Good Reasons to Kill: an Anthology of Morality, Murder & Madness


Loved it! 😍

This book explores varieties of killing and challenges you to rethink some of your long held positions on what is right and what is wrong.

The book, “Good Reasons to Kill: an Anthology of Morality, Murder & Madness”, was conceived because of an incident in a bar in Australia. While reminiscing with fellow ex-soldiers, Chris Rhyss-Edwards and his buddies were approached by a passionate stranger who called them Neanderthals and informed them that there is never a good reason to kill. Edwards, who had never questioned his role as a soldier, began to question the very nature of killing. The result, after a decade of research, is what Edwards calls, “a ‘thought experiment’ designed to shed light on varying attitudes towards sanctity of life.”

Edwards provides a wide range of types of killings in this book: femicide, child soldiers, medicine murder, God’s work, animal rights, state execution, suicide, vigilante justice, serial killer and more. Some of the killings in this book I had never even heard of before and a couple were more than a little disturbing to learn about. Each chapter is constructed to explain a particular type of killing and to provide a real life example. The reader is encouraged to ask two questions: what would I do in a similar situation; do we ever have a good reason to kill? Edwards feels that simplistic labelling of actions as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is the basis of many conflicts. We need to explore other opinions and glean a fuller understanding of people’s behavior than merely viewing the world through a ‘black’ and ‘white’ filter.

Putting all this material under one umbrella is a clever contrivance. In essence, Edwards has written a book allowing for the re-creation of that evening in a bar when a stranger prodded him and his friends into “… one of the best and deepest conversations we had all had in a long time. As we dug deeper into the idea of why people become soldiers, police, and other state sanctioned protectors and, heaven forbid, weapons of state, we started discussing the various other means by which society accepts certain exclusions from the golden rule ‘thou shall not kill’…”.


Let the discussions begin.


Reviewed by

Book reviewer for the Lawrence Technological University library. Wayne State University 2009 HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) scholar concentrating on digital storytelling WWII oral historian for the Yankee Air Museum. Tour director and public speaker,


About the author

Chris Rhyss Edwards spent the 1990's as a soldier and peacekeeper in the Australian Army before studying Entrepreneurship and Innovation through the University of Adelaide, completing a Master of Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology and recently starting a Literature PhD. view profile

Published on September 30, 2020

Published by

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Philosophy

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