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Everything posted by Gilga-flesh

  1. Trying to find errors in the reasoning of some people in this thread is like shooting goldfish in a bowl. Easy but pointless and gets boring quickly. Clearly many people didn't form their opinion on the basis of a reasoning. They formed their opinion on basis of emotions and then picked up some arguments they don't truly believe in to try to defend an opinion they don't actually understand. Arguments should be at the core of a belief and should stand or fall together. They are not ablative armor for your own ego.
  2. Let me refresh your memory also. You insisted there is no other interpretation possible of last resort. I'm cool with that. So, you must try other options first like incarceration and if that doesn't work you can kill them right?
  3. As you could get out of my posts, I understand death penalty isn't already being used exclusively on repeat criminals. What I asked was: would people accept death penalty if it was exclusively used on repeat criminals?
  4. The former. It appears some people here do not realize the consequences (or meaning) of their own statements and are left without rebuttal when I confront them. It's a common symptom among people who do not have a logical reasoning to sustain their belief to begin with. They treat words as stones and just throw them like blunt weapons rather than have them naturally flow from logical reasoning.
  5. Indeed! My question was hypothetical. There are many spiritual/religious believes without a god, or rather without an omnipotent creator, that include spiritual immortality of some kind.
  6. Thanks. I'm used to reviewing scientific literature so inconsistent crap bothers me much. Also I'm bored I guess. But you're right. He's not worth it.
  7. Possibly you missed the post I responded to? It was this one: Someone remarked how death penalty should be a last resort measurement. Which I thought it already was. So we got in an unfortunate linguistic discussion about the term last resort. Apparently people think it means that you should first try out other courses of actions before the last resort action become acceptable. Which of course means that they do think death penalty is acceptable as long as other courses have failed. Ergo repeat criminals.
  8. Where to start. Let's summarize our discussion for the sake of sanity and late arrivals. "If death penalty is abolished the alternative is life in prison. Because these are the worst of the worst. Rehabilitation isn't really an issue if you plan to keep someone locked up in a cage forever." 0) I state the "worst of the worst" of criminals can't be released. As for your extreme example, of course their will always be some people considered to dangerous to be released, but, that said, 99% of the prison population in any given country is rehabilitatable. 1) You agree with me. You also claim that 99% of criminals can be rehabilitated. No and I'm not going to look because it was meant as a counterpoint to the extreme example suggested by Gilga-flesh, as in 99% of any prison population won't meet of his example. 2) You refuse to back up your claim because it was meant as a counterpoint. And you can make those up apparently. You also no longer agree to my point that the worst criminals can't be released even though you already agreed to it a post earlier. Except ofcourse, my "extreme example" actually exists many times over and yours is completely made up. 3) I point out the obvious. The worst of the worst of criminals exist. But 99% of criminals have not been rehabilitated, nor is there evidence that they can be. 4) You disagree but lose the ability to use language. I especially like how you decided to post the same smiley twice. "Oh, you disagree that your statement that 99% of criminals can be rehabilitated is made up? Strange cause you admitted it yourself just a few posts later. The example you claim as extreme is, unfortunately, not even remotely exceptional." 5) I'm confused and try to find out what's going on + I make a large reasoning about how society badly combines attempts to punish criminals and protect society. "Indeed." 6) You post a single word while deliberately quoting my phrase "This does not make sense" out of context. I guess it's better than a couple of smileys. Unfortunately there is still no indication of what part you disagree with, let alone an explanation as to why. "Brilliant argumentation. If you don't have anything to say, don't." 7) I point out that you are not saying anything of worth. At all. "I, at least, explained why my supposition lacks evidence, whilst you just continue to insist yours is valid and mine is made up (hence the double face-palms).I look forward to the citations, you'll no doubt provide now, or at least an explanation as to why you can't provide them. BTW I live in a society that values freedom of speech, or would you deny me that?" 8) You again disagree with me and your former self. Apparently you no longer think that there are criminals who shouldn't be released. You demand scientific evidence for their existence and claim I'm oppressing your freedom of speech by exercising my own freedom of speech to tell you to put more meaning in your speech. 9) I get confused. Perhaps you can help me and answer the questions you left open. Why did you change your mind? What exactly do you disagree with? Do you really want me to find research to prove that some criminals are too dangerous to be released? Even though you already agreed with it? I did post this link a few posts before our discussion: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/135292/170-convicted-rapists-reoffend-after-released-from-prison I would think that would suffice.
  9. It seems to depend on the definition of last resort you use. If you feel other punishments/measures must first be used, does that mean that you would support death penalty for repeat criminals (assuming crime of sufficient magnitude) that do not seem to be rehabilitable?
  10. How about other punitive measures such as fines. What do you think of these?
  11. If a country becomes a dictatorship they can do whatever they want regardless whether it was legal before. Aside from this, there are always ways to kill 'traitors' if you really want it. Even in countries without death penalty. That's why, when your country becomes a dictatorship, it's game over as far as ethics and legality issues are concerned. They people who determine what is legal ARE now the criminals and they don't need your or the public's approval at large in order to create their law. Brilliant argumentation. If you don't have anything to say, don't. My country doesn't have death penalty either. But does the system work BECAUSE of the lack of death penalty and low max. sentencing? Or is the causality reversed? My impression is that societies tend to loose death penalty when they become more pacified. And call for death penalty increases when violence/terrorism goes up. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/last%20resort When nothing else works. In the opinion of lawmakers in countries like the USA, nothing less than death penalty would work to punish the very worst criminals sufficiently. It's the maximum punishment available for the worst crimes possible.
  12. Does a belief in immortality of the spirit require a God?
  13. Didn't intend to suggest otherwise. But it is quite possible to prove the existence of something. Especially very big and powerful things like elephants and suns. Though not gods it seems.
  14. Oh, you disagree that your statement that 99% of criminals can be rehabilitated is made up? Strange cause you admitted it yourself just a few posts later. The example you claim as extreme is, unfortunately, not even remotely exceptional. There are *many* serial pedo-raping child murders. Enough to start a society all by their own had that been a good idea. And I can't count the number of times that a trial came in the news because the pedo-murderer was laughing in court, even actively taunting the parents of the victims. These are complete psychopaths, according to psychology completely without conscious. They like hurting others and either don't feel their pain or even like it. Some don't even understand why other people are all touchy and sentimental about things like raped and murdered children. So tell me: what purpose did the facepalm smileys serve? In what way was my statement incorrect? As for your 'second' statement, though the first barely deserves to be called a statement: I don't care either way. As I made clear in my earlier posts, I don't mind if criminals are punished or merely kept away from society. I don't care if they receive the death penalty or kept imprisoned for live either. None of these are per definition evil or good in my eyes. I'm pretty much cool with any of these philosophies as long as they are approached consistently and in a rational manner. They usually aren't. And the badly mixed desire to keep society safe (isolate philosophy) and punish criminals (punish philosophy) at the same time has led to systems in which prisoners are tormented for long periods of time only to be released back in a society in which they can no longer function. Further increasing chances of relapse and harm to society. And death penalty is given even if the criminal desires death more than life and consider death a release. While other criminals beg for death and are kept forcefully alive as an act of 'kindness' rather than cruelty. This does not make sense. Ethicists abhor an ethical policy chosen on majority grounds. But if there is a strong favor among a public for either the punish or isolate philosophies then it might be better to just pick one and create a system which actually achieves what it set out to accomplish. Bloviation? His post could be more concise to match forum convention but it certainly wasn't empty of meaning.
  15. Which god? Different cultures have/had very different type of entities which all got translated to gods. If you want a definition you have to observe the common base for all these entities. Which is a degree of immortality and a degree of supernatural power beyond what is ascribed to humans by the culture which acknowledges said god entity. The Judeo/Christian/Islamic God is of course an extreme example since he maxes out at both requirements. However that works against him in my aspect. Cause even though you can't prove whether a god exists or doesn't exist, it's easy to find reasons not to consider an omnipotent god worthy of worship just by observing the world.
  16. Except ofcourse, my "extreme example" actually exists many times over and yours is completely made up. I would recommend people to allow people a degree of autonomy over their own life which also includes voluntary ending, if so desired. If a friend was sick and wished to die, and I determined his wish to be sincere and not a fleeting impulse, I would assist him. And I have several friends that would do the same for me. You once again validate my conclusions. Some people think life is a duty. An obligation. But your opinion should only affect you. Not me. Understand? Nor do I think that a system in which the victim has official power over punitive measures is realistic. Nonetheless if victim satisfaction is the underlying goal for death penalty then a veto is the only way to achieve this. Since not all victims will require the outcome to accomplish satisfaction. If mere punishment and/or imprisonment is the underlying goal, then no veto is required. A last resort, yes. But current death penalty isn't the first or preferred option. It is the last. Your statement seems, again, exaggerated. I understand you do not see punishment as a goal and (most?) proponents of death penalty do. And that almost all of you see death as worse than the, as disarray described time in many prisons, "a subdued but prolonged form of torture". So it might help the discussion if you explained why punishment of criminals should not be a goal.
  17. Exactly. If I contracted some contagious airborne disease I would be kept in hospital even if I turned out to be only a carrier. I wouldn't be released if there was any doubt that I was cured to prevent harm to others. They'd need 100% certainty of that, not 70 or 80 or even 90.Yet rapists and murderers are just let loose like it's nothing. Take this figure: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/135292/170-convicted-rapists-reoffend-after-released-from-prison. So for the small chance that a former rapist will become a rehabilitated wholesome member of society, many other lives of people who were wholesome members of society to begin with, are sacrificed. That's not good ethics. In the case of crimes with high chance of repeat and a lot of damage to other people, there shouldn't be a second chance. Because that chance comes at the price of other people's first chance at life. As one victim said: "‘We are all still paying a price. Victims of rape and their families get a life sentence, so why don’t the rapists?" It would be something if rapists were being castrated before release. But to let them keep sex drive and release them, knowing they can't control themselves, is madness. It's like letting a hit and run driver keep their drivinglicense, or a random shooter his gunpermit and just trust them using the honor system. And to keep it relevant to the discussion at hand: one argument speaking for the death penalty is that the perpetrator isn't going to repeat the crime. Even if they are kept locked up in prison for life, they might rape another prisoner who was imprisoned for something much less severe. Say theft instead of rape/murder. Is that fair?
  18. My post is downvoted. The only one in this thread I think. Interesting. Is it because I dared to state that people have the right to commit suicide? There are people with unimaginable problems. I doubt, no I know, that none of you have endured true disease and disorders. There are people who are experiencing close to the maximum amount of pain and suffering that a person can possibly go through. There are people who have gone completely insane and do nothing but scream in agony while imagining hells you can't describe. They will never be better. None of the worst cases of schizophrenia have ever become healthy again. You can drug them to become a barely conscious vegetable but that's not cured. *I* think they have the right to chose a dignified end. A right to decide about their own life or death. It seems that some of you would rather put such a person in a straight-jacket and force them to endure several more decades of hell. OR make them into a vegetable. Something without a proper human mind. Against their will. And yet you think me immoral. Unbelievable. But I think my conclusion was correct: at least some, perhaps many, of the opponents of death penalty aren't motivated by the belief that people deserve to live. It's because they think people have the obligation to remain alive. I suspected due to a fear of their own mortality but perhaps some religious background is involved as well. Even if you are not actively religious, the culture in which you are reared will still affect you. Look at nature. Look at the world. Look at medical conditions. What exactly makes you think life is sacred? But I really don't want to derail this conversation any further. I brought up the subject of suicide because I didn't understand the hypocrisy involved. I think I figured it out pretty well in the end. Rehabilitation...? In reference to death penalty? If death penalty is abolished the alternative is life in prison. Because these are the worst of the worst. Rehabilitation isn't really an issue if you plan to keep someone locked up in a cage forever. Are you suggesting life in prison should also be abolished? So to keep with my example I gather you would try to rehabilitate said serial child raping/murdered. You know one of those guys that keep a little girl locked up and rapes her for months, then kills her and bursts into laughing in court when asked if he doesn't feel guilty. Be honest here. Look in your heart. If he gets released because psychologists declared him better. Could he become your friend? I mean that's what rehabilitate means. To become a fully fledged and accepted member of society. Will he be your friend? Will you ever let him into your house, love him like a brother, babysit your daughter?
  19. Suicide could be a mistake. It can also be a good decision. Either way adults have the right to make their own decisions. It's not up to YOU to decide for them. You can advice, a psychologist might test to see if the desire for death is sincere. But only 1 person carries the actual right to decide: the person in question. And no of course people who are depressed (true depression aka as in medical disorder) aren't feeling alive. That's pretty much what depression means. Children aren't as aware? I used to be a medical researcher with a fondness for psychology and I never heard that. At the contrary, children's minds are very active. My personal memories of childhood are extremely strong. I think I felt everything considerably stronger then. Like many adults I'm now more reserved, thicker skin. Less sensitive. Anyway a moot point. Comparing the death wish of someone who is suffering to a child's undeveloped capacity to reason is silly.
  20. I agree. It's good to understand the cause of the problem. However it's not a requirement to recognize the problem. Whether they are born like that, made like that, chose like that is an interesting issue and the answer(s) might help prevent similar cases in the future. But it won't change the fact that the bad person is a bad person. I don't think understanding Hitler or some pedophile/child murderer will make me consider them brothers and invite them over for Holidays. No matter what the cause, they became/are bad on the inside.
  21. As pointed out: surviving in essence requires no more than a heartbeat. That is not living in the metaphorical sense. There are people in coma that survive but they aren't even aware. There are children kept as sex slaves that survive.. till they get too old and get shot. They survived for a while too. But that's not what we would call a living. And considering how many Afghan sex slaved children set themselves on fire in the hopes of getting freedom one way or the other, I don't think they value such a life very high either. Suicide attempts can be impulsive yes. But there are plenty of prisoners for which it's not impulsive. They thought about it deeply and kept their conviction for extended periods of time. If someone keeps a death wish for a year or even years on end, it should simply be respected. There are plenty of people like that outside prisons too of course and these people will also face the same opposition. Yet, it should be their decision. Even if it will turn out to be a mistake, it's still the right of an individual to make that mistake. It's their life to do with as they chose. Unless you intentionally wish for prisoners to suffer, in that case it makes sense to keep suicidal prisoners alive at all costs. But then it should also make sense to put prisoners who wish to live on death-row. See the inconsistency? This debate and people themselves are clearly driven by the assumption that to live is always better than death. A belief so strong that it will be enforced on others at any cost (or reversely applied in the case of death penalty). The reason I brought up the horrible living inside prisons was to point out the inconsistency. Many people oppose the death penalty because they think it is too cruel. Yet far fewer object with the same fervor against the appalling conditions under which they have to live. Some weak prisoner ending up being violently/sexually abused for decades on end is apparently the lesser evil in their eyes. Which makes no sense. It can only be explained because they think that living under any condition at all is per definition better than death, which is an opinion not shared by many people. So again, so summarize, if you oppose the death penalty you apparently think that people, even the worst of criminals, have a right to live which can't be infringed upon. I neither oppose not support the philosophy itself but merely ask for consistency; if they retain the right to live, they should retain the right to die as well if they chose to do so. Also, it people act out of concern for prisoners wellbeing, upgrading the conditions under which they have to live will likely achieve a lot more good for a lot more prisoners than merely get rid of the death penalty which only affects a few. Unless ofcourse you, as I suggested, consider mere physical survival sufficient and psychological wellbeing of less importance.
  22. I don't need to know how an apple got rotten, I just need to know it's rotten.
  23. What? This is actually very nicely written. Although I don't feel the abhorrence at death penalty like you do, I think I understand your viewpoint better now. If a criminal is kept for life in a prison he/she would indeed be unable to inflict harm on those outside, and you wish to eliminate the punishment aspect of prisons. Nonetheless, with up to 20% of inmates being raped and many violent assaults (and a few murders/suicides) occurring inside prisons each year, it seems prisons are still places in which punishment is central even without death penalty. Granted, criminal lives won't be saved by ending them either. But to me it seems that, even if death penalty was something undesirable, that it should have lower priority than changing the horrid conditions under which criminals are kept to begin with. To me that seems like the real punishment; perpetual struggle to survive in a hellhole. And this is why the death penalty seems benign to me in comparison. Yet I see considerably less people making a fuss about prison rape than about the occasional death penalty, even though death penalty only affects a few and rape affects A LOT of prisoners. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_rape_in_the_United_States "In a survey of 1,788 male inmates in Midwestern prisons by Prison Journal, about 21% claimed they had been coerced or pressured into sexual activity during their incarceration, and 7% claimed that they had been raped in their current facility.[5]" " In 1974 Carl Weiss and David James Friar wrote that 46 million Americans would one day be incarcerated; of that number, they claimed, 10 million would be raped. A 1992 estimate from the Federal Bureau of Prisons conjectured that between 9 and 20 percent of inmates had been sexually assaulted. Studies in 1982 and 1996 both concluded that the rate was somewhere between 12 and 14 percent; the 1996 study, by Cindy Struckman-Johnson, concluded that 18 percent of assaults were carried out by prison staff. A 1986 study by Daniel Lockwood put the number at around 23 percent for maximum security prisons in New York. Christine Saum's 1994 survey of 101 inmates showed 5 had been sexually assaulted.[9]"
  24. No they are not. But they clearly overlap since both concern the right of the individual to have power over their own life/death. And if you want to settle a discussion you should first find out the underlying motives for people on either side of the argument to stick to their positions. I can see why it would make sense to suspend a right, even such a fundamental one as the right to live, as ultimate punishment. But if people object against this and think this crosses a line, then I would expect them to be consistent and allow prisoners the right to die as well. Since they are essentially one and the same right. However I've noticed that many people who oppose death penalty would rather put a prisoner in a straightjacket and keep them doped up for the remainder of their lifespan than allow them a dignified end even if said prisoner begged for death. I didn't understand this. So I suspect that many opponents of death penalty have other reasons than mere concern about rights to oppose the death penalty. Namely their own views on death. It certainly fits the trend in society. Whereas in the past people were taught to accept their mortality and death as a natural phenomenon, keeping memento mori in their homes and on their person, society nowadays has moved completely away from this. The quest for eternal life was always there ofcourse but with a generation of narcissists and pseudo-scientific daydreams which suggests immortality is just a few years away, it reigns stronger than ever. Everyone dies. Everyone. And usually it's a very unpleasant death after many years of physical and mental degradation. The only alternative is a life-sentence. It won't however prevent anyone from dying. All it does is make sure you have many years of prison before your death occurs. People have survival instinct so their gut reaction is to prefer life. That doesn't mean they will truly live in those years. Not live in any sense that matters. Just... survive. I think the inevitability of death puts the death penalty in perspective doesn't it?
  25. SOME, perhaps many, people on death row appeal the sentence. But SOME people on life wish for death. Death isn't worse or better than life by some cosmic standard; it's subjective. That was my point. Which is why FORCING either life OR death on a person out of compassion is ridiculous. I personally am on neither side of the capital punishment debate. But if you think the government has no right to the power of life and death over criminals then you should give criminals the possibility to voluntarily chose death as well.
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