BELOW: Rick is firm in his belief that zombies should be killed; Hershel believes to do so may be murder: Rick Grimes has just learned that Hershel Greene has been keeping family members and neighbors who became zombies locked up in the farm's barn. Rick is shocked and argues with Hershel about it. Hershel is shocked to learn that Rick kills zombies. Hershel believes that doing so may be murder. He regards the the zombies as sick "people," while Rick believes that the people they were are dead, and that the zombies that remain are soulless monsters who should all be killed. An excerpt from their argument is shown here. Note how Hershel adamantly states he does not want to have "blood on his hands" if the zombies turn out to be sick people who are really alive. He is deeply concerned about not committing the sin of murder.
Rick: I don't think I could live without my son... But you've got to listen to me, Hershel. That thing in your barn... It's not your son.
Hershel: Get your f---ing hand off me! Not my son?! What made you such a g--damn expert?! I don't know about you but the zombies around here didn't come with a f---ing instruction manual! We don't know a g--damn thing about them. We don't know what they're thinking--what they're feeling. We don't know if it's a disease or side effects of some kind of chemical warfare. We don't know sh--! For all we know these things could wake up tomorrow, heal up, and be completely normal again! We just don't know! You could have been murdering all those people you "put out of their misery."
Rick: They're dead. Before they get back up--before they try to eat you--they die. You said you saw your son die. He's dead. Those things are rotting corpses with pieces missing. They're not sick people... They're dead.
Hershel: Rick, listen. These things could be in the early stages of recovery. They could be healing... and that's why things aren't working right. This is all completely unknown to us. We've go no clue how to handle this. I don't want to have blood on my hands if we find out these people are alive.
Source: The Walking Dead #11 (Aug. 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 5", pg. 4, panels 1-5. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: murder; sanctity of life; Rick Grimes; zombies; Hershel Greene
BELOW: Otis feels terrible about shooting Carl; he points how that he is non-violent and doesn't believe in killing:
Tyreese: Otis, right?
Tyreese: I don't know if you caught it before. I'm Tyreese. You doing okay?
Otis: I wouldn't hurt a fly--I mean... I was out there huntin' but I wouldn't kill no animal I wasn't going to eat. I'm real gentle, I ain't violent at all. And I-- I shot that kid. I understand why that Rick fella wanted to kill me. If'n I had killed his boy... I'd a wanted him to do it... I'd a deserved it. We still don't know if he's gonna live.
Tyreese: I ain't saying what you did was right, but you can't worry yourself to death over it. What's done is done. I'm worried sick about Carl, but there's nothing you or I can do about it now.
Source: The Walking Dead #10 (July 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 4", pg. 11, panels 1-3. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: sanctity of life; Tyreese; Otis
BELOW: Rick Grimes expresses his belief in the sanctity of life after Carl kills Shane: Rick Grimes' long-time friend Shane Walsh was about to commit murder by killing him. Before Shane could pull the trigger and kill Rick, Rick's son Carl shot Shane. Shane dies grotesquely and horribly. Carl is distraught at seeing this and rushes to his father for comfort. When Carl observes that killing Shane was not the same as killing the undead zombies which have been attacking them, Rick states that it should never be the same. Rick here expresses a belief in the sanctity of life. For him, killing a living person is a different thing from killing a soulless zombie.
Rick: Oh, son...
Carl: It's not the same as killing the dead ones, Daddy.
Rick: It never should be, son. It never should be.
BELOW: Tyreese expresses belief in the sanctity of life when he tells Rick of his concern about not feeling bad about killing the man who viciously attacked his daughter:
Tyreese: A couple weeks after this all started... the first time we ran out of food, we made a run down to a country store about two miles from our house. We got there to find the place torn apart... It'd been looted three times over... But there were stray cans all over the place. It seemed safe enough so Julie, Chris and I split up... Looking the place over to find as much food as we could. There was this nice old man, gotta be at least sixty. He was always sitting in front of the store with buddies chatting away about God knows what... Nicest old man you'd ever meet. Always had a kind word to say. While we were separated, he got a hold of Julie... pulled her into a back room. Seems he'd been living in the place... We had no idea anyone was even there. The sweet old man... The first thing he thinks of when he finally sees other people... He tried to rape Julie. Had I been two minutes later when I found them... He'd have done it. I killed that man, Rick. I wanted to... But I didn't mean to. I beat on him... and he died.
Rick: Jesus, man... Don't beat yourself up over that... You did what any father would have done in that position. I may be a cop... But I don't let rules blind me to what's right and wrong, especially in light of our current situation.
Tyreese: I'm not beating myself up because I did it... I'm beating myself up because I don't feel bad about it. Yeah-- The end of the world changed him... But look at how it changed me.
Source: The Walking Dead #7 (Apr. 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 1", pg. 14-15. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: murder; sanctity of life; Rick Grimes; Tyreese; unnamed old man at country store