Save a life by maiming someone?

This question is inspired by a thread about a Saudi court decision to have a defendant paralyzed rather than executed, and the subsequent attempt to find a hospital or medical personality to carry out the sentence.

A man comes into your home with a hostage, a gun and a hammer. He hands you the hammer, and says, “This is a bad guy. I want you to break every bone in his body with that hammer. You don’t have to hit his head – I want him to be alive, but crippled for life. If you won’t do this, I will put a bullet in his head and kill him outright. But either way, I won’t hurt you. You can walk away. The only way I’ll hurt you is if you try to stop me from shooting him.”

What do you do

Do I get to ask the hostage which he’d prefer?

How did you respond before I even finished the post? I mean, we’re friends and all, but still…

No – the hostage is gagged.

Oh, and just to make things more interesting – you know both the hostage and the captor through sensational press coverage of a trial. Make up any details you want, but the bottom line is that you believe the captor when he says the hostage is a really bad evil guy.

I prefer to humor crazy men with guns (unless I can escape).

Do I have any particular reason to believe that he’s an officer of the law or, otherwise, reasonably trustworthy?

Bad evil guy as I define it? Go ahead…shoot him.

I most assuredly wouldn’t hit him with the hammer and it is possible I’d try to save him entirely (though as I’ve never been in such a situation I can’t say. I might chicken out). If he kills him that is his evil act and it is on his head, but if I hurt the man it would be on mine. The fact that the victim was evil has no barring as I only believe in violence for the purpose of defense and the victim would not be a threat.

If you maim the man, that’s also you saving his life.

I see maiming as a win situation all around: The evil man gets what he wants; the victim gets to live; and I get to have a bit of fun. Everyone’s happy!

Can’t I just pull out my own gun and shoot and kill them both because I am pissed off they put me in the situation when I was just home, minding my own business?

The guy with the hostage loses by coming into my home with a gun uninvited.

I choose not to decide.

… and when I’m let go, do I happen to see people tied to railroad tracks on my way home? And possibly a fat guy standing on a bridge?

Considering I’m convinced of the bad guys evil nature, he can go ahead and shoot him.

He’s giving me the hammer. Hopefully, I can come up with some ploy to get within striking distance of the captor. I have no reason to believe he won’t shoot me after the deed anyway, so I’m going ballistic at my best opportunity. I must admit, such impulsivity has resulted in my personal injury before. But always remember, you can expect to get injured in any fight and don’t hold back.

You have no idea how much this post pleases me.

Nope, sorry, the guy has the drop on you. Well, you can try, but odds of your surviving are very poor.

People brandishing guns do not need invitations to enter private homes.

Come to think of it, the guy will probably die from all the hammer hitting anyway.

What’s your point?