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DragonDancer

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Posts posted by DragonDancer

  1. I don't see any hypocrisy in judging one legal system over another and using the ethics inferred to judge subsequent punishments by them. That's analysis, not hypocrisy.

     

    ParanoiA,

     

    I have to disagree with you on this point. To state that one legal system should be allowed to use a particular punishment because you approve of it, while another should not because you don't approve of it is blatant hypocrisy.

     

    Let's put it in a different situation to clarify the hypocrisy.

     

    If I were to say that "One person can have ice-cream because they live in a particular area", while at the same time saying that "Another person cannot have ice-cream because they live in a different area" would be hypocritical. Why should the location a person lives determine whether or not they can have ice-cream?

     

    Let's change the wording slightly. "One country should have Capital Punishment because they have a particular style of government but another country shouldn't because they have a different style of government." How is this not hypocritical?

     

    The Bible does not forbid killing per se but only a 'murderous act,' which is wrongful killing.

     

    Marat,

     

    I would like to simply point out Exodus 20 verse 13 which states, "Thou shalt not kill." Correct me if I am wrong, but that is forbidding killing, is it not?

     

    The innocent lives lost are unfortunate but not intentional, so should be considered like any other accident. Also, the "small chance" of death this way is way way smaller than the chance of death via a raid accident.

     

    Severian,

     

    If you wish to consider the wrongful conviction and death of an innocent person an accident, then if you are an average every day sort of person you should logically wish to aviod such an accident from occurring. The death of an innocent person is 100% avoidable in the case of an innocent man or woman convicted. One would have to wonder about the ethical standards of any government that does not do everything in it's power to avoid such "accidents". Removing the death penalty avoids such "accidents" completely.

     

    Also, I think you could make an argument for executing all violent criminals. That would mean violent criminals are permanently removed from the streets for a much reduced cost, but more significantly, prisons become more sane places with a serious prospect of rehabilitation and not just the criminal training camps they are now. Such a move would drastically reduce crime in our society (at the cost of some innocent deaths via wrongful execution).

     

    It could also be argued that murder would be a crime on the increase as criminals decide that if they are going to die if they are caught and convicted anyway, why not kill any witnesses to reduce the chances of getting caught in the first place.

     

    Remember that the people who you wrongfully execute for murder, are usually in that situation because of their life choices. They are a member of a gang, or have a record of violence and have usually committed some violent crime in the past. It is quite rare to wrongly convict someone who has lead an exemplary life.

     

    If this really is true, why is the spouse often the first person susected followed closely by the last person to argue with them. Most murder victims know thier killers in some way. If a husband and wife regularly have yelling fights but no violence and one of them die, it can be assumed that because the neighbors heard the yelling, that violence was common.

     

    And even if they are totally innocent, these are the same people who we are at the moment locking up for years in a dangerous prison. You have already ruined their lives by sticking them in with violent killers to be bullied and gang raped.

     

    Maybe you have, but if and when they prove thier innocence, they can sue for and often win, compensation for thier suffering. How do you compensate them for killing them?

     

    I have however, come up with a possible alternative to capital punishment.

     

    Make prison time hard labour again.

     

    These days, (at least in Australia) Inmates often have thier own television, they eat and live better than a lot of people who are not in prison. Why not put them to work fixing roads, keeping public parks clean and safe, perfoming any task that benefits the community. Take away thier luxuries and make them earn thier keep. Most people who are for capital punishment cite the cost of keeping offenders alive, but if they are put to work in such a fashion, they earn the cost of keeping them alive. If you bring back the chain gang, you lessen the chance of escape. Graffiti is a problem in most cities, why not have them clean it off and repair vandalism.

     

    Make thier uniform an embarrassing colour when they are out in the chain gangs, so that the public can see that the criminals are paying for thier crimes. The reason a large number of criminals reoffend is because it is cheaper and easier for them than living out in the real world. The worse the crime, the longer other people pay for them to have a roof over thier heads and 3 square meals a day which they get for free. If going to prison is more trouble than it's worth, people will generally try to avoid it.

     

    If an innocent person is convicted, they work the same as everyone else who is convicted, but if and when they prove thier innocence, they could be paid for the work they have put in, which if made automatic may possibly cut out compensation lawsuits for wrongful conviction. Not to mention that if the inmates are worked hard enough, they might just be too exhausted at the end of the day to cause any trouble or harm another inmate.

  2. I cannot say whether or not it is ethical not to tell someone that they are adopted, I can only state my thoughts on the topic and maybe by the end of the discussion/debate, I will have found a definitive answer. I do however believe that it is better for the adopted child to find out from the adoptive parents before the child can find out from somewhere or someone else. Even obtaining a copy of your birth certificate runs the risk of finding out that you are adopted.

     

    To get a birth certificate (at least in Australia) you need to have certain birth details, such as either the names of the birth parents (or at least one of them) and if not, the adoption paperwork. When I applied for my birth certificate, I had to be 16 before I was eligible to apply for my birth certificate and that was with my mother signing certain parts of the application. At the time, a person had to be eighteen, the age of a legal adult in Australia, to apply without a parent being involved. Here, birth documents can form a vital part of identification for a large number of things from a bank account to a drivers license, to a line of credit.

     

    For parents who choose not to tell their child that he or she is adopted, with so many genetic problems, it is important to at least obtain the birth parents complete medical history if possible, even in a country where you don't require birth or adoption papers as part of the identification process to get a driver's license, credit card, etc.

     

    Over the years, I known a number of people who have been adopted and from talking to a couple of them, I have found that how the adopted person takes the news depends entirely on how they found out. One found out as a teenager and felt betrayed by her parents and that she had lived her life as a lie. She was angry with her parents for lying to her by omission. She also felt abandoned by her birth parents, which led her to a large number of self esteem issues.

     

    The other found out as soon as she was old enough to understand. The way she was told made her feel special and wanted, so never gave her birth parents another thought until she wanted to know her medical history. I am no longer in contact with either of these women, but I have always remembered her story of how she was told she was adopted. They told her that they wanted to be a mummy and a daddy but they wanted a very special someone to love. So they looked and looked until they found her and they knew she was the special someone they were looking for. Even as an adult telling me this memory, she was smiling as if the idea still made her feel good.

     

    Genecks,

     

    My father acted as the father for my half-brother (my oldest brother) for the majority of my half-brother's life. As such, my brother did not know that my dad was not his real father. But my brother believed so. When he was told, his world was crushed. My older brother also thought that my oldest brother was his real, bloodline brother. They would not have known otherwise.

     

    I can completely empathise with your brother. I was told that I had a different father than that of my sisters and brothers at age eleven. It wasn't an easy thing to learn, but over time, I learnt that just because we have different father, it doesn't mean we are not the same family. We all share our mother's bloodline and as such are still real bloodline brothers and sisters, we just only share a part of our bloodlines. You and your half-brother are still blodline brothers through the bloodline of the parent you share. Nothing has change except the perception that you had. A person's true parents are those who did the hard work and raised the person, not the people who donated the genetic material. Biology only goes so far, the rest is how we grow and who guides that growth.

     

    As to DNA testing, in some respects it is already well on the way to becoming commonplace. That does not mean that everyone will automatically be tested, it simply means that it will be available to anyone who wants it. Already if you can pay for it, you can get your DNA tested in some places. Though I would imagine that you would have to have a specific reason in mind before such a test would be performed.

     

    Thankyou for listening

  3. Yes, in those countries people were legally executed under those countries laws. However, it should be made clear that the question at hand is whether the death penalty is ethical, not whether the legal system of the Soviet Union and Afghanistan is ethical. To mix the two discussions detracts from the initial debate.

     

    DJBruce,

     

    I would like to clarify, as I feel that I may have been misunderstood. The argument you that you refer to was simply my defence of the word murder in my very first post in this thread. My point in that post was that I equate capital punishment with murder and as such, I stated

     

    To answer the ethics of the death penalty we need to ask ourselves just one question.

     

    Can murder ever be considered ethical?

     

    I was not intending to go into the ethics of individual legal systems at that point in time, despite the fact that one cannot properly argue the ethics of a punishment used by a legal system without arguing the ethics of the legal system. The two are inseparable. If a punishment is deemed unethical, does this not make the legal system that uses it also unethical? String Junky called to order my use of the word "Murder" and I was justifying it, plain and simple. So far, no-one has argued anything else about that first post, just the use of one word. String Junky argued that a government or "The State" does not murder it's citizens. I showed examples of governments, or "States" that have murdered their citizens. I was simply saying in that first post that I am against the death penalty and why I am against it goes into the ethics of such a punishment. To be in favour of the death penalty you must first believe it to be ethical.

     

    The term "Mass Murderers" is more of a layperson term rather than a legal one. So really in a legal sense a government cannot be dubbed a mass murder. This would make your point that one must either admit a state can murder or denounce the atrocities of certain governments moot. Also the delima you propose does not revolve around whether the death penalty itself is ethical, but whether or not the justice systems of a certain country are considered ethical.

     

    I used the term "Mass Murderers" because that is what those governments did. They committed "Mass Murder". Maybe you would prefer the term "Genocide" considering the numbers of people killed by some of these governments? Governments and the people who make up the governments can be and are tried and convicted of crimes against humanity, which include genocide or in laymans terms, "Mass Murder".

     

    But again I move back into the ethics of the legal systems, rather than the death penalty itself. So to satisfy your distinction, I will return to the original question, is the death penalty ethical?

     

    History shows us that the deathy penalty can be and is misused by corrupt governments all over the world. To say that it is ethical for one government to have the death penalty, but it is unethical for another is to be hypocritical and I as such, have to state with certainty that the death penalty or to use the legal term "Capital Punishment", is most certainly unethical. So far, the only people I have seen arguing for the death penalty are people who argue for the death penalty in legal systems they approve of and against it in legal systems they don't. Unless you can state with absolute certainty that the death penalty is ethical no matter which legal system uses it, you cannot state that the death penalty is ethical at all without appearing to be hypocritical.

  4. My words were with respect to countries that have a system of Law and Order that works in the interest of it's subjects as a whole.....democracies. I thought this discussion was about applying capital punishment within a judicial system that essentially cares about the common well-being of its citizens and the ethical problems associated with applying it in such a system. The Khmer Rouge, Communist Russia et al aren't relevant here really imo if that is the line of discussion wouldn't you say?

     

    All governments claim that they are working in the interests of their country as a whole, that they care about the well being of their citizens, who would you suggest decide which governments are telling the truth? It becomes subjective to the point of view of the observer as to which type of government is the best type of government, whether it be a democracy, a benevolent dictatorship, a regime, or absolute monarchy, to name a few styles of government. As such all types of governments are relevant to a discussion on the ethics of a government killing it's own citizens. Not just a favoured few. In this context, to say that for some styles of governments to kill thier citizens is murder but for other types of governments killing their citizens are legally and lawfully killing their criminals, is bordering on hypocritical wouldn't you agree?

     

    A quick question, How does it benefit a country to convict and kill an innocent person?

     

    I cannot see how it can be ethical to have capital punishment in any system that cannot guarantee that the true guilty party will be convicted in the first place. Less than a week ago an innocent man was freed in Texas after more than two decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. This alone tells us that the system cannot offer that guarantee. Even in this day and age of DNA testing, with the mystery shows on television such as C.S.I. telling us what the police look for and what yeilds DNA, there can be no absolute guarantees that the true guilty person will be convicted. All the real criminal has to do is to take steps to ensure that his or her DNA does not get left at a crime scene. Just as Criminals started wearing gloves to avoid their fingerprints being left at a scene once the guardians of the law figured out how to use them as evidence.

  5. With respect to law and order, the state does not murder...it lawfully kills (executes). Murder is unlawful killing with malice aforethought

     

    In the old Soviet Republic, millions were lawfully and legally killed(executed) by the state, for various "crimes". In Afghanistan, hundreds of women were executed for the "crime" of being out in public without a male guardian. These and other governments have since been labelled mass murderers. By your own definition these governments were not committing murder. They were legally and lawfully killing (executing) their citizens for their crimes. If you agree that these mentioned governments were mass murderers you must admit that a government or, "the state" can commit murder. Logically you cannot have mass murder without first having murder. Therefore my point must logically stand as I had originally stated it.

     

    Laws change according to the whim of a government. What is a crime punishable by death in one country is not necessarily a crime at all in another. Even in the same country, what may be a crime punishable by death in one era may not be a crime at all in a later era. As little as 250 years ago, people were being killed legally and lafully for the crime of witchcraft, which is now only a crime in a very few countries.

     

    Using words like 'murder' with respect to lawful executions, whether one agrees with them or not, demeans your overall position because you are using an emotionally loaded word in the wrong context perhaps in order to add argumentative weight to your position...an appeal to emotion.

     

    I would have to respectfully disagree with you on that point. I use the word "murder" not as a word full of emotion, but to point out the needless deaths of innocent people, killed by their own governments all over the world, legally and lawfully by their own laws. At what point do legal and lawful deaths for criminal acts become mass murder? 100 people? 1,000 people? 1,000,000 people? If you believe that there is a difference then you must believe there is a cut off point. What is it? If there is no cut off point, then the only logical conclusion is that you don't agree that regimes like the Khmer Rouge committed mass murder. It was simply 3,000,000 lawful killings.

  6. I refuse to acknowledge that any man is even close to being my equal. ;):lol:

     

    Ok, all jokes aside, I believe that the problem of inequality between the sexes has gone from one extreme to the other since the rise of Femanziism.

     

    Feminism started out with the suffragettes (the original feminists) who simply wanted the right for women to vote, to have a say in how our governments are selected. This in itself is a good thing. As citizens, we should take responsibility for our leaders, by electing those we feel will do the best job of governing us. From there, the goal of feminism became equal rights for all people, no matter what race/creed/gender/physical abilities a person was. Again, a worthy goal. We should all be considered equally.

     

    Then came femnaziism. The feminist creed became "all men are evil and have held the reigns of power for way too long, therefore we must take everything away from them to pay them back for their mistreatment of us until they have suffered as much as they have made us suffered. They must know their evil for as long as we have suffered from it and then repent of them before we can ever be equal". From this came affirmative action, where a job went to the female applicant over the male, and extreme political correctness began to grow. Now, we have middle of the line white heterosexual men being discriminated against and they aren't allowed to claim discrimination.

     

    We cannot call a spade by the name spade, we now have to call it a handled digging implement. I am no longer an Asthmatic, but a person who suffers from Asthma.

     

    This was never the goal of Feminism when it started and the few of us who speak out against the feminazis are often branded a traitor to the feminist cause. I myself narrowly managed to avoid being assaulted after turning down the offer to attend a rally to celebrate the first international womens day stating that I would not celebrate it until there was an international mens day as well. I'm thankful that I was standing outside a police station at the time. As it was, the woman who issued the invitation spat on the ground in front of me and told me that every day was international mens day and then called me a traitor to women everywhere as she stalked off to her rally.

     

    I do not regret making my choice not to join the femnazis, but to stay a feminist. I still believe that we are all equal, yet different and deserve to be treated as equals.

     

    The pendulum has swung from one extreme to another, hopefully in time we will evolve enough as human beings for the pendulum to stop swinging and sit in the middle where we acknowledge our right to be different and not judged for the difference. In that perfect world, the best applicant for a job would get it, no matter the gender/age/race/etc.

     

    Thankyou for listening.

  7. To answer the ethics of the death penalty we need to ask ourselves just one question.

     

    Can murder ever be considered ethical?

     

    To agree with the death penalty is to answer yes to this question. (To agree with war also answers yes to this question, but we are discussing the death penalty, not war, so I will save that debate for another time.:unsure:)

     

    Now before anyone gets offended by that statement please understand that I am only talking with respect to capital punishment and no other form of murder. In my own humble opinion, If a person agrees with the death penalty they are saying that it is ethical to murder under certain circumstances, for example, a person has been convicted by a Jury of his peers and is sentenced to death in a city that still has the death penalty.

     

    I personally say no to the death penalty as I have seen too many items in the news that show someone wrongly convicted being released after proving their innocence eventually. If we accept the death penalty and an innocent person is convicted and sentenced to death, they are being murdered by the state. No way around it, if an innocent person is dead by other than natural causes, then they have been murdered. More to the point, anyone involved in the conviction of this innocent is logically and technically, an accessory to the murder, this includes the members of the Jury who vote to convict. If the police were to treat the death of an innocent person convicted and put to death as a crime, everyone involved from the arresting officers to the Judge who passed down the sentence would be arrested as accessories to the fact.

     

    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that in the case of a person wrongfully convicted and put to death, that a criminal investigation should be started, I am simply stating that if an ivestigation were started, who the guilty parties would be. Should we convict and sentence them to death for the murder of the innocent? If we did that, we would be no better than those who do kill for the sake of killing. Not to mention the fact that if we did that, the killing would never stop.

     

    Just two days ago, I read in one of Australia's newspapers (The Sunday Mail) a single paragraph about a Texas man by the name of Michael Anthony Green, who had spent 27years in prison for a violent crime he did not commit. Had this crime been decided to be worthy of the death penalty, he would have been dead all these years. As it stands, he is (or at least should be) entitled to a hefty compensation due to the fact he now has to build the life he should have had, the life that was cruelly snatched away from him because he had been convicted of a crime that he didn't commit. The headline over this small paragraph in the paper read "'Rapist' Freed". He had just been released because he had finally proved his innocence and he is still being called a rapist. He is going to have to deal with that title for the rest of his life. People are always going to look sideways at him wondering what he was guilty of, after all how could he have been convicted in the first place if he wasn't guilty of something? At least he is alive and can try to start his life over, but if he were dead, what then?

     

    If they were to find the real person, the one who should have been convicted 27 years ago, would they kill him too? Would two people die for the same crime? And if not, who would explain to the victim that the true guilty person couldn't be put to death because she had made the wrong identification all those years ago and so someone else had already died for it? That the crime against her was severe enough for someone to die for it, just not the truly guilty party? Could you be the person to tell her this and make her feel guilty that an innocent man had died because she was so traumatised that she made a mistake? I couldn't do it. To add that kind of guilt to the trauma that she is already suffering would be too cruel.

     

    What do you guys believe to be suitable-crimes for the death penalty?

     

    I do not believe that any person can decide the answer to that question without offending or upsetting another. To draw a line and say that those crimes above the line are severe enough to deserve the death penalty but those below the line are not severe enough to deserve the death penalty, is to tell a victim of a crime that they were not hurt enough.

     

    If we were to decide for example, that a crime that caused the death of the victim was severe enough for the death penalty but if the victim survived the crime then the severity was insufficient for the death penalty, how would the victim who was raped and beaten and cut up so badly that she had to spend months in hospital recovering from her injuries and even more months in counselling to try to get over the mental trauma feel, to learn that she wasn't hurt enough? Could you be the person to tell her that because she lived, so does the monster who terrorised her? I certainly couldn't.

     

    No matter where we draw the line, there will always be someone below the line who we would have to tell that they weren't hurt enough.

  8. Hi all, I'm DragonDancer, I do not object to DD if you wish to shorten my name.

     

    I am currently 37yrs old and have been married to JohnB since December 1998, but please don't hold that against me :blink:

     

    I have been reading over John's shoulder since he joined SFN and been tempted to join many times, so today I finally joined up. I thought it was about time there was someone who could tell him he's wrong, just "Because I am the Wife and he is the husband, which makes him automatically wrong" ;)

     

    But seriously, I, like John, am a thinker. I have never attended a university, for two reasons, at the time I couldn't afford to go and now that I can, I can't find a course that interests me so I am thinking of writing my own. I am fascinated by Mythology all around the world and have devoted a large portion of my life to collecting books on the many differing myths and legends that form the basis of society.

     

    As my "science" leans more to an esoteric nature, compiling myths and legends for my own personal study, stories that started out as word of mouth and were eventually written, I doubt that you will see a large number of posts from me, but lately I have seen some poss that seem to be veering toward my field, so I might get a hand in the debates occasionally.

     

    Basically I am here to learn and be entertained as I have been while reading over John's shoulder, only now that I have joined up, I can join in. Maybe I'll surprise you all, and surprise myself while at it.:unsure:

     

    DD

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