had no evidence that she was suffering intense pain at the moment. Lelouch could only speculate how happy or unhappy she might be in the future if not killed.
If Lelouch had a policy of killing anyone who might sometime in the future suffer so terribly that they would be better off dead, he needed to kill everyone. Because everyone and anyone – including you, my reader -- might possibly sometime in the future suffer so terribly that they might be better off dead in somebody’s opinion.
Condition C3. Would it have been too dangerous for Lelouch to not kill Euphemia? In “Kill Euphie to Save the Japanese” I pointed out that it was more dangerous for Lelouch to Kill Euphie by treacherously shooting her and risking that she would shoot him back than it would have been to simply pick her up in a giant robot hand as soon as she crawled out of the wreckage of her knightmare.
Would it have been too dangerous for Japanese people to not kill Euphie?
I demonstrated in “Kill Euphie to Save the Japanese” that capturing Euphie as soon as her knightmare was destroyed would have been a lot safer for any nearby Japanese people than letting her pick up a machine gun before Lelouch shot her. Capturing Euphemia and using her as hostage to stop the Fuji Massacre might have saved tens or hundreds or thousands of Japanese lives. And if Euphie was securely confined she would have so slight a chance of ever killing another Japanese person that anyone who would kill her to prevent such a slight chance might as well kill every newborn Japanese baby to prevent the slight chance that he might grow up to kill a Japanese person in the future.
And of course not killing Euphie would have been safer for Euphie, not more dangerous for her, than killing her.
Thus killing Euphie fails to satisfy condition C3.
Thus killing Euphie is not justified for the purpose of saving her from hypothetical future suffering which might possibly be worse than death for her in some people’s opinions.
No, lelouch killed euphemia to save all the wank and fantardism going towards him