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H W Copeland

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Posts posted by H W Copeland

  1. If you lack the humanity to see that taking ANY life is something to anguish over' date=' it's no wonder you're worried about someone else looking superior.


    Mental masturbation, syntax252? How long before I get a filthy PM from you telling me off?


    When you beat the argument I'm making instead of one you want me to make, I'll let you know.[/quote']


    It is not a lack of humanity to prevent a murder, even if you have to kill the one who is about to commit the murder. If you cannot see that, then it is you who is lacking in humanity - not I. That is not a superior position, it is a totally unrealistic and unhumane position.


    And please stop with this syntax252 nonsense. As I said before, I did a search on this syntax252 and all I could see that he was guilty of was in providing more fight than you could handle.


    Now, that I have had the gall to respond to your patent drivel, I suppose I will be banished from this forum like syntax252 was? If so, I can live with that, but just rember, "he who starts by burning books, will end by burning men......"


    You, as a moderator are no better than any other tyrannical despot. :rolleyes:


    Quick now, erase this post before others see it.

  2. Don't get me wrong' date=' if it was on video tape, or they caught him at the scene, I would say shoot him in both kneecaps, file his teeth, bamboo under the nails and then shoot him in the head the next day. Torture would be a much better deterrent than death.


    But, if we are not 100% sure, then it takes too much hassle with lawyers, etc. to be effective. So, that is my reason for the proposal, to get something out of keeping these people behind bars. If they are innocent, they can still work like the rest of us.[/quote']


    And with this, I agree.


    This is why I too oppose the death penalty. It is simply too much trouble to go through all the appeals and the process of making certain that the convicted is indeed the guilty party. By the time we get done with the appeals process, it is so far removed from the crime that execution has lost most of it's meaning. On the other hand, it would be foolish to just trust the state to have gotten the right guy, so these appeals are quite necessary.


    It is not because of any sympathy for the likes of this Tookie, or because of any crackpot idea that he has some sort of a "right to live," he forfited that when he murdered the 4 people that he was convicted of murdering.


    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

  3. This is where we differ. I would have a problem "excusing" myself for ANY killing. That's not to say I wouldn't do it' date=' just that I would not easily shrug it off just because I saved lives doing it.


    This last statement is a classic syntax252, where you straw man the argument I'm trying to make by changing it to one you can more easily defend. You are not listening to or responding to what I'm saying, and so you are derailing the thread by making me clarify, over and over, my position.


    Whatever value I place on one life over another doesn't make killing anyone any more just. Legal exoneration aside, I would still mourn the neccesity of having to take the life of anybody, and would not try to excuse myself of responsibility for their death by the easy expedient of "he had it coming". No one is more entitled to live than anyone else, and I may make a decision to end someone's life based on my own survival or that of others, but I refuse to excuse myself from responsibility for my actions. I may not go to jail, but I won't sleep easily for a long time after, no matter who I saved.


    If I don't take responsibility, won't my next killing be easier to justify?[/quote']


    Well, you are right about one thing - we disagree.


    In my code of ethics, whenever I have a chance to save someone's life, and the person in jeparody appears to be perfectly innocent of any crime or wrongdoing, I have a duty as a member of the human race to save that life - even if that means I have to kill the one who is about to take this innocent's life. If I were to fail in that duty because of some warped sense of equity, then that would be the thing that would keep me awake at night, not the fact that I had eliminated a piece of human garbage from our midst.


    If you lack the fortitude to do your duty without agonizing about it, that is, after all, your misfortune, but please don't try to make yourself look superior in the bargain.:rolleyes:


    You are wrong, however, about the "strawman" and the syntax252.


    I did a search on this syntax252, and it looks like this guy was guilty of providing a little more in the way of an argument that you were capable of handling, so you simply banished him.


    That is some method of countering an argument--banish the one who is refuting your position.


    Tell me, what is the difference between burning books and banning someone who beats you in a discussion?

  4. That sounds like an endorsement for the death penalty in all homicide cases. Kill them all and they will kill no more.

    How can you add double emphasis to what I wrote and still ask those questions? My response to you was about justification of killing in self defense. Let's define the term "justify" before you start doing the syntax252 thing' date=' hmm?. :rolleyes:


    I think you're using justify to mean "prove or show evidence why certain decisions or actions have been taken". To me, that's an explanation. I'm using justify to mean "make right, to free from the penalty of responsibility". To me, this is an excuse. I make a great distinction between an explanation (or a reason) and an excuse. I could never excuse myself for killing or allowing someone else to be killed. It is something I would live with for the rest of my life, and I think it would be criminal of me to try to justify away my responsibility.



    Well ok, but if it were me, I would focus on the lives that I saved, rather than the life I took. I would have a problem excusing myself if I just stood by and allowed someone else to be murdered when I could have stopped it.


    If after all, we are talking about a case of someone about to murder presumable innocent people, don't you think that those innocents are a little more entitled to go on living that the murderer is entitled to kill them?


    Who/what is syntax252?

  5. It's well known and easy to demonstrate that the gravity inside the sphere, exerted by the sphere, would be zero at any point whatsoever. You don't get pulled towards the center, you don't get pulled towards the nearest edge (even if you're right next to it), it doesn't matter how big the sphere is or how thick its walls are. It doesn't matter if it's 50 billion miles across with 10 thousand mile thick lead walls that you're right next to. The net force is exactly zero. Always.


    The Earth is close to being a sphere.


    If one dug a hole 100 feet deep and stood at the bottom of the hole, would he not, in effect, be inside a sphere?


    Are you saying that there is no gravity at the bottom of a hole in the ground?:rolleyes:

  6. Justifiable in the sense that it makes it right to do so? Absolutely not. People use justifiability to avoid moral responsibility. Would I kill in self defense or to defend others from death? Absolutely' date=' if there were no other way. But I would not try to sidestep the fact that I had taken the life of a fellow human.


    Legally I am absolved from prosecution if I kill someone who is trying to kill me. That doesn't mean they "deserved" to die. It doesn't mean I would lose less sleep because it was legally justifiable. [b']Failing my moral responsibility to preserve the lives of my fellow humans isn't something I could easily write off, even if I felt it was the necessary thing to do[/b].


    How about failing to keep someone from killing you or others? Wouldn't that weigh on your consience if you failed to do so because of your sense of morality?

  7. Are you trying to tell me that an inmate given life without parole imprisoned in a Supermax Prison poses a risk to anyone? Maybe in the movies...


    He certainly does. He may kill another prisoner or a guard or he may be paroled at a future date.

  8. I oppose the death penalty in all instances.


    It is not the deterrent people want it to be. It deters you and me' date=' maybe, but chances are we wouldn't kill anyone even if it were [i']legal[/i].


    If it's not a deterrent, then it's vengeance, and that diminishes us as a society. Retribution assumes the penalty is justly deserved, and no human, even a murderer, deserves to die at the hands of another human. It may sound good to say it regarding some vicious killer, but getting what you deserve should never mean death. Civilized society should face its problems, not sweep them under the rug.


    I think when cryogenic freezing becomes commercially feasible, the death penalty should be abolished and everyone who gets life imprisonment should be frozen and stored in Antarctica. No maintenance costs, no killing, no inhumane treatment, and your case can be reviewed every hundred years or so.


    Do you think that is is justifiable to kill in self defense?

  9. I said there's no absolute metric of guilt' date=' and also stated my opinion if there was.




    Yet we still execute the innocent.




    Holy specious reasoning batman!


    Let's deconstruct this argument really quick and point out how flawed this kind of reasoning is...




    1) Not everyone who commits murder is put on death row

    2) People on death row can still be released


    In order for the death penalty to be effective in preventing these kinds of deaths the above would have to be reversed: those convicted of murder must instantly be put to death.




    And last I checked:

    1) People on death row can still escape

    2) People on death row can still murder guards or other inmates


    So again, the only way the death penalty can be effective in preventing these situations is if the penalty is carried out immediately after the trial.


    This would dramatically increase the number of innocents executed, and consequently the only way these murders could've been prevented by capital punishment is to increase the number of innocents executed.


    But apparently you don't find the [i']state[/i] executing innocent people to be more morally reprehensible than a deranged individual murdering innocent people. I hope you can hold the state to a higher standard than a murderer.


    I see nothing in this post that refutes the position that if murderers were all executed, there would be less loss of innocent life.


    But that is not the question......


    The question is - as I stated in the post that you quoted - is there a moral equivalency between executing someone for murder and the murder(s) that he committed?


    For the sake of the discussion, please assume that the executee is in fact guilty as charged.:rolleyes:

  10. This is an incredibly specious argument. You said not two sentences before :



    Only two of these people killed while still in prison. Therefore' date=' the problem here is releasing people from prison, not inability to execute them. Many of these people on the list that you gave wouldn't have been subject to the death penalty anyway, as they committed manslaughter, not murder.[/quote']

    The subject was murder not manslaughter.


    And you can never be sure that a future parole board will not release one of them.


    And sometimes they kill other prisoners, or guards.


    And the question of the OP is whether or not there is a moral equivalency of executing a murderer and committing murder.

  11. With absolute certainty? No. We use a "reasonable doubt" metric which has a margin of error. Russ Feingold cited the following statistics in his argument against capital punishment:








    Actual guilt and what the system establishes are two different things.




    I prefer a scientific approach: that every guilty verdict is potentially falsifiable given enough evidence. I do not think we can say with absolute certainty that anyone is a murderer.


    If someone is found guilty of a murder and given a life sentence' date=' and new evidence comes to light to exhonorate them, you can always let them out of prison.


    If someone is found guilty of a murder and given the death penalty, and new evidence comes to light to exhonorate them, then the state has made a horrible, unforgivable mistake.


    There is no excuse for executing innocent people.


    Even if there were some magical absolute metric by which we could ascertain that someone was a murderer, I would not support the death penalty. I consider it blatent hypocrisy to solve the problem of a murderer with state-condoned murder.[/quote']


    Well, since you are unwilling to say that it is possible to establish guilt, your opinion of the morality of the DP is meaningless.


    Obviousely, if one thinks that someone may be innocent, one would be loath to execute him. That is why we have appeals processes and is also why, not everyone who is found guilty of murder is sentenced to death.


    As to the innocent being executed, there have been more people killed by murderers who were set free, or escaped or who killed someone in the prison system after they had been convicted of murder that innocents who were wrongfully executed.




    How do you justify that? If these guys had been executed for their crimes, these later murders would never have occured.:rolleyes:


    Besides, as I said before, this thread was not started to discuss execution of innocents, it was started to discuss whether there is a morally equivelency between murder and execution......

  12. Even if you had evidence to present that the death penalty proves a more effective deterrent than life imprisonment, how can you use this to justify the inevitable execution of the innocent?


    Don't you think it is possible to establish for a fact that someone was indeed guilty of a murder?


    Keep in mind, I am not advocating the DP on any willy nilly basis, As a matter of fact, I myself am opposed to the DP, but when one is guilty, one is guilty.


    Actually what I am looking for is a discussion regarding the moral aspects of executing a murderer.

  13. I am opposed to the death penalty on three grounds:

    1) I sense it is morally wrong to take life.

    2) As noted by a couple of you' date=' the possibility of error exists.

    3) The state should be setting an example to its citizens. That example should include aspects of forgiveness and rehabilitation. I understand it is technically difficult to rehabilitate a corpse.[/quote']


    I agree that it is important to be sure that the executee be guilty, but I also think that it is possible to establish guilt as a fact.


    And of course it is wrong to take a life, that is precisely why Tookie got what he had comming to him.


    And I think that the state is setting an example to it's citizens when it executes a murderer. The example being - if you kill one of our citizens, you will have to forfit your life in return.

  14. I am adamantly opposed to the death penalty. Especially in this case: this was a reformed man whose efforts almost earned him a Nobel Peace Prize.


    It all gets back to "Why do we kill people who kill people to prove that killing is wrong?"


    So that others will see that society kills people who kill people and, not wanting to be killed themselves, will refrain from killing people?

  15. I see that the guy that murdered 4 people 25 years ago was finally brought to justice.


    Arnie said "hasta la vista baby" to his appeal for clemency.


    There have been statements of "moral equivilency" regarding the death penalty and the murders that this guy committed.



  16. To me this proposition appears to depend to some degree on the dimensions of the sphere.


    If the sphere were 1 million miles in diameter and the thickness of the walls were 3000 miles, then wouldn't the walls have enough mass to attract any smaller mass to it?


    Wouldn't a person be able to walk around on the inside of this sphere just as if he were on the outside of it?


    Isn't the opposite side is far enough away so that it attracts less than the near side?

  17. I hope he is out in the next election. .


    You hope he is out in the next election?:rolleyes:


    Either this statement was badly mangled, or you are unaware that Bush is inelegible to run again because of a constitutional amendment limiting presidents to two terms.


    Either way, your critique of political affairs is severely compromised.....

  18. I am intrigued by the 12 lb. limit of pellet guns in the UK. What is the purpose of this?


    I know that the UK is down on gun ownership, but the way I figure it, if a man can swing a 1 pound ball peen hammer 100 fps, and I think most good men can, that would generate 155 ft. lbs. of energy.


    They don't regulate hammers, axes and chainsaws -- do they?

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