Spiders and Humans

I washed a spider down my shower drain last night.

I generally let them live, as long as they’re not in my bed, or crawling around somewhere in my way, or clearly venomous. (I killed a black widow a few months ago with no remorse at all.)

As I washed it down, I thought about how I’d rather let it live, all things considered, but I’m willing to kill it if it makes my life easier or better in some way. So that’s not much consolation to the spider community. Then it occurred to me that that’s more or less true with humans, too.

That is, depending on the level of improvement of my life, and the starting level of the… goodness of my life, I’d be willing to kill a human.

The starting level is important. Right now, I think my life-goodness is too high for killing. That is, no matter how good my life would be if I killed someone, the improvement wouldn’t be enough to justify murder.

But if my life sucked more, and killing someone could get it unsucked, then I’d have to think about it a bit.

Which made me think of a little story.

Jane is a professional torturer. She comes in and tortures Steve every day. She’s not thrilled about it, but she needs the money. Steve would prefer to be free from torture, and get to live with his family back home in a non-dungeon.

One day, Steve figures out a way to escape, but it involves shooting a few guards in the face. He plans and plans, but on the day of the escape, something goes wrong and he gets caught. Jane’s boss says she’ll get a raise if she kills Steve. Could anyone blame her for killing him in order to get a 5% raise? Of course not.

The End.

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